Sundays with Barry at Adrian's 13 reds: Méo, Dujac, Dugat-Py, Arnoux, Tardy, Lambrays, Ponsot&more

Bourgogne-Grand-Ordinaire “Les Gamets” 2009 – Bernard Van Berg
The medium-plus intense ruby core is only just translucent and somewhat dull. The nose seems somewhat alcoholic and shows extremely ripe & plummy, lush black fruits. Nonetheless, it still has some Gamay typicity.
Full-bodied, this wine has medium intense acidity and while definitely fulfilling the earlier promises of lushness, it’s fresh enough to keep not quite medium-plus intense flavours of damsons and brambles from being jammy. Furthermore, excellent sève just about cancels out ripe and moderately grippy medium-minus tannins while a see-through backdrop of cretaceous minerals provides some added interest. However, given the price of admission one would wish for a little more persistence than the current 15-20 seconds.
While this is hands down the most impressive Gamay I ever tasted, it’s still just that. Its balance makes it a pleasant drink now and I suspect it would be interesting to age it for a few years; if only to see what a €250 bottle of Gamay can do. 89 points with some upside it is, then.

Pommard “Les Vaumuriens” 2007 – Coche-Dury
An evolved medium intense and fully translucent ruby core can be seen, which turns to garnet near the clearing rim. Some noticeable development is also present on the medium-minus intense nose, which offers up dried herbs, integrated spicy wood notes and dried but still sweet red cherry.
This wine has a not quite medium-plus body supported by medium-minus tannins, which have a slight edge of unripeness in a 2007 sort of way, but a lick of glycerine buffers them adequately. The medium intense dried red cherry flavours are driven by medium-plus acidity and a dried thyme herbal component adds interest. At this point in its evolution, this wine trades mainly on its decent balance, as witnessed by no less than 25-30 seconds worth of sneaky length. So, I’ll award a score of 87 points and wish to extend the advice to drink this now while it still has some charm. J.-F. Coche has since sold this parcel.

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “”Craipillot 2010 – Gérard Séguin
Medium intense but dense ruby at the core and quite bright. The medium intense nose is fairly typical and there is decent depth to the notes of ripe cranberry and fresh thyme with a smoky edge.
This wine is medium-plus bodied and the black fruit flavours are pleasantly sappy. Medium-plus intense flavours of brambles and smoke are supported by polished medium-minus tannins and the acidity –while a hair short of pronounced– is quite adequately buffered. The finish adds some smoked meats to the mélange and although the tannins assert themselves a little more strongly here, balance is maintained for 20-25 seconds. Concluding, this wine is made in a very approachable style and gives immediate pleasure and good value for money. It lacks the depth and complexity to merit a top score, but I often find myself wishing I had more wine in this immediately pleasurable vein in my cellar. 88 points seem quite fair and perhaps medium-term cellaring can add another.

Morey St. Denis 1er Cru “Cuvée des Alouettes” 2010 – Domaine Ponsot
A medium intense, translucent and bright ruby core with a clearing rim can be viewed here. Quite reduced initially, the rubbery funk gives way to medium intense red currant and cherry scents which possess a certain candied & polished quality.
No more than medium-bodied on the attack at 13% alcohol, this Monts Luisants 1er Cru immediately impresses with its finely textured flavours, aided by its glycerine-sheathed and high-quality medium tannins. Refined and firmly medium-plus acidity drives nearly medium-plus intense mid-palate flavours of typical red cherry with a touch of smoke, laurel leaf and other dried herbs. As mentioned, its texture is amazingly good for non-Grand Cru Morey and this extends to the 20-25 second finish, which displays itself “tout en finesse”, as the French are fond of saying. I’ll give 90 points for this bottle and I would give this wine a minimum of eight years in the cellar to develop some more complexity and unleash its impressive potential. Very, very good!

Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2001 – Domaine des Lambrays
The first older wine of the day greets us with a medium intense and translucent bricking core, turning to garnet at the rim. The medium intense nose shows stemmy influences by way of some asian spice notes, menthol/eucalyptus, smoky cedar and with more air coca-cola. Although the fruit is a little hard to pinpoint, the whole is not without charm and intensity does pick up a notch with time.
This value Grand Cru has a not quite medium-plus body and structurally everything is in the right place, as the slightly grippy tannins have a polished feel to them, its medium-plus acidity possesses a modicum of finesse and lends good freshness overall. Despite medium intensity on the mid-palate, the fruit is again somewhat reticent and hard to determine. It is a good sign that this wine drinks well regardless and some evolution is present in its nicely textured stemmy spice & herbal flavours. However, I find myself wondering what happened to the Grand-Cru experience a previous bottle provided. This finally arrives at least partially with the 25-30 second finish –which showcases an extra burst of intensity– but extended exposure to oxygen turns this bottle weedy and drying. As I’m not sure what’s going on here, I will place it hors categorie and pull another one to see whether it’s entering another closed-down phase or other issues are afoot.

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaux St. Jacques” 2001 – Bernard Dugat-Py
The opaque medium-plus intense ruby core is a clear departure from previous proceedings and neither bricking nor clearing can be detected. The decidedly woody nose shows medium-plus intense notes of cotton candy and jammy griotte cherries.
This Clos St. Jacques adjacent Premier Cru has a medium-plus body and its grippy medium tannins are definitely oak-enhanced, but the phenolic edge is kept somewhat balanced by extracted and firmly medium intense blackberry, cassis, laurel leaf and liquorice flavours. Its near pronounced acidity does add a much needed modicum of freshness on the mid-palate, but at present there is a coarseness to the texture which does not add to the overall drinking experience. Despite the abundance of materials, the finish fizzes out somewhat after 20 seconds and so, I can’t give more than 88 points for this bottle. Whether this wine will sort itself out after at least another 5 years in the cellar is anyone’s guess. Roses really do tend to grow on manure –as several tasters with more D-P experience have assured me– but for my palate this was not really enjoyable.

Vosne-Romanée 1998 – Emmanuel Rouget
Medium-minus intense but still ruby at the core, with a clearing and bricking rim. I seem to be catching a whiff of impurity at first, but the nose still offers up medium intense and typical notes of Asian spices and cassis. Unfortunately, my first sip does confirm a slight TCA infection which is a real shame, because the materials are quite good. Indeed, this medium-bodied wine was not even unpleasant to drink, but with the embarrassment of riches present I didn’t bother.

Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru “Les Suchots” 2009 – Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux
A medium-plus intense and fully opaque ruby core, without any clearing at the edge. The nose is utterly primary –indeed not unlike young Gamay– and shows pointed notes of medium-plus intense cassis with a whiff of laurel leaf. More exposure to air adds oak-derived coffee powder and mocha and somehow the impression of lots more lurking beneath the surface.
Medium-plus bodied on the attack, this too is a well-concentrated wine –not quite like the D-P however– and while the medium tannins are plushy and ripe, things go somewhat awry on the mid-palate. There is decent sève to the medium-plus intense and well-textured flavours of clove-laced cassis, but the barely medium acidity leaves this reputed 1er Cru a bit too gourmand and easy for my tastes. The finish still does an easy 25-30 seconds and while I have no qualms with this wine as a Tuesday night quaffer, I really want to see some more tension and potential for the price it commands. I’ll still give 90 points for this bottle, but whether the acidity will facilitate the decade’s worth of bottle aging required to add interest is doubtful at best.
Échezeaux Grand Cru Les “Treux” Vieilles Vignes 2010 – Domaine Jean Tardy & Fils
This Grand Cru from an ill-reputed lieu-dit has a medium intense purplish ruby yet dense core. It emits lightly intense hints of charred oak and cassis on the nose in its present youthful stage.
Firmly medium-bodied on the attack, decently buffered medium-plus acidity lends some freshness to medium intense and reasonably extracted flavours of (oak-)spicy cassis, black currant and cranberry, which in turn cannot hide a somewhat drying phenolic edge to the medium tannins. While there is at least a modicum of balance on the mid-palate, the structure clamps down further on the 20-25 second finish and if anything, this wine currently begs for a hearty dish to accompany it. My preferences are well-documented and so I can’t give any more than 87 points for this wine in its current state, but I will offer the benefit of the doubt in the sense that I think it may just broach the 90 point barrier if and when it absorbs its oak –thereby softening the structure and smoothing out the texture– in a decade from now.

