Domaine Comte Armand/Clos des Epeneaux
Pommard “Clos des Epeneaux”
1er Cru Red barrel
Tasted: Apr 10, 2019
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: Régisseur Paul Zinetti commented that the 2017 vintage “turned out to be a pleasant surprise though it was far from a sure thing at the beginning as we narrowly averted another catastrophe like we suffered in 2016 due to another April frost threat. After that bit of excitement though, the growing season was really pretty tranquil. We chose to begin picking on the 3rd of September and brought in clean and ripe fruit that required very little sorting. Yields were generous without being excessive while potential alcohols were really quite good at between 13.3 and 13.8% with good but not high acidities. I used no whole cluster in the vinifications which were straightforward though I was frankly skeptical about the quality of the wines as they seemed a bit light and without real interest yet as soon as the malos completely it’s like they completely transformed to become much, much more nuanced. While they’re not monsters of concentration, to my sensibilities they’re entirely classic in style and should have no trouble aging well.” Zinetti noted that he will probably bottle the upper level wines a little earlier than usual though with no fining or filtration. I found the quality of the Armand 2017s to be good to very good but perhaps not as exceptional as they often are. (Becky Wasserman & Co., www.beckywasserman.com, Beaune, France; Veritas Imports, www.veritaswine.com, CA/NV/AZ/NM, Martin Scott Wines, www.martinscottwines.com, NY, Classified Wine & Spirits, LLC, www.classifiedwine.net, TX, C’est Vin, LLC, 703.243.3559, VA, Wines Unlimited, www.winesunlimited.com, LA, Little Guy Wine, www.littleguywine.com, MI, Fine Vines, www.finevines.com, IL, Augustan Wine, www.augustanwine.com, FL, M.S. Walker, www.mswalker.com, MA/RI/NH and Small Potatoes Wine, www.smallpotatoeswine.com, ID, all USA; Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Thorman Hunt & Co., www.thormanhunt.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Fields, Morris & Verdin, www.fmvwines.com, Goedhuis & Co., www.goedhuis.com, Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, Lea & Sandeman, www.leaandsandeman.co.uk, and The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com, all UK; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com/hk, Hong Kong; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.co.jp, Japan).
Tasting note: Once again there is just enough wood present to merit mentioning as it frames the much earthier blend of both red and dark currant scents that are cut with leather and underbrush nuances. The supple medium-bodied flavors possess reasonable though not excellent mid-palate concentration before terminating in a velvety and lingering finish. The supporting tannins are sufficiently firm that this will need a decade plus of cellar time before it arrives at its full apogee.