You probably all know this old Engel domaine has been bought by Francois Pinault , a French tycoon and owner of Chateau Latour ( Bordeaux ). He renamed it ( after his mother ) and put Frederic Engerer in charge ( Latour wine-maker… his ego being as large as the wines he makes …but who cares ).The Domaine was bougt just around the 2006 harvest so there was nothing much the new wine-makers could do . They subsequently invested in a new facility , in the vineyard etc… so I was curious if the wines would live up to its lofty expectations …with the 2008 vintage.
The wines do not yet have a great reputation but the prices certainly are very high : 37 Euro’s for a Vosne Romanee Villages 2008 up to 153 Euro’s a bottle for a Clos de Vougeot 2008 . ( this… after a 15 % discount ).The Grand Echezeaux is even more expensive : 180 Euro’s…
Well , I tasted the 2008 wines Saturday at my local Burgundy importer’s open days … and found the wines fresh , pure , powerful but elegant…in another word : really good .
The Vosne Romanee 2008 Villages blew away the VR Villages 2008 from Rouget . The Clos de Vougeot was better than the 08 Meo CV and the Jean–Michel Guillon CV . Purety and amazing freshness was not so easy to achieve in 2008 .
As a side-note , I do not believe 2008 is a great vintage in red Burgundy . The best wines from great terroirs delivered because the people were able to get rid of all rotten fruit . That is almost impossible to do at the lower end of the scale unless you have all the help you want : so the rich domaines may have done much better…something you can taste in the outstanding Vosne Romanee Villages from d’Eugenie.
I’m looking forward to taste the 2009 wines from the Domaine .
For that sort of cash they’d better be bloody good!!! I did hear positive things also from Barry Rothof who was at that same tasting. Have fun at the happening at “Het Fornuis” with Msr. Saouma tonight and make sure to post your impressions…
You know it is always easier to decrease a price than to increase it. They start high in order to show their muscles and their wishes to put this property at the standard of Latour, but if necessary, be sure they will quietly move towards a better value for us, the consumers.
In Burgundy, we are not as “label drinkers” as many bordeaux geeks. Meanwhile, their last Clos de Vougeot 2008 was not bad at all, especially if you consider the overall value of the vintage.
BTW : did you try recently some Chantal Lescure and Geantiet-Pansiot ? I was quiet impressed recently at Lavinia Figaro Club.
Hello from Las Vegas where Bipin Desaï did organize a truly great rare spanish wines.
I know new owners always have to talk about the “improvements” they did in order to justify price hikes, but the wines from Rene Engel, especially the Clos Vougeot, were generally superb. What did they do to improve on that?
I always thought that the Grands Echezaux was in antother league Chez Engel. Much smaller holding, but almost always a memorable experience. The CV was always really good…and aged really well. I guess now that those wines are part of a business plan (the Engels hardly had one; they didn’t even really have any inventory control and were often unable to fulfill orders), the predictable price jump is part of it.
Sounds like a sad evolution to an even sadder story: the premature, sudden death of Philippe Engel on a sailing trip with his friends, Francois Faiveley and Phillipe Senard, though the wines themselves sound like they are still fine.