Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Tasted: Jan 15, 2014
Note: from vines that abut those of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Richebourg proper
Producer note: Alain Hudelot’s grandson Charles Van Canneyt called 2012 a “huge surprise given how challenging the growing season was. I haven’t been doing this for very long but I confess to being shocked by not only the apparent quality of our fruit but also just how good the wines appear to be. Perhaps the most surprising thing is just how ripe the phenolics are. If you had seen all the rain we had for months on end you would understand why this is so unexpected. We began picking on the 25th of September and the fruit was so clean that it required only the most minimum of sorting. Potential alcohols were in the 12 to 13% range and thus most wines were either not chaptalized or if they were no more than one-half of a degree. I elected to use around 20% whole clusters for every wine except the Bourgogne which we vinify so that it will be approachable young. As to the wines I really like the transparency and balance they have. It remains to be seen how well they will age but I am optimistic because they are so well-balanced.” I would characterize the Hudelot 2012s as having performed slightly better than the general quality of the vintage except at the grand cru level where the performance is excellent. By the way, don’t pass up the Hudelot 2011s though as they too are really quite good, particularly the Malconsorts. Canneyt noted that the 2011s, revisited below, were bottled from June to December 2012. (Atherton Wine Imports, www.awiwine.com, Atherton, CA and Bayfield Imports, www.bayfieldimporting.com, Brooklyn, NY; Clarion Wines, www.clarionwines.co.uk, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, HS Liquid Assets, www.hsliquid.com, and Laytons, www.laytons.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: Here the equally broad ranging nose is actually similar to that of the Romanée St. Vivant but it’s both cooler and even more restrained with a bit more floral influence as well. The intensely mineral-driven broad-shouldered flavors are an exercise in refinement with tremendous depth of material that pushes the very firm tannic spine to the background on the palate staining, explosive and stunningly precise finish. This is perhaps on the lighter side in the context of the appellation but the laser-like focus and persistence is easily of grand cru caliber.