Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux Comte Armand 2015
Comte Armand's Clos des Epeneaux is Pommard’s most celebrated climat, and the wine is, arguably, Grand Cru quality. Indeed, an application is currently with the French National appellation authority for promotion to Grand Cru status. As Neal Martin affirms: This is a sublime expression of one of the best Côte de Beaune terroirs and an affirmation of Paul Zinetti as a talented winemaker worthy of following in Benjamin Leroux's footsteps.
Clos des Epeneaux is invariably one of the stars and most sought-after wines of our annual Burgundy En Primeur offer, selling out almost immediately and demand far outstripping supply.
We are fortunate to have secured a parcel of the 2015 vintage, which was on release one of the most celebrated red Burgundy vintages of recent years. That initial opinion was reconfirmed at the recent Burgfest: an extensive re-tasting of the region’s premiers and grands crus from the 2015 vintage by the great and good of the wine trade.
The critics agree. Neal Martin says its, ‘superb, refined, powerful and sophisticated’ 94-96 points and the leading Burgundy critic Allen Meadows enthused praise to this exceptional wine, ‘In a word, impressive. Outstanding’.
The domaine is noticeably outpacing its neighbours and redefining how this finest terroir of Pommard is capable of not only power but elegance as well. Given this is currently one of the hottest Premiers Crus in the Côte de Beaune, its price/quality ratio at £650/6 is compelling. This is Grand Cru quality for a Premier Cru outlay.
More about Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux
Comte Armand purchased the property in 1828 and the family have overseen its long rise to the top of the Côte de Beaune’s firmament, even in the face of Pommard’s waning fortunes. Over the past decade, under régisseurs Benjamin Leroux and from 2014 Paul Zinetti, the domaine has been on a stellar trajectory.
This 5.23 hectare walled monopole has a well-earned reputation for producing long-lived wines. Its muscular tannin structure and deep fruit concentration engendered by its iron-rich soils and abundance of old vine stock go some way to explaining the natural ability of the Clos. But it has been the delicate handling in the cellar of recent years that has drawn out traits not often associated with Pommard: elegance and refinement.
Bursting full of fruit. This has a charming floral expression, but plenty of power too. It has the classical and refined structure of the best type of traditional winemaking, with little influence from the oak. Melting, mouthcoating tannins and spiced red fruits. Succulent freshness and a long, supple finish mark a very complete wine and a high point in a flight of excellent Pommards. [tasted blind at Burgfest]
Quite rightly cherished by the domaine, this substantial 5.23ha monopole is considered by many as one of the greatest climats in Pommard, and indeed the Côte de Beaune. The gentle, intuitive extraction techniques used during vinification (gentle pigeage and remontage) have resulted in an energetic freshness and supple, melting tannic structure, all robed in spiced red fruit flavours. Intense, sophisticated, and hugely enjoyable.
Here the nose is notably riper than the 2016 version yet it manages to retain good freshness to the pure red berry fruit, earthy, floral and spice-suffused aromas. The decidedly dense, tautly muscular and powerful broad-shouldered flavors are underpinned by notably firm tannins and outstanding length on the beautifully complex finale that exhibits just enough warmth to warrant mentioning. This is quite clearly built-to-age and it's going to need it. In a word, impressive. Outstanding. Drink 2030+
As it almost always is chez Armand, this is the most elegant wine in the range with a pure and strikingly complex, if reserved, nose of pure red berry fruit, earthy, floral and spice hints. The sleek, tautly muscular and powerful flavors are underpinned by slightly more sophisticated tannins and outstanding length on the beautifully complex finale. This is quite clearly built-to-age and it's going to need it. In a word, terrific. Drink 2027+ Sweet spot Outstanding
The 2015 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epenaux was tasted from barrel as a mixture of the old and younger vines. Cropped at 15 hectoliters per hectare, because of the hail, it matured in a maximum of 30% new oak. There was less pigeage this year as the wine does not usually need a big extraction, with just two punch downs. It was kept in tank for one week at 32 degrees Celsius before transferring into barrel. It has a very refined, quite powerful bouquet that manages to retain superb delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, hints of brown spice infusing the red berry fruit, black truffle and sage. This is a sophisticated Clos des Epenaux, clearly less extracted in the past, with a long tail on the aftertaste. This is a sublime expression of one of the best Côte de Beaune terroirs and an affirmation of Paul Zinetti as a talented winemaker worthy of following in Benjamin Leroux's footsteps. Drink Date 2020 - 2045