Vintage 2012 by Allan Meadows
Presse - Burghound.com - January 2014
Philippe Drouhin described the 2012 growing season as "rain, rain and more rain! It began raining in April and basically didn't stop except for brief periods. Just to provide some perspective the rainfall in April was 40% higher than normal, May was 60% higher and both June and July were 50% higher. Summer finally arrived in August and while we had a storm or two the weather basically cooperated up to the harvest. We also had two incidences of spring frost, one in April and in something that is relatively rare in Burgundy, another one in May. This cost us some quantity but the real killer was the extended and poor flowering. Couple those two events with some late July heat that scorched some of the berries and you have a pretty good idea why 2012 is not an abundant vintage. During all of this we had perfect conditions for mildew and 2012 was the worst in many many years. We also suffered an end of season attack of powdery mildew which we managed to control but still, to say that the growing season was challenging would be a huge understatement. In fact, now that I think about it, perhaps the only problem that we didn't have was botrytis. We began picking on the 20th of September and perhaps the biggest surprise was just how beautifull ripe the fruit was given the positively miserable growing season. There was some sorting required however which cost us a bit more in the way of yield and overall our net yields were down 40% compared to a normal harvest. Thankfully the vinifications were tranquil and finished without any problems. I like the 2012s partially because they are indeed very good but also I suppose simply because they are far better than they have any right to be”.
For more offerings from Drouhin-Laroze, see their operation below called Maison Laroze de Drouhin.
(from a .12 ha parcel). A perfumed, spicy and kaleidoscopically layered and spicy nose offers up notes of plum, black cherry, sandalwood and aise. There is a good, pure and restrained mouth feel to the textured, intense and equally layered medium weight plus flavors that excude a fine minerality on the clean, firm, long and impeccably well-balanced finish. I very much like the natural sweetness of the finale as it helps toç buffer the youthful asperity of the tannins. Note that like the Bonnes Mares and Clos de Vougeot, this beauty will require plenty of cellaring. (93-95)/2027+
2012 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze
(from a parcel of 1.5 ha of vines planted in 1949). Here the wood is sufficiently prominent that it fights somewhat with the overwise attractively layered aromas of elegant and very fresh plum, wild red berries and plenty of earth character. There is an ample dose of minerality to the velvety and palate coating middle weight plus flavors that display fine power and excellent detail, all wrapped in a long finish where the shaping tannins are very ripe. (92-95)/2024+
2012 Clos de Vougeot
(from a superbly situated 1 ha parcel high on the hill). This is more expressive than it usually is at this point in its development with a broad-ranging nose of red currant,pungent earth, soft wood spice and hints of underbrush. There is a :lovely vibrancy to the rich, caressing and restrained large-scaled flavors that possess excellent mid-palate concentration and strikingly good persistence on the youthfully austere finish.. Good stuff in 2012 but even more structured than usual so patience will be required. (92-94)/2027+
2012 Bonnes Mares
(from a 1.5 ha parcel that is almost enterily in terres rouges). A spicy, fresh and impressively pure nose features notes of plum, violets and cassis while being framed in a backdrop of moderately toasty wood. There is good power and plenty of size, weight and muscle on the big-bodied flavors that exclude plenty of mouth coating dry extract that also serves to buffer the very firm tannic spine on the strikingly persistent finish. This is terrific and worth considering.(92-94)/2027+
(from .67 ha parcel of extremely old vines). This is the first wine to display any significant amount of reduction. By contrast there is good tension and freshnessn to the intensely mineral-driven floavors that also possess excellent delineation on the racy, focused, balanced and beautifully persistent finish. This is very Latricières.(91-94)/2024+.
(from .52 ha parcel in En la Chapelle). A perfumed nose of purple fruit, earth and appealing spice notes complements well the equally spicy and velvet-textured, concentrated and seductive flavors that are blessed with plenty of palate coating dry extract. I like the sense of harmony and balance on the lingering finish and this sould develop over a 12 to 15 years horizon. (91-93)/2024+.
2012 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru "Craipillot”
An exuberantly fresh nose of various dark berries, plum and soft earth hints leads to impressively rich, round and voluminous middle weight flavors that retain a reasonably good sense of definition on the ever-so-middly austere and persistent finish. This is very Craipillot in that it's relatively refined if not particulary complex. (89-91)/2020 +.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Au Closeau”
(from 60+ year old vines). An expressive nose mixes wood spice with fresh, cool and pretty red and blue pinot fruit, earth and a hint of underbrush. There is good verve and richness to the medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a slightly less austere and balanced finish where a touch of the sauvage surfaces. (89-91)/2020 +.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Clos Prieur”
Here too there are background hints of oak that do not materially detract from the layered nose of violet, plus, black currant and warm earth nuances. There is good richness and volume to the delicious, intense and solidly complex medium weight flavors that possess a certain tenderness on the balanced and lightly mineral infused finish. A wine of harmony and grace but one that has the material to reward mid-term aging.(89-92)/2022+.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Lavaut St.-Jacques”
(from a .3 ha parcel of vines planted in 1943). A somber and brooding nose only reluctantly gives up distinctly sauvage aromas of newly turned earth, underbrush, game and ripe wild dark berry fruit. There is excellent richness and volume to the energetic and powerful medium weight flavors that possess lovely depth on the balanced and solidly persistent finish. This sould reward 10 to 12 years of cellaring. (90-92)/2022+.
(a mix of 80% Les Baudes and 20% from the villages portion of Les Véroilles) A completely different fruit profile is present here with its elegant and pure nose of various red berries, stone and spice elements.The stony character continues on to the attactively rich and vibrant flavors that exhibit a sleek muscularity on the austere, balanced and refined finish. This is a Chambolle with good power and the Baudes contribution is very apparent. (89-92)/2022+.
2012 Gevrey Chambertin
A discreet application of wood marries into fresh if very somber aromas of dark berry fruit and earth. There is good energy and detail to the middle weight flavors that excude a fine minerality on the middly austere and lingering finish. (87-90)/ 2019+.