Monday, January 2, 2017
Where the Most Expensive Red Wines Come from: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanée, Côte de Nuits - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
The visit of Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanée started with a vineyard walk. The small commune of Vosne-Romanée is the Côte de Nuits’ brightest star, producing the finest and most expensive Pinot Noir wines in the world, and boasting no fewer than eight Grand Cru vineyards. The Romanée-Conti vineyard dominates the village. It is a monopole of Domaine de la RomanéeConti. Around 600 cases are made each year from the vineyard's 1.8 ha.
Following the impressive vineyard walk, we tasted the wines of these vineyards at Domaine Anne Gros. Elodie Roy was our host. We also met the daughter of Anne Gros, who will take over from her.
The Gros family clan has been making wine in Burgundy since the early 1900 and posesses plots in some of the finest red wine vineyards. Today, there are 4 Gros estates in Burgundy. Anne gros took over the Domaine François Gros in Vosne-Romanée in 1988 and renamed it Domaine Anne Gros. Anne Gros has become one of the major players in Burgundy and her wines figure among the most sought after.
Vineyard Walk in Vosne-Romanée
Barry Bros. and Rudd: Vosne-Romanée
The small commune of Vosne-Romanée is the Côte de Nuits’ brightest star, producing the finest and most expensive Pinot Noir wines in the world. Its wines have an extraordinary intensity of fruit which manages to combine power and finesse more magically than in any other part of the Côte d’Or. The best examples balance extraordinary depth and richness with elegance and breeding.
Situated just north of Nuits-St Georges, Vosne-Romanée boasts eight Grand Cru vineyards, three of which include the suffix Romanée, to which the village of Vosne appended its name in 1866. The famous La Romanée vineyard was formerly known as Le Cloux but was renamed in 1651, presumably after the Roman remains found nearby. In 1760 the property was bought by Prince de Conti, and subsequently became known as Romanée-Conti.
Vosne is the home of the phenomenally fine wines of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti; divine wines that are, as they say, not for everyone but for those who can afford them. The region also boasts some of the world’s most talented, quality-conscious and pioneering producers: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti of course, but also Henri Jayer, Lalou Bize-Leroy, René Engel, as well as the Grivot and Gros families, to name but a few.
Vosne-Romanée has the greatest concentration of top vineyards in the Côte d’Or, including the tiny Grand Crus of the astonishing La Romanée-Conti (a monopoly of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti producing about 600 cases a year), the classy, complex La Romanée (a monopoly of Vicomte Liger-Belair, but until 2002 bottled under Bouchard Père et Fils, producing a minuscule 300 cases or so a year) and the little-known La Grande Rue. As the name suggests, this runs up the side of the road out of Vosne. Originally a Premier Cru, it was rightly upgraded in 1992, although its rich, spicy, floral Pinots are yet to reach their real potential under Domaine Lamarche who hold it as a monopoly.
By convention the wines of neighbouring Flagey-Echézeaux are considered part of Vosne-Romanée. These include the large, very variable 30-hectare Echézeaux (divided between 84 different growers) and the more consistent, silky, intense, violet-scented Grands Echézeaux Grands Crus.
La Tâche is another monopoly of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. It is explosively seductive with a peerless finesse, and is almost as good as their legendary eponymous wine. Richebourg is one of Burgundy’s most voluptuous wines and is capable of challenging La Tâche in some years, while Romanée-St Vivant, which takes its name from the monastery of St Vivant built around 900AD in Vergy, has a lovely silky finesse but is slightly less powerful.
If that wasn’t enough, Vosne-Romanée also boasts some absolutely magnificent Premiers Crus headed by Clos des Réas, Les Malconsorts (just south of La Tâche, and arguably of Grand Cru quality) and Les Chaumes on the Nuits-St Georges side, Cros Parantoux (made famous by Henri Jayer), Les Beaux Monts and Les Suchots on the Flagey-Echézeaux border. The old maxim that ‘there are no common wines in Vosne-Romanée’ may not be strictly true, but it is not far off.
Drinking dates vary, but as a general rule of thumb Grand Crus are best drunk from at least 10 to 25 years, while Premier Crus can be enjoyed from 8 to 20 years, and village wines from 5 to 12 years.
There are no white wines produced in Vosne-Romanée.
99 hectares of village Vosne-Romanée.
56 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (14 in all). Foremost vineyards include Les Gaudichots, Les Malconsorts, Cros Parentoux, Les Suchots, Les Beauxmonts, En Orveaux and Les Reignots.
75 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards: Romanée-Conti, La Romanée, La Tache, Richebourg, Romanée St Vivant, La Grande Rue, Grands Echézeaux, Echézeaux.
Recommended producers: Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Leroy, Cathiard, Engel, Rouget, Grivot, Liger Belair.
Clive Coats: Vosne-Romanée and its 6 Grand Cru Vineyards
Clive Coats: Nowhere is wine more noble than in Vosne-Romanée. Between the Nuits-Saint-Georges premier cru of Boudots to the south and the walls of the Clos de Vougeot at the northern end lie the 240 hectares of Vosne-Romanée vineyard: the most valuable piece of vinous real estate in the world.
Appellation Romanée Conti Grand Cru: The Romanée-Conti vineyard dominates the village, with its wines among the most expensive in the world. It is a monopole of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Around 600 cases are made each year from the vineyard's 1.8 ha.
Appellation La Romanée Grand Cru: La Romanée is a monopole of the Château de Vosne-Romanée. Only 300 cases are made each year from this plot of 0.84 ha.
Appellation La Tâche Grand Cru: La Tâche is Domaine de la Romanée Conti's other monopole, and its 6 ha consist of the vineyards of La Tâche and Les Gaudichots.
Appellation Richebourg Grand Cru: The 8 ha of the Richebourg cru are divided between 10 growers, including Domaine Leroy and Domaine de la Romanée Conti.
Appellation La Grande Rue Grand Cru: The least-renowned of the six grands crus is a monopole of Domaine François Lamarche, and was only promoted from premier cru recently. Its 1.4 hectares lie between La Tâche and Romanée-Conti.
Appellation Romanée Saint Viviant Grand Cru: Domaine de la Romanée Conti owns over half of the area's 9.5 ha.
Domaine Anne Gros and the Gros Dynasty
The Gros dynasty began in 1830 when Alphonse Gros married Madame Latour, settling in Vosne-Romanée in what is now the home of Jean Gros.
Louis Gros lived from 1893 to 1951. His Domaine Louis Gros was divided between his 4 children: Gustave Gros, Jean Gros, François Gros and Colette Gros.
Today, there are 4 Gros estates.
Anne Gros is the only child of François Gros. The Domaine Anne Gros goes back to Domaine François Gros. For 10 years, during 1978 and 1988, the wines of Domaine François Gros were sold in barrels to a nogiciant. Anne got involved in 1988, creating Domaine Anne et François Gros. Since 1995, it has become Domaine Anne Gros. Anne Gros has 3 children.
The other 3 domaines arose out of the retirement of Jean and Jeanine Gros in 1996: Domaine Michel Gros in Vosne Romanée, Domaine Gros Frère & Soeur directed by Bernard in Vosne Romanée, and Domaine A.-F. Gros in Pommard.
Jancis Robinson: Domaine Anne Gros
Jancis Robinson: Anne Gros is one of the most respected, and most fortunate, wine producers in the world. As an only child she inherited all of her father François's three hectares of prime Côte d'Or vineyard land around the most bejewelled village in Burgundy, Vosne-Romanée, and has been running it with great aplomb since the age of 22. When only 25, she expanded Domaine Anne Gros to 6.5 ha. She then went on to build a completely new winery - quite unlike the traditional underground cellars of her neighbours, and converted an outbuilding into a stylish modern guesthouse, La Colombière. Most importantly, she makes extremely good wine.
Anne Gros cares for her vineyards according to “lutte raisonée” principles, adhering to organic practices as much as possible depending on the conditions of the growing year. Grapes are always harvested by hand. Juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts in lined (enameled) cement tanks for the reds, and in stainless steel tanks for the whites. Wines are aged in barrel for approximately 16 months, with 80 percent new oak for grand cru wines, 50 percent for village wines and 30 percent for regional wines.
Tasting from Barrel and Bottle at Domaine Anne Gros
Domaine Anne Gros has a vineyard surface of 6 hectares (5,2 for red, 1,3 for white). Annual production amunts to 30 000 bottles. Her wine list of Domaine Anne Gros is Haute Cote de Nuits (red and white), Generic Burgundy (red and white), Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanee, Clos Vougeot, Richebourg.
Robert Parker: Anne Gros is one of those growers whose reputation is questioned by the Burgundy cognoscenti, the susurrus that her wines are often excessively oaky. I can sympathize with the viewpoint. Over many years tasting at her domaine in Vosne, located next to Michel Gros, I have become accustomed to her wines that have a proclivity not to shine out of barrel. That’s just the way they can be. It is part of the professional writer’s job to learn how the gestating vintage shows at this premature point and use that as a base to extrapolate forward. And as my Richebourg tasting demonstrated (see separate article), it’s really just a case of patience, waiting for the wines to absorb their new oak and reflect their terroir. (Guide Parker, décembre 2015)
We tasted 6 wines:
2015 Haute Cote de Nuits (Rouge)
A new appellation, created in 2000. The wine comes from a 1.73 ha single block parcel situated in the village of Concoeur just above the village of Vosne-Romanée. Originally bare of any vines, it was planted in stages. (96, 97, 98). Chardonnay vines make up 1 ha on the upper part of the slope, where the earth is deeper and more humid (this is where the water of the hillside resurges). The 0.73 ha of Pinot Noir were planted on the lower, flatter part of the parcel, where fossiliferous lava is in great abundance and assures excellent drainage.
2015 Chambolle-Musigny La Combe d‘Orveau (Village Level)
This parcel within the village appellation of Chambolle Musigny is situated at the southern limit of the territories