TN: d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru "Caillerets" '04, FINAL NOTE

After all the discussion regarding this vintage I was considering cracking one of these, to see how the descendants of great Marquis d’A. fared in 2004. If anyone had it recently, I’d appreciate your impressions.

I’m very interested to see how this goes - looking forward to your note!

Have not had anything but stalky 2004s recently. Hoping to find one note somewhere that bucks the trend.

As I’m leaving for the regular Friday night mayhem in about an hour, I thought I’d open up this bottle for a first impression and some slow breathing.

A medium intense, translucent ruby core fades via garnet to a watery rim. The nose is medium intense immediately after pouring and shows typical notes of fresh raspberry, violets and a hint of some 2004 character resembling pine resin. Five minutes of air see this component become slightly more pronounced, but all in all it’s bearable.
Despite its 13,5% alcohol, this seems at most medium bodied on the attack. Pronounced acidity is every so slightly shrill at this stage, but because the medium-minus tannins are ripe this wine remains reasonably approachable. What does detract is a somewhat bitter edge on the midpalate, which can be none other than the dreaded herbacity which has made Stuart put on his armour and grab his battle axe. Notwithstanding that, flavour intensity is medium-plus and there is enough stuffing present to keep this wine enjoyable. The finish too, does a leasurely 15-20 seconds and would be elegant if the herbacity would integrate a bit more. I will report on any development next time I log in.

FWIW, when I visited in 2007, the whole d’Angerville lineup, I thought , was affected in varying degrees, but, for me, all markedly. And, Guillaume d"Angerville was standing there…seemingly oblivious. So, I kept my comments to myself. I read somewhere recently that, at the Paulee in SF, he said they didn’t have a problem. I haven’t had a 2004 red in over a year…so…I can’t opine on their evolutions. Hopefully, they will “integrate” so that those who are less sensitive to the herbacity (I think of it as “herbal/vegetal”, not “green”) find them good…and buy mine. [highfive.gif]

Okay, this is not going to happen tonight. As we always do -unless the weather is truly horrendous- we drove our bicycles to the wineshop where the event takes place. It’s been unusually cold this week and we were halfway when it started to drizzle. As I discovered after we arrived, my nose had just shut down. I hadn’t had this happen since my first Diploma Levels unit three exams (not kidding), but I had maybe 10% of my usual olfactory perception left. From what I could tell the herbacity had increased to the point where the Volnay wasn’t a joyous drink and the sentiments around the table seemed to echo this, but I can’t be sure. Then the following bottles were opened:

Condrieu “La Chambée” 2008 - Vins de Vienne
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Combettes” 1995 - Robert Ampeau
Barolo “Brunate” 2000 - Marcarini
Brunello di Montalcino 2004 - Il Poggione

When the idea came up to crack a bottle of Château Cantemerle 1989, I got up and split. Drinking wine when not being able to smell is no fun at all and I was rather pissed with my own miserable timing! [soap.gif]
I took home a third of the bottle of Volnay and hopefully I can finish my TN tomorrow. This battered old sailor is signing off for today…

mike - i would have been really interested in the barolo and brunello notes…if that makes you feel any better…

Any prior tastes of the '04 Clos des Ducs, Mike or Stuart or anyone. I have a couple and fear the worst.

I had it at the Paulee. I hate the vintage as much as Stuart, yet this struck me as one of those wines that is less affected than most. Still would sell it if I were you, the market for “name” 2004 Burgundies is astoundingly solid on Vinfolio Marketplace…

Seems like one of the few clean 04’s that genuinely is good and isn’t (currently) afflicted. I’d try one now and see what you think…

When I tasted the some of the lineup in 2007, the Clos des Ducs was the least affected, I thought. However, the others I wrote :

Champsgain: a certain greeness on the nose; greenish/vegetal on the palate, and tannic.

Taillepieds: still a bit of greenness; a veggie-herbal aspect dominates the fruit with asperges, etc… YUCK!

Clos des Ducs: greenness too. The first one that gets [a passing score] and a “?”; drying tannins too.

This was April 2007. I didn’t buy any.

