"Les Rugiens-Bas" 1er Cru de Pommard 2012

The vintage

The harvest began September 17 and continued through the end of the month.

Recalling the 2012 vintage brings on two different sentiments. For one, there is the great satisfaction to have an excellent vintage in terms of quality, especially in red. For another, there is the profound disappointment of tiny yields accompanied by the hail devastation of many vines, from Santenay up to Pommard. The weather was difficult at the beginning of the season but improved around mid-July, which saved the quality of the vintage. Concerning the yields, they are very low, and everything that could have contributed to lowering them happened in 2012: small flowering, poor fruit set, uneven berry size...and unfortunately, hail.

The aromas have a rare complexity and elegance. They offer an astonishing bouquet of spices, cherry pits, black fruits, dried flowers, musk and hard candies. The textures are simultaneously dense and ethereal. The attacks are brisk and the mid-palates are etheral and lengthy. The tannins are soft and well-wrapped in intense fruit that vascilates between tangy and sweet. The suave finishes offer refreshment and persistence.

We left two-thirds whole clusters in Beaune Perrières, Beaune Grèves and Volnay Mitans and 100% in Volnay Les Taillepieds, Corton Clos du Roi and all the Côte de Nuits cuvées, including in our village level Nuits-St-Georges « Les Saints-Juliens ». These are all wines to age for at least ten years, even 20-25 years for the Grand Crus and « Grand » Premier Crus from the Côte de Nuits.

This is quite rare, but we have found slight reduction in most of the wines. As such, we advise to decant them about one hour if they are being tasted before they reach ten years old.

Tasting notes

- A pungent nose of wood toast and reduction aromas dominate the underlying fruit at present. There is excellent size, weight and mid-palate density to the complex and highly energetic middle weight plus flavors that seem to be constructed around a firm core of minerality before terminating in a rough and chewy finish that is quite drying, indeed to the point that it's hard to see this rounding out. As is the case with several wines in the range this is not without its appeal, but the balance for longer-term aging is suspect in my view.Score: 87-90 Tasted: Apr 15, 2014 Drink: 2019+ Issue: 54 -. Allen Meadows

- One-third whole bunch, 30% new oak. 45-year-old vines. Rich and round and quite animal but great texture and stuffing. Score: 17.5 Jancis Robinson