Domaine de la Pousse d’Or is a menagerie of animals. Firstly we were greeted by a charming old red setter. Next a delightful golden retriever who played the sympathy card and kept tapping my leg if I stopped patting him and then two birds in cages. The top cage housed Coco, an extraordinarily outgoing cockatoo. He was inquisitive and said ‘ca va’ on command and struck various different poses for the camera.
After bidding farewell to the animals we toured the pristine cellars of La Pousse d’Or. Patrick Landanger has poured oodles of cash, passion and commitment into this Domaine and if the 2010 wines we tasted are any indication of resultant quality then I’d have to say that the effort is reflected in the wines, they are superb (not that there was anything wrong with the wines of the Potel era, they certainly still command cellar space Chez Holmes).
The 1er Cru wines see around 30% new oak with 30% being one year old. The Grand Crus get 40-45% new oak. The barriques for the red wines have some innovative looking carafe devices sitting where the bung usually resides. These were invented by Patrick so as to top up the wine with the minimum exposure to oxygen and they can also see when the wine has completed its malolactic fermentation. These devices are named Ouiller. They don’t use them for the Puligny and may have ‘Oublier’d’ the Ouiller when it comes to white wine élevage.
2010 Santenay ‘Clos des Tavannes’ 1er Cru: Smells like ripe red berries dusted with icing sugar. In the mouth it is well fruited but has plenty of underlying structure and is nuanced with savoury things. Very smart wine.
2010 Volnay ‘En Caillerets’ 1er Cru: Vibrant and energetic with ripe berry notes threaded with a little liquorice. There’s a rich tapestry of fruit covering a mineral base and it finishes fine and long.
2010 Volnay ‘Clos l’Audignac’ 1er Cru: Floral aromas along with notes of red berries and liquorice. There’s a little wood spice showing at this early juncture as well. It is full and generous in the mouth with rocky grip.
2010 Volnay ‘Clos de la Bousse d’Or’ 1er Cru : Really quite shy on the nose, emitting the faintest whiff of earth, red currant and mineral. Very tight, very concentrated in the mouth. There is so much potential in this compact package, it will unfold but needs time.
2010 Volnay ‘Caillerets - Clos des Soixante Ouvrées’ 1er Cru : A wine of latent power, just waiting for cellar time before it eventually struts its stuff. There’s a pleasant aniseed note to the aroma and fruits are heading towards darker territory. It is complex and concentrated, with terrific underlying muscle and super length.
2010 Pommard ‘Les Jarolières’ 1er Cru: Plenty of earth and smoked meats to the aroma. In the mouth the savoury traits are mixing it up with crunchy red fruits. It is chewy but tannins are sweet and length of flavour very good.
2010 Corton ‘Clos du Roi’: This thing is a massive ball of minerally energy. It is almost too concentrated and backwards to taste but one can feel the balance and quality of the wine, it just needs time.
2010 Chambolle-Musigny: This has real sappy lift with some floral spice and red currant smells. It has some crunchy red berries in the mouth and great intensity for its level. The mouthfeel is silky and sensuous.
2010 Clos de la Roche: Deeply pitched with black cherry and blood plum fruits that are threaded with liquorice. There some sarsaparilla notes and it is rich and concentrated yet fresh and lively. The finish is seriously long and it is quite superb.
2010 Puligny-Montrachet ‘Caillerets’: White flowers and white peach aromas. It is full and rich but wonderfully linear at the same time. Lemon sherbet like acidity crackles through the orchard fruits and it is intense and long.