Échezeaux Grand Cru 2000 – Domaine Dujac
A medium intense translucent core, at the cusp of ruby & garnet with a bricking and clearing rim.
Not quite medium-plus intense notes of signature stemmy spices are counterbalancing precise aromas of sweet damsons, roast game and peat over a developed forest-floor base. There is a refined presence to this wine, which has so far been lacking in the reds.
Despite the lighter vintage, the “Champs Traversins” vines have yielded a medium-plus bodied wine with slightly grippy yet lush medium tannins. On the mid-palate, the grand theme is rondeur and refined integration, which is underlined by the fact that the medium-plus acidity does not reveal itself until sought after. It sports pronouncedly intense flavours of velvety damsons, other plummy black –perhaps slightly dried– fruits and beef stock laced with a cornucopia of dried sweet spices like anise, fennel seed, mace and cardamom. The finish is quite frankly the only thing keeping it from achieving a top score, as the lighter vintage shines through in no more than 20-25 seconds of –it has to be noted– marvellous refinement.
While a treat now, this truly Grand Cru Échezeaux seems to have the balance to be kept for up to another decade, depending on your preferences. I’ll give 92 points for its current state, while commenting this is one of the very best 2000s’ I’ve come across.

Échezeaux Grand Cru “Les Rouges du Bas” 1998 – Domaine Méo-Camuzet
This bottle was sourced directly ex-cellar about a month ago. It has a firmly medium intense ruby core with very little clearing at the rim. The nose pairs medium intense notes of pomegranate and dried red cherry to more evolved leather, integrated oak and fresh porcini.
My first Méo Grand Cru seems lighter than its actual medium-plus body and showcases nearly pronounced flavours of dried red cherry, leather, earl grey tea and integrated oak spices like cardamom and cloves. Considering the foursquare vintage, its impeccable balance and refined texture are all the more impressive and structurally spoken, its really quite grippy medium tannins are of very high quality while the near pronounced acidity is buffered into near oblivion. When the finish fans out like the proverbial game bird’s tail and takes a leasurely 35-40 seconds to start fading, I have to award 93 points –the highest I ever gave to this often maligned Grand Cru– and believe me when I say that this wine has the materials and structure to improve over the next decade. In short; a really impressive wine from a domaine I used to regard as overoaked, overpriced and overrated.



Thanks for the pics in this thread and the one on the whites!

Thanks for the notes Mike!

Regarding Meo, I’m no expert but I’m wondering if the use of oak is what develops into those nice wood spice, sandlewood aromas with age. I noticed the same profile in some 98 and 99 Dominique Laurent wines and some really delicious 95 Meo Boudot and Murgers.

Also there are some whispers of less oak and more elegance with the more recent Meo vintages. Have you heard of or experienced anything along those lines? Grabbed some 2010 of the Echezeaux Les Rouges du Bas. With everyone raising their prices in 2010, the Meo wines are no longer “overpriced” relative to the other big names.

Mike who tasted the Gamay blind an thought it was Gevrey 1e Cru … ? [swoon.gif]

Great tasting, the Echezeaux from Meo-Camuzet and Dujac, finally the best wines! There’s always discussions about the quality of Echezeaux, imo not the strongest grand cru with 11 different climates or plots and around 80 producers. Had some poor bottles! There’s strong variation and some parts of Echezeaux are considered to be better than others. But great producers like Dujac and Meo-Camuzet can take an average vineyard to an extraordinary standard!

Some of the well made 2000 have been drinking quite well for some time. Although they may not possess the depth and intensity of many vintages they can be very charming.

Yes, this is very true…

I actually wish I had more.

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Thank you for the notes. What’s the story behind Bernard van Berg. I’ve never heard of him, but 250 Euros for a Gamay sounds pretty ambitious.

