My last day of visits found me in the Côte de Nuits. I started in Marsannay with another young grower, Cyril Audoin of Domaine Charles Audoin, followed by Patrice Rion and Jean-Nicolas Méo at Méo-Camuzet.
Audoin, 28, is one of a number of young, talented winemakers in Marsannay. Currently at 35 acres, his father, Charles, began bottling his own wines in 1972. The vineyards are farmed following organic principles, but are not 100 percent organic. The grapes are generally destemmed, and the wines spend 12 months in barrel and six months in tank before bottling unfined and unfiltered.
Though Audoin makes a rosé, whites and reds from Pommard, Gevrey and Fixin, the heart of the estate is the single-vineyard Marsannays. We tasted both the 2006s, from barrel, and the 2005s, which had been bottled about a month prior.
The Clos de Jeu 2006 shows wild cherry flavor, elegance and a firm structure. The 2005 is pure, with cherry and berry notes, a lacy texture and mineral finish.
Les Longeroies displays mouthcoating texture and juiciness in both vintages, with a cherry flavor. The Clos du Roy is firm, lean, tensile and long in ’06 and ’05, with the mineral expressing itself as iron in the latter.
Les Favières is a pretty red, combining the richness of Longeroies and the elegance and cherry tone of Clos de Jeu. The greater density and structure is immediately apparent in the 2005.
The Champ Salomon is the biggest, densest of all, with more agressive tannins in the 2006 and a backward, closed impression in the 2005. Both show promise. “This is like Gevrey, and the Favières is like Chambolle-Musigny,” commented Audoin.
Rion farms 10 acres, mostly in the Prémeaux section of Nuits-St.-Georges, where the winery, rebuilt in 2001, is located. These are modern-style red Burgundies, with deep fruit flavors supported by oak and suave textures.
After destemming the grapes, Rion does a cold maceration for two to three days before a three-week fermentation. He rackss once before bottling, which he does in-house. All the wines are matured in 100 percent new oak barrels.
“2006 is a winemaker’s vintage," opined Rion. “There’s good concentration and good maturity, but it was necessary to work hard to get the best fruit.” The average yield was 20 to 25 hectoliters per hectare, roughly less than 1.5 tons per acre.
I was impressed with the ’06s there, especially the round Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, silky, firm Nuits St.-Georges Clos des Argillières and licorice- and black cherry-infused Nuits-St.-Georges Clos St.-Marc.
In 2006, Rion leased some parcels in Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses and Bonnes Mares. The Amoureuses is all class and finesse, tinged with floral and red berry notes. The Bonnes Mares, from the Chambolle side of the vineyard, is the denser of the two, yet elegant and spicy.
A short drive later, I was in Vosne-Romanée, in the cellars of Méo-Camuzet. The talented Jean-Nicolas Méo had good success in 2006. In addition to the domaine wines, Méo has a range of négociant wines under the Méo-Camuzet Frère & Soeur label.
I tasted three of the négociant wines. The Fixin Clos du Chapitre shows pure black cherry, with a strict structure. “This is an appellation whose wines are very upright and direct,” commented Méo. The Chambolle-Musigny Aux Cras features violet, raspberry and blackberry aromas and flavors and a silky texture. The Nuits St.-Georges Les Perrières is dense, with a black cherry note and firm tannins.
Among the domaine wines, the Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes offers floral and spice notes to accent the red and black fruit, while the Nuits-St.-Georges Aux Boudots reveals a darker expression of fruit and a fine-grained texture. The Clos de Vougeot and Corton are out of sorts and difficult to taste now, but the Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées displays intensity and depth. The Richebourg is very classy and long, with a silky texture enveloping violet, raspberry and cassis flavors.
“It’s still a little bit discreet,” said Méo. “It’s like the rehearsal for the big show.”
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — June 26, 2007 5:40pm ET
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