(2019) Pinot Noir really is 'Vieilles Vignes' for this wine, with an average vine age of 50 years. Aged 16 months in barrel and coming from a very good vintage, there is solidity and concentration here, but no lack of charm, as indeed the perfume of the wine is lovely, suggestions of old roses and violet, a touch of red liquorice and composed berry fruit. In the mouth this has some weight and again, obvious concentration, there is a nice rasp of plum-skin tannin and acidity, but good fruit sweetness, the dry finish still tannic and youthful, but finishing on fruit and tangy acidity. Should develop nicely over the next decade. Note the price and stockist given at time of review are for the 2015 vintage.
(2019) Les Bas Liards is a lieux-dit, a named parcel of vines within the village of Savigny-lès-Beaune, in this case 46-year-old vines and fermented in open-top fermenters with partial whole bunches before a year in second-fill oak. There's a ripeness here, a touch of blackcurrant and kirsch, and a woody twang of something briary and spicy. Quite an exotic background note of Sandalwood too, a touch of earthiness, in a complex picture. The palate has a clear, pure juiciness of fruit, nimble and sprightly due to the crisp and tangy acids and neatly-framed tannins. It is mouth-filling nevertheless with its rounded mid-palate fruit, and satisfyingly long finish.
(2018) Best showing yet for this: in a terrific place with lots of coffee and truffle, fabulous fruit too and delicate floral nuances. Seamless palate, spicy and rich, brimming with red fruit and that truffly, deep, smoky finish. I would probably not hold for too much longer, as it is singing now on evidence of this bottle. Stockist/price is for more recent vintages - this wine has very limited availability in the UK.
(2018) Cellared by me since purchase around 1997, this is a beguiling wine that reinforces the magic that is - or can be - red Burgundy. A modest appellation and vintage, but from a highly respected winemaker, it stands apart from the vast majority of Pinot Noir wines from elsewhere in the world, especially given its beautiful state of maturity after 23 years. A touch of ochre to the pale ruby colour, the new oak has melted into a sheen of Sandalwood spice, and sappy and briary aromas as well as quite delicate redcurrant and cherry fruit dominate. There's a hint of something firm, almost like brick dust, but it is not age or oxidation. On the palate yes, the fruit has receded perhaps a touch too far, but that core of fresh, tart-edged red plum and cherry is still there, a dry iron oxide note is not at all unpleasant, and the softness of the tannins and acidity just supports very elegantly. Long and very precise, again the oak is transparent, the steely, dry, but agile freshness just delightful. It's impossible to say how long a wine like this will continue to give pleasure, but I won't rush to immediately drink my remaining bottle. Newer vintages will cost around £30.
(2016) A wine showing its power, even though now fully mature. Ruby core with a medium brick rim, some old wine aromas of leafiness and decay, but never dominating the briar and truffle and the soft, autumnal berry fruit. On the palate soft and delicious, though it faded fairly quickly (a drop left over was almost devoid of fruit next morning) but sweet elegance to the finish on first drinking, mellow but robust tannins and cherry fruit acids into a nice, spicy finish.
(2016) Lovely mellow colour with a touch of soft ochre on the rim. Fine sweet earth and truffle aromas. Such a ripe rich core of berries and plum, but not heavy, there is some floral fragrance here too. Rich, almost voluptuous palate with coffee and a great depth of fruit, the silky tannins do add structure and the freshness is surprisingly good, with a lovely long, sweetly focused finish.
(2016) Fantastic concentration immediately with tight black fruits, a charming hint of cherry and floral character, but also slick and vanilla-touched, just hints of truffle and game well into the background. Structured and full on the palate, there’s a glossy sheerness of fruit but a plum flesh depth, almost balsamic and liquoricy, but the tight core of tannins and juicy acids helping to propel the finish. Concentrated, ripe and structured Burgundy, with time ahead of it.
(2016) Fragrant with some floral and cherry, rose like tiny nuances and solid berry fruit beneath. The palate has a stripe of liquorice that is bittersweet and grippy, with a tight endive touch. Tight, very powerful and concentrated, perhaps a little too much in this vintage, but there is elegance.
(2015) What a stunning red Burgundy from Scottish winemaker David Clark, who sadly gave up this domaine to pursue other interests. It has an enchanting, bewitching nose perfumed and ethereal, flowers and ripe, bright cherries, a touch of clove and Parma violet, and beneath a hint of sappiness. In the mouth it is silken stuff, the draping cloak of ripe red berries, suffused with spices and taut mineral acidity. Tannins are so fine. Really a wonderful wine and what a loss it is that David gave it all up.
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