I haven’t tried any wines from Gérard Séguin since the 2006s. But I very much liked the wines from vintages up to 2006. I find especially his village bottlings (Chambolle-Musigny Derrière le four, Fixin La Place, Gevrey-Chambertin VV) to be excellent value Pinots in a lighter style.

I tried this wine about a year ago alongside some other Tardy 2010s. Back then I did like the Echezeaux “Treux”, but it didn’t knock me off my socks. Just a few weeks ago I tried some 2011 Tardys, including the Echezeaux, and was left with more questions than answers. The wines had had only two weeks to rest after being shipped from France, so they were still a little nervous, but I also did find the oak to be fairly dominant (and the fruit to be fairly feeble). I hope they balance out with bottle age. Actually, after tasting most of the 2010s and the 2011s, the only wine from Tardy that really did leave a lasting impression on me (and which I bought from both vintages) is the Fixin La Place, which - I don’t really know why - is the only wine which - in its early stage - appeared to be really at ease and balanced.

Some answers, in order of posting:


That is exactly what they are. The big advantage of WSET courses is that one gets a firm handle on those desciptors.
I never paid much mind to goings on chez Méo. given my disappointing experiences with them in the previous century. If they have changed their style somewhat, then kudos to them.


Of course there are far more disappointing bottlings of Échezeaux than great ones and I too have tasted my share of clunkers. I was quite happy with the order in which we placed the wines as well. The only trick is pacing yourself as to not arrive completely spent at the end of the line.


I have been thinking the same thing on many an occasion over the past three years. That’s why I don’t skimp on lighter vintages these days.


Bernard van Berg is a Belgian geezer who runs a very small domaine just outside Meursault. He makes extreme wines from all permitted Burgundian cépages and has quickly achieved somewhat of a cult status, but have look for yourself over here

More about Bernard van Berg,

Bernard van Berg moved to Meursault in 2001 his objective: making ‘le vin le plus simplement’. But making wine the way he does is by no means simple!

Bernard owns 8 parcels (2 hectares in total), mostly located in Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet (all wines are just labeled Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire). He works the vineyards organically, and he ploughs with a horse. But not just that: he doesn’t use a tractor at all! Spraying the vines is done by walking through the vineyard with a small tank on the back! Yields are kept extremely low: 10 to 15 hectolitres per hectare.

Harvest is of course done by hand, as late as possible in order to have perfectly ripe grapes. After a severe triage, only whole bunches are used. There is never any chaptilisation! Only natural yeasts are used. All wines are aged in 100% new barrels (chene de l’Allier with a light chauffage). Elevage lasts at least 18 month. Bottling takes place without filtration.
Despite the use of all new barrel, the wines don’t taste oaky at all. They are very pure, with lovely concentrated fruit. Really unique wines! Only the price …

About Echezeaux,

Favorite Echezeaux producer so far is Emmanuel Rouget! Would like to taste the Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair and CecileTremblay Echezeaux once! Somebody did or more suggestions?

Yep. You don’t read too many bad notes on 00’s. They don’t have the depth of some other vintages but have lovely balance and have been approachable for at least 5 years now. I think they are much better than the 92’s at the same age and 92’s are certainly drinking well now. Might be time to back-fill a few 00’s?

I’ve tasted the Liger-Belair twice in the cellar now and it is quite a good rendition. For my two cents however, I would rather have the Vosne Brûlees. I’ve had neither one of the ones you mention, but can wholeheartedly endorse the Grivot Échezeaux since 2008, when a decent slice of the great climat “Les Rouges du Bas” reverted back to him through his mother (who happens to be a Jayer).

Then, the Mugneret-Gibourg Échezeaux is no slouch and the Lamarche rendition is getting better every year, along with the rest of their gamme.

I hear the DRC can be nice as well… [wink.gif]

Not only is Rouget my “favorite” Echezaux producer…but. I think chez Rouget (and formerly Jayer), the Echezaux is a “better” wine than the mystical “Cros Parantoux”…and, certainly, a better QPR. A Rouget Echezaux is right up there with my “best” list of grand cru wines in Burgundy…at least those I’m familiar with.

Stuart do you still have any 1998 Rouget? Am very interested in your thoughts about this vintage chez Rouget?