2013 Comte Georges De Vogue Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
Domaine Comte de Vogüé
Grand Cru Red barrel
Tasted: Jan 15, 2015
Note: from a 2.67 ha parcel situated entirely in terres rouges soil in the south-west portion of the vineyard
Producer note: Resident enologist François Millet described the 2013 vintage as one that had a "very difficult spring with an equally poor flowering that produced a lot of shatter and a high incidence of shot berries. Somewhat curiously we had a very solid July and August, which in the last few vintages has been rare, but despite the clement conditions the maturities didn't really progress much. By contrast September was pretty much lousy and in particular the second half of it. The wet and humid conditions were perfect to allow rot to spread and to spread fast and we were really worried that we could have a serious problem. We chose to begin picking on the 5th of October and picked slowly until the 13th. While the general level of quality was quite high we did have to do significant sorting and I would put our sorting losses at around 10%. Between these losses and the poor flowering we wound up with a bit less overall yield than we obtained in 2012. With respect to the vinifications the fruit had a very high solid to liquid ratio so we had to be careful not to over exact the structural elements because it would have been easy to do. As to the wines, I love them because the terroir almost couldn't be any clearer. They are refreshing, intense and balanced and I think they're going to surprise a lot of people in the sense that such a difficult vintage could produce such beautiful wines. Moreover I believe that they will continue to put on weight as they age because the musts were actually denser than the wines seem to be now so all of that dry extract has to show up sooner or later." The 2012s, revisited below, are simply terrific and were bottled between February and March 2014 and have turned out even slightly better than I originally foresaw. (Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, www.chamberswines.com, San Francisco, CA, Country Vintner, www.countryvintner.com, Ashland, VA, Veritas Imports, www.veritaswine.com, CO/NM, Ideal Wines, www.idealwine.us, Boston MA, Atlanta Wholesale Wines, email email@example.com, GA, C'est Vin, LLC, 703/243-3559, Arlington, VA; Corney & Barrow, www.corneyandbarrow.com, and Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., www.dreyfusashby.com, both UK).
Tasting note: This is much more deeply pitched and even more reserved though aggressive swirling liberates a wonderfully complex array of plum and black raspberry liqueur-like aromas where added breadth is present in the form of spice, earth, pepper, dried flowers and a hint of underbrush. The dense, powerful and broad-shouldered flavors brim with dry extract that imparts a velvety mouth feel to the vibrant finale as well as pushes the very firm core of tannins to the background. This is a big but beautifully well-balanced wine that should amply reward up to 20 years of cellaring.