So as a follow up to my intial briefing of my thoughts on the wines of 2010 in Burgundy I will be going into more detail as to my thoughts and some tasting notes of the wines that I have tasted either in barrel with the domaine or from bottled barrel samples in London, and I will start with Domaine Anne Gros.
Domaine Anne Gros
Daughter of Francois Gros, this estate was originally in his name, with her starting in the winery the name changed to Domaine Anne & Francois Gros, before she took over in 1995 upon which the Domaine was named solely after Anne. Francois was the son of Louis Gros. Francois’ brother Jean had two children which give the domaines Michel Gros and Anne-Francois Gros today. The Domaine Gros Frere et Soeurs was set up by Gustave and Collete (brother and sister to Francois and Jean) they had no children and these wines are made by Bernard Gros who is another brother of Michel and Anne-Francois…
That’s Burgundy for you, but in essence, Anne is a cousin of all the other families that make wines under the Gros family name. Due to the fact that the domaines are so divided, each domaine has small sections of various different holdings that their Grandfather held, and for various reasons many plots were leased to other members of the family.
Now that we have cleared up the family tree and you are all more confused, let us look at the winemaking style.
There is much controversy that surrounds the winemaking style of Anne Gros, and some will say that she likes to stamp her authority on the wines, which her cousins tend to do less of. In many ways, you can see why people think this to be the case. They are certainly richer, rounder, fuller wines but they retain a softness and mineral charactar that I quite like.
Anne likes to get full phenolic maturity into her grapes, and is certainly a stickler for quality both in the winery and the vineyard. Whilst she likes ripe and healthy grapes, and uses new wood in a slightly lavish sense for some people, she claims to vinify traditionally. For example, the reds are vinified in cement tanks prior to barreling, and the whites in stainless steel for 12 to 15 days. The fermentation is temperature controlled based on how they feel the style of the vintage should evolve. So from vintage to vintage they may use slightly different temperatures and may also alter the amount of new wood that is used.
The website, http://www.anne-gros.com , will provide further information to those who are interested but states that the regional wines receive 30% new oak, the village 50% new oak and the Grand Crus 80%. In 2010, the figures are 10% lower for the village and Grand Cru wines. The wines spend a minimum of 16 months in wood before they are blended in tank, let to rest and then bottled. We were able to taste through all of the wines from 2010 at the Domaine, and what a treat it was…
The Barrel Samples.
These wines are thus not racked or fined yet.
2010 Bourgogne-Hautes Cotes de Nuits Rouge [30% new oak, 20 year old vines]; oak, toast, meat, fruit, plum, cassis, minerals, rocks, lovely balance and freshness, poised, easy drinking, elegant, appealing and round, with nice length. 15.5+/20
2010 Chambolle-Musigny “La Combe d’Orveau” [40% new oak]; deeper, rounder, fresh, delicate, slate, salt, crushed rock, slick and long, subtle, plum, herbs, grass, oyster sauce, with a fair amount of grip. 16.5+/20
2010 Richebourg Grand Cru [70% new oak, 80-90 year old vines, 7 barrels produced]; concentrated, mineral, fresh, rocks, smooth, persistant, crushed rocks, elegant and delicate, rounded spicy Richebourg charactar, soft structure, herbs, focused, mineral, sandy, very very long and really superb. 17.5++/20
2010 Bourgogne Rouge; crisp, fresh, mineral, focused, herbs, elegant and appealing, smoky, classic, meaty, red and black fruits, warmth. Nice. 16/20
The Tank Samples
These wines were racked and fined a little bit (not particularly popular in Burgundy) and were resting in tank prior to bottling.
2010 Vosne-Romanee “Les Barreaux” [80-90 year old vines]; rock, minerals, crisp, sandy, black fruits, structured, spice, with depth, round and slick, nice persistance, with elegance, complexity, smooth tannins, nice balance of fruit and acid and lovely length. 17+/20
2010 Echezeaux “Les Loachausses” [19 year old vines, leased to Gros F&S by Francois for 25 years, returned for 2007 vintage]; classic, mineral nose, sandstone, complex, but lifted, meaty but fresh, round, supple, reserved, shy, delicate but with wonderful length. 17.5+/20
2010 Clos Vougeot “Les Grands Maupertui”; [a plot planted in 1907, the current average age of the vines are 65 years old]; soy, rich, powerful, crisp, mineral, delicate subtle length, spice, lifted, fresh and complex, intense finish that is long, soft, spicy, warm and with red and black fruits. Super. 17.5+/20
2010 Bourgogne-Hautes Cotes de Nuits Blanc “Cuvee Marine”; lemon, lime, passionfruit, minerals, chalk, fresh and crisp, difficult now but with a bit of butter and richness that builds with the more air the wine takes on. Fairly rich finish already but this should improve with age. 16+?/20
2010 Bourgogne Blanc; crisp, round, buttery, shorter but showing a more rounded complexity and minerality. Nutty, syrup, good length, sesame seed oil, pepper and spice. 16.5/20
In conclusion, it is clear to see that there is certainly a smoky, soft, rounded style that Anne wishes to achieve, but at the same time she wants to stick as closely as possible to tradition but whilst incorporating techniques that she sees as being hugely important to the development of high quality Burgundy. Whilst one may not agree with this philosophy or her style, or may not mind but find the wines too forced, that is fair enough. All well and good, but I enjoyed these wines, and I enjoyed them for the same reason that I enjoyed 2010 as a whole. These wines are all so utterly different in terms of their base material and mineral charactars, but they are clearly wines that Anne Gros made. Perhaps you just want the terroir and nothing else? Well there are plenty who will give you this, but Anne does make captivating wines. Whether she is the best Gros around, well only time and a blind-tasting will tell.
Regardless I like these wines, I think they are excellent and at the lower levels they represent excellent Value for Money. If you have lots of money, I wouldn’t shy away from the grander wines either. They are captivating, complex, but soft, round and giving at the same time. They speak of where they come from and they are intriguing. They are certainly wines that I look forward to see evolve in the near to long term depending on the wine.
Next time, I will be taking you through the wines I tasted at Maison Lou Dumont in Gevrey-Chambertin, a relatively new negociant business that is all the rage in Asia for reasons that I will go into later on!
Until next time,