Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Domaine Comte Armand 2016


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Tasting Notes

The 2016 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux contains 10% whole-bunch fruit. I tasted from two cuvées, one from the young vines and one from the old. The young vines has clean and pure black cherry, red plum and lightly blueberry fruit that conveys a sense of energy. The palate is well balanced with succulent ripe black fruit, very fine tannin, a taut line of acidity but real complexity and tension from start to finish. I love the harmony and effortlessness of these younger vines. The cuvée from older vines demonstrated more black fruit with traces of undergrowth, a little more rondeur with impressive depth and structure on the persistent, marine/oyster shell-tinged finish. This has enormous potential and may challenge the supremacy of the 2015.

Score: 93/95Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (234), December 2017

(I tasted the younger- and older-vine components of this wine, followed by the press wine and an approximation of the final blend, which will be bottled with about 13.5% alcohol): Sample from the younger vines (45% of the blend; vinified with 15% whole clusters): Good dark red. Slightly medicinal aromas of red cherry and licorice. Surprisingly dry and backward, with its cherry fruit complicated by pungent licorice and herb notes. Finishes rather suave if a bit tart, with lingering notes of bitter cherry and herbs. Sample from the old vines (45% of the blend; from vines 67 to 93 years of age): Bright, dark red. Distinctly darker and riper on the nose than the younger vines, offering aromas of blueberry, black raspberry and spices. A step up in volume as well, with its dark raspberry and licorice flavors complicated by a licorice note. Very firmly structured wine with a longer, more tactile finish. From the press wine (to comprise about 10% of the blend): Softer, fatter and slightly saline. Finishes a bit tart but this juice should fill in the middle of the blend. An approximation of the final blend: Healthy dark red. Slight medicinal cast to the aromas of cherry, redcurrant and menthol. By far the best and most complete of these samples, offering serious low-yield richness but also terrific definition and energy. This sample somehow displayed captivating violet and mineral notes that were not apparent in any of its components. Lovely depth and restrained sweetness here. Finishes taut and long, with saline and herbal nuances and terrific underlying structure. This reminded me of a 2010; interestingly, last year Zinetti described his young '15 as like a denser version of 2010.

Score: 92/94Stephen Tanzer, vinous.com, January 2018

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