Gevrey-Chambertin "Clos St. Jacques" ♥
1er Cru Red 750 ml
Tasted: Jan 15, 2015
Note: from .89 ha parcel planted in 1910
Producer note: Jean-Marie Fourrier told me that 2013 was a "really complicated vintage to manage because it was so wet. The tough part is that the wetter it is the more protection that the vines need but the harder it is to treat them. For domaines like mine that only use contact products it only takes 20 mm of rain to wash them off. When the vineyards are so wet that you can't get mechanized equipment into them then you have to treat manually with the tanks on your back. Let me tell you, that's heavy duty work. The weeds were also a huge problem in 2013 because you would plow and then 3 days later they were back. Weeds and grasses are a mixed blessing because while they can help against erosion and to absorb excess moisture because they can harbor humidity that helps the spread of vine diseases. This was super important because the key to the vintage was to make sure that you had a healthy solar panel of leaves so that adequate photosynthetic activity was going on. With the constant mildew pressure that everyone had it was easy to lose a lot of leaves and thus many vineyards didn't produce sufficiently ripe fruit if you didn't treat precisely when you had to treat. Worse still, even if you treated rigorously that didn't mean that your neighbors did and all it took was a gust of wind in the direction of your vines to contaminate them. In short, the 2013 vintage didn't pardon anything other than perfection in terms of your treatments. We began picking on the 2nd of October and we picked as quickly as we could which is to say 5 days. This was important as well because around the 28th of September the acidities began to fall like a stone and acidities are a natural defense against botrytis. Once this occurred the rot exploded and thus picking rapidly was an imperative. While there was some sorting required it wasn't anything major though this was again as much about respecting the treatment cadence than anything else. Quantities were down a bit but again nothing major. Potential alcohols were in the 11.8 to 12.5% range and nothing was chaptalized above 13%. As to the wines they're classic burgundies that are moderately structured and should age well over the mid-term." I will repeat the advice that I typically give, which is that Fourrier deliberately bottles with high CO2 levels as a partial defense against oxidation and thus if you elect to try an example or two young, be sure to decant for 20 to 30 minutes first. Note that all wines are labeled as Vieilles Vignes. Also Fourrier has substantially expanded his négociant activities so see directly below for those reviews. Lastly Fourrier noted that his 2012s, two of which were revisited below, were bottled in February 2014. (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, www.madrose.com, Shekomeko, NY; there are many sources in the UK including A&B Vintners, UK, www.abvintners.co.uk, John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Goedhuis & Co., www.goedhuis.com, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Uncorked Ltd, www.uncorked.co.uk, and Seckford Wines, www.seckfordwines.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: A remarkably elegant and exuberantly spicy nose features an airy and cool mix of raspberry, cherry, red currant and plenty of wet stone characters. There is superb intensity to the mineral-driven, pure and ultra-refined middle weight flavors that are shaped by very fine-grained tannins on the moderately austere, balanced, saline and wonderfully persistent finish. A classic Clos St. Jacques of class and grace.