Pousse D’Or 2011 – Wines that “Transcend the Vintage” Burghound

pousse-dor

“As the scores and commentaries confirm, I found the Pousse d’Or 2011s to transcend the general quality of the vintage.”

–  Allen Meadows, Burghound Issue 50 – April 15 2013

 

Beginning with Landanger’s inaugural vintage – 1999 – after he elected to pass over both 1997 as well as 1998 (two vintages where he lacked 100% control of the entire elevage) this passionate perfectionist has set a course to re-establish Pousse D’Or as the benchmark for quality not only in the Cote de Beaune, but throughout Burgundy. Landanger became owner of this venerable estate after the tragic passing of Gerard Potel in 1997. Millions in investments by Landanger – from vineyard to equipment and into the cellars – began to result in qualitative successes almost immediately as the wine world took note.

 

Established in the 19th century (when it was originally known as La Bousse d’Or), this ancient estate was once comprised of multiple land plots throughout the Cote D’Or. Among its many holdings were the vineyards of Romanee Conti and Clos de Tart – to name a few of its more illustrious parcels. Over the decades these parcels were divided and sold until the 1960s when the final remaining parcels came up for sale one final time.

 

The man who would eventually come to purchase Bousse D’Or, Jean-Nicolas Ferte’ – known affectionately as THE bon viveur – had been searching for a suitable estate to purchase as a wedding gift for his niece and her new husband (the gifted wine-maker: Gerard Potel). Potel and the niece – having been “adopted” by Ferte’ – had meetings with their uncle in Beaune and the three had settled on Burgundy as their choice for a new winery as well as home for the young couple.

 

When Bousse D’Or came up for sale in the early 1960s, Ferte’ received word from Ramonet – via a rare phone call vs Ferte’s preferred method of communication: handwritten letters (another moment in history). After multiple rounds of negotiations, the sale was finalized; Ferte’ and company took control of Bousse D’Or in 1964. The partnership formed to purchase the new estate was comprised of Louis Seysses (Jacques Seysses’ father) and the aforementioned Ferte’, so Potel was in fabulous company. French law dictated the name change to Pousse D’Or, and Gerard Potel was placed in charge of wine-making. He and Seysses worked together for a few years until Seysses departed in 1978 to devote himself full time to working at Dujac.

 

In 1985, Potel finally purchased Pousse D’Or from his partners. Throughout the many years of partnership changes and financial upheavals, Potel never wavered – making reference point wines from his glorious Pousse D’Or year in, year out. Upon his death, the wine world held its collective breath in hopes of the arrival of the person who would carry the torch in place of Potel.

 

Landanger has proved to be that man. As the vintages have been bottled, Landanger has amassed consistently glowing reviews from the world’s most respected critics. Be the vintage sublime or sub-standard, Landanger’s efforts from vineyard through vinification result in vintage transcending wines which speak of place over process. His methods are second to none and the results have garnered praise while thrilling buyers the world over.

 

His 2011s unquestionably deserve a place in your cellar!

 

For a list of currently available 2011s, please visit:

 

http://www.jjbuckley.com/search/c~0~st~pousse%20d%27or%202011

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Domaine Rossignol-Trapet – A Gevrey-Chambertin Superstar

Nicolas Rossignol in the cellar.

 

I first encountered these 100% biodynamically farmed (certified as of 2005), increasingly transparent and terroir driven wines in 2002, while traveling Burgundy to sample the newly bottled vintage. Tasting Nicolas Rossignol-Trapet’s wines again this year at the GJDB reveals a Domaine truly on their game.

 

Rossignol-Trapet is a Domaine that was formed by the marriage of the Rossignol and Trapets. The Rossignol family hails from Volnay dating to the 1500s and the Trapet side of this family landed in Gevrey circa the 18th century. Through the marriage of Nicolas Rossignol to Florence Trapet, today’s Domaine Rossignol-Trapet now encompasses roughly 35 acres, spanning nearly a dozen unique lieu dits.

 

Recognizing that improved vines and healthier grapes naturally result in superior wines, in 1997 brothers Nicolas and David embarked on their mission to convert their vineyards to biodynamic agriculture. In a recent interview, Nicolas clarified this decision by stating that in the beginning, the decision to move to biodynamic agriculture was not necessarily to produce better wines, as his family had been offering top quality for many years. The decision, however, was based on his desire to pass down to the next generation a healthy and vibrant land capable of producing higher and higher quality wines for the decades to come.

 

Today’s offers from the Domaine Rossignol-Trapet reflect the attention to vineyard management and improvements in the cellars that were launched in the late 1990s. Recently released vintages as well as newly reviewed offers of this Domaine’s entire range have garnered the most impressive reviews to date from the professional press – worldwide. In the words of Burghound, “They are becoming a truly excellent domaine.”

 

For details on currently available offers from this estate, please visit:

 

http://www.jjbuckley.com/search/c~0~st~rossignol%20trapet%202010<<<<

 

and:

 

http://www.jjbuckley.com/search/c~0~st~rossignol%20trapet<<<<

 

Domaine Perrot Minot – The History and Today’s Selection

 

Sundays appear to be the day for catching up here at the old blog and this particular first day of the week is one of the more beautiful ones we’ve had here in the Bay area. Naturally, with temperatures in the low fifties and the air outside as crisp as the bacon on my breakfast plate, there can be but one type of wine on my mind. Truth be told, there’s only ever one type of wine on my mind, right?

