Domaine Comte Armand/Clos des Epeneaux
Pommard “Clos des Epeneaux”
1er Cru Red barrel
Tasted: Apr 15, 2015
Note: the 5+ ha Clos is composed of approximately 80% Petits Epenots and 20% Grands Epenots; the vine ages run from 18 to 75+ years of age
Producer note: The important news here is that longtime régisseur Benjamin Leroux is no longer with the domaine and has turned his responsibilities over to his assistant of 4 years, Paul Zinetti who is 32 years of age. After 15 years at Comte Armand, Leroux left to occupy himself fulltime with his growing négociant operation (see herein). Out of respect Zinetti was careful to note that while he assisted with the vinification of the 2013s reviewed below, that ultimately they were Leroux’ wines. He describes 2013 as a vintage with a “complicated growing season where the hail struck our vineyards particularly hard; in fact our yields were even smaller than they were in 2012. We threw out a huge amount of damaged fruit and ultimately the net yield in Clos des Epeneaux was a whopping 8 hl/ha. This is so tiny that it makes the already tiny 12 hl/ha we realized in 2012 seem like we had an ocean of wine! We used no whole clusters as we were afraid that they might be damaged or green. As to the style of the wines they’re not as dense as the 2012s even with the lower yields, but by contrast they possess more finesse.” As I reported last year Leroux had explained that there is no Pommard “1er” in 2013 and that the Clos des Epeneaux will be bottled only in magnum format; as such there is no review for the 2012 Clos des Epeneaux. (Becky Wasserman & Co., www.leserbet.com, Beaune, France; Veritas Imports, www.veritaswine.com, CA/NV/AZ/NM, Martin Scott Wines, www.martinscottwines.com, Classified Wine & Spirits, LLC, www.classifiedwine.net, Austin, TX , Lake Success, NY, C’est Vin, LLC, 703.243.3559, Arlington, VA, Wines Unlimited, www.winesunlimited.com, New Orleans, LA, Little Guy Wine, www.littleguywine.com, Dearborn, MI, Fine Vines, www.finevines.com, Chicago, IL, Augustan Wine, www.augustanwine.com, Miramar, FL, M.S. Walker, www.mswalker.com, MA/RI/NH, Terra Nova Wines, www.terranovawines.com, Denver, CO, and Small Potatoes Wine, www.smallpotatoeswine.com, Boise, ID; Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Thorman Hunt & Co., www.thormanhunt.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, Lea & Sandeman, www.leaandsandeman.co.uk, and The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com, all UK).
Tasting note: There is the barest whisper of wood setting off the cool, pure and airy mix of red and dark currant, violet, earth and tea scents. There is a lovely sense of energy to the tight and precise middle weight flavors that are not as dense as the 8 hl/ha yield would suggest. The linear, moderately structured and austere finish is balanced but not generous and it will be interesting to see if the overall mouth feel fleshes out with time in bottle. Note that I doubt that this will drink especially well young so patience will be required.