Is that a BeauneHead-only cuvée or have you been hitting the old bong again? [wink.gif] All joking aside, I have to say that I consider Msr. d’Angerville’s claims that there’s no problem rather appalling. I’m sure he knows better than that.
Finally, I tasted a glass from the 2004 Taillepieds last August and I thought it was very nice and amazingly approachable. There were hints of herbacity on the nose and finish, but not disturbingly so and structurally it seemed quite ripe otherwise. About 90 points, I’d say.

Anyhoo. Before I give you people the second day impressions, I can tell Phillip Hunt that I have a TN of the Barolo Brunate from an occasion about 9 months ago if he’s interested. Lewis can rest assured in the knowledge that I’ll be sampling the Clos des Ducs next, as I am considering using it for the wine list of one of my clients. Besides, I can easily replace it if it’s good enough, because it’s dirt cheap right now.
But, without further ado:

Still a medium intense ruby core with bricking rim, but it seems more dense today. The nose has retreated somewhat compared to yesterday -which makes it medium-minus intense- but has improved in depth. There’s ample red fruit now -raspberry and sweet strawberry- which is underpinned by whiffs of forest floor and the herbal component now resembles stemminess.
Medium-bodied on the attack, the acidity has integrated further to reveal decent mid-palate depth and good balance. It will never be the most concentrated Premier Cru and I suspect the young-ish vines are to blame for no more than adequate concentration and medium flavour intensity, but the overall package is quite enjoyable. The finish is perhaps the weakest link right now as it barely makes it to 15 seconds before the fruit starts to fade, but does add a hint of minerality. I think 88 points are about right for this bottling on the second day, which could hint at favourable development with more bottle age. Hell, it might even appreciate a point or two but that would still make it questionable QPR at €40…

LOL on the bong stuff.

Clearly, the real “evil” of 2004 is how people’s perceptions of it are all over the place. Some love it and find nothing different in 2004 from a good vintage; others find the problem of the vintage adds “complexity” (mostly, I’d guess from their relative lack of sensitivity to the problem); others find it disgusting. Three people in a room can have a reaction/impression anywhere along this continuum, which I experienced in Burgundy in 2007 (which is why I don’t fault Guillaume d’Angerville; he might be oblivious to it.)

Though I sound like a broken record on this vintage, the persistence is mostly intellectual. I think that if there is such varied impressions, the vintage is “flawed” by any defintion. You can’t serve it to anyone assuming they will find it pleasurable unless you know they are oblivious.

I also appreciate that some people think I should shut up. Personally, I think the 2004 plague has gotten way too much analysis and attention for one vintage that no one thinks is particularly good even when they don’t find the veggie/herbal funk. In fact, 2004 has gotten more attention than all the other “off” (though not flawed) vintages combined: 1984, 1987, 1994, 1992, etc. etc…

But, when people persist in arguining that the vintage is fine because they think it tastes fine…intellectually…I have a problem. It is more a reflection on the taster than on the vintage, and those extolling it don’t seem to get that, akin to the emperor who wants people to admire his “new clothes.”

I should let go, and , I think , do let go on arguing about whether the vintage is “flawed”, which to me means that a sizeable, credible percentage of tasters find it terrible. But people extrapolate their likeing the character to saying that it’s not a flawed vintage and I guess, I can’t let go of that issue.

Help! Aidez-moi!

Has anyone tasted the 2005 version of this wine? I have some, but have not pulled a cork yet to sample. I think the Caillerets vines were about 15 years old in 2005, IIRC.

Lew, FWIW, and I wouldn’t put much worth in this , at this point, anyway, I wrote, in April 2007: "lots and lots of finesse on the nose; in fact, this wine is all about finesse and is super; “very Volnay”. (This was in the context of the others: I found the “1er cru tannic and a little short for the vintage”; the Fremiets more intense nose than the 1er cru and more concentrated red fruits; the Taillepieds a “thicker, fuller nose; more powerful and bigger”; the Champans " a good mix between the two last ones with a "velvety mouth feel and powerful tannins that managed to preserve the overall elegance of the wine; and the Clos des Ducs: a spicier nose than the Taillepieds and a wine marked by potential complexity, “explosive and expressive”.

As I said, the '04s were , I felt very flawed by the '04 problems.