 

Today’s tasting glass is again graced with the sublime efforts of Christophe Perrot Minot. But before I get to the discussions of this specific example, I thought I’d share the tale of the estate. It’s a story I first researched when I purchased these Burgundies many years ago for my own wine company, and the tale of vinous perfection that spans multiple generations explains Parker’s sentiments. After first tasting the efforts of Christophe, way back in the 1990s, Robert Parker would write,

 

“Speaking of superstars, Christophe Perrot-Minot is a name that may become as famous as Lignier, Dugat, Lafon, Roumier, and the like. I was as excited when I left this Domaine as I was when I walked out of Arnauld Ente’s in Meursault. There is nothing more gratifying and invigorating than tasting a young person’s wines for the first time and finding them to be superb.”

 

From the birth of what is today known as Domaine Perrot-Minot, this has been one of the most impeccably run, well-organized, cutting-edge and uniquely fashionable properties in the whole of the region. Initially known as Merme-Morizot – after the marriage of M. Merme to Esther Morizot, heiress of the Sigaut and Morizot vines in Chambolle and Morey – this estate dates to the mid-19th century, establishing it as one of the very oldest in all of Burgundy. Monsieur Amedee Merme was known as a gentleman farmer. He was as comfortable tending the domaine’s vines as he was frequenting France’s fashionable salons. It would be Amedee who would establish the domaine’s wines as centerpieces in France’s most exclusive restaurants; his dedication to quality was the foundation Perrot Minot was built upon.

 

The next generation of Mermes would take over responsibility of the Domaine after the end of WWII, when the affable and energetic Armand Merme assumed duties of the estate. Dedicated to further advancing the family’s reputation, Armand instituted the most advanced viticultural techniques known, implementing improvements in vine growing and fermentation. In addition to modernizing the techniques at the Domaine, Armand would greatly expand the family’s holdings, acquiring additional vine plots in some of the most prestigious AOCs in the Cote D’Or.

 

Armand’s marriage to Yvonne Aubelle led to the birth of four daughters. Their eldest, Marie-France, acquired her father’s love of the vine and vineyard and chose to follow in her father’s footsteps. Her marriage to Henri Perrot Minot in the 1960s established the modern day Perrot Minot Domaine. During the first years, Henri, Marie-France and M. Merme worked collaboratively to further modernize and expand the estate, adding additional holdings and beautifying the property. Upon the death of Armand, Henri and Marie-France took full control of the estate, fully dedicated to maintaining the quality as had been established over the generations.

 

Henri and Marie-France’s son, Christophe Perrot-Minot returned to his parent’s estate in 1993 at the age of 28, having spent 7 years as a fine wine broker, to assume the position of manager of the Domaine. Christophe’s experience in the trade, working with, tasting, selling and buying the very finest wines of Burgundy and the world brought an entirely new facet to Domaine Perrot Minot. Christophe, trained to recognize vinous greatness, and with three generations of dedicated wine-growers preceding him, set about to further perfect the profound wines emanating from his family’s holdings.

 

As the vintages bearing Christophe’s signature have made their way into bottle, the subtle changes in the cellars at Domaine Perrot Minot have become evident. The most obvious change has been in the labeling process. Gone are the perplexing and often times confusing labeling practices as were once customary chez Perrot-Minot. No longer do consumers have to ponder their choices; there is one label: Domaine Perrot Minot (just a few years ago, one would find labels that included Henri’s name, Perrot-Minot’s name, Vieilles Vignes, or simple vineyard designations – quite confusing indeed).

 

But perhaps the most impressive, albeit subtle change chez Perrot-Minot is Christophe’s near decade long experiment in the cellar that has resulted in a more expressive terroir note in his wines. Where once a pronounced new oak signature dominated these profoundly structured wines, Christophe’s taming of this quality – through the reduction of the use of new oak during the aging process – has resulted in wines of an exquisite nature. The wines of Perrot-Minot have always been among the most structured and age-worthy in Burgundy. But now they also include a classic sense of place that make them truly worthy of their moniker, “genuinely sensational” – as Burghound has recently so dubbed them.

 

2008 Perrot-Minot Gevrey Chambertin “Champerrier” Vieilles Vignes

This lieu-dit is one of the oldest planted vineyard sites in Gevrey, yet only carries a Village designation. This bottling by Perrot-Minot is brilliantly ruby red. Aromas of crushed black cherry combine with tell-tale Gevrey minerality as well as an elegant perfumed sense not generally found in most Gevreys. The perfumed nuance is more floral with air; perhaps a rose-petal sense best describes it. On the palate, the wine is classic dark Pinot; with plum and currant flavor. The tannins are pronounced but integrated, with the structure also quite impressive. The finish, very long and quite grippy, suggests an easy 5-8 years of further development. A serious and age worthy wine. A Village wine very much worth a look. 90 points.