Domaine Comte Armand/Clos des Epeneaux
Pommard “Clos des Epeneaux” ♥
1er Cru Red barrel
Tasted: Apr 15, 2018
Sweet spot Outstanding
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 2016 vintage “was a mix of good and bad news. The bad is that several of our vineyards were crushed by the frost and we had between 50 and 100% losses. The good news is that the quality of the fruit that the frost and the subsequent attack of mildew didn’t destroy was excellent. I chose to begin picking on the 23rd of September and brought in spotlessly clean fruit that was quite ripe and with notably thick skins. I used from 15 to 25% whole clusters and given how much material was in the fruit I took due care not to extract too much as it would have been very easy to do so. As such I limited the number of punch downs and chaptalized nothing. As to the wines, I just love the style of 2016 as it’s very Burgundian. Plus the wines are wonderfully refreshing and should drink well young but they’re sufficiently well-constructed to age extremely well.” I agree with Zinetti that the quality of the Armand 2016s is first-rate and the only pity is that there is so little of them. Zinetti further noted that he severely limited the amount of new wood and that the 2015 Clos des Epeneaux, reviewed below, was bottled in June 2017. (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: A background whiff of wood easily allows the earthy yet quite pretty aromas of plum, violet, dark cherry and soft spice nuances to shine. The mouth feel of the slightly bigger and richer flavors is also admirably sleek while delivering excellent length on the mouth coating and well-balanced finish. This is perhaps a bit less structured than is usually the case as it should be reasonably approachable young if that’s your preference.