1er Cru Red barrel
Tasted: Apr 15, 2014
Producer note: Blair Pethel didn’t hold back when I asked what he thought about the 2012 vintage proclaiming it as “excellent, in fact in places it’s as good as 2010. That is the good news. The less good news is that 2012 was an enormous amount of work. For example, in a normal year, if there is such a thing anymore, I do 7 to 8 treatments but in 2012, 14 were required. Moreover it wasn’t simply a matter of determining whether to make a given treatment but exactly when to do it because the weather patterns and disease pressures were such that they pardoned no laxity on a vigneron’s part. Disease pressure is something that you can at least anticipate but hail is another problem altogether as there’s just nothing you can do except hope. In 2012 we had 4 separate smaller storms whereas in 2013 we had just one massive storm that completely wiped out Savigny and much of Corton-Charlemagne. Either way the hail was dramatic as we were hit hard at the end of June in Volnay and then again in August in Chassagne. I waited until the 25th to pick as I wanted to be absolutely sure that the phenolics were ripe. The sugars were good as potential alcohols ranged from 12 to 13%. The skins were also very thick so I took extra care not to over extract as it would have been easy to create excessively tannic and imbalanced wines.” The 2012s here are consistent with Pethel’s emphasis on ethereal wines of elegance and refinement with perhaps just a bit more concentration than usual thanks to the thicker skins. (Becky Wasserman & Co., www.leserbet.com, Beaune, France; Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, www.cellar.com, Washington DC, Chelsea Ventures, LLC, www.chelseaventures.us, Chicago, IL, Pas Mal Portfolio, [email protected], NY/NJ, Pinnacle Imports, www.pinnacle-imports.com, Kansas City, MO and Vintage Wine Marketing, ww.vintagewinemarketing.com, Napa, CA; Decorum Vintners, www.decvin.com, and Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, both UK).
Tasting note: An elegant, pure and relatively high-toned nose offer up notes of spicy red currant and dark pinot fruit along with plenty of mineral character that continues onto the finer and more precise medium-bodied flavors. There is a real sense of underlying tension present on the slightly longer but again slightly edgy finish that also appears to lack just the last little bit of phenolic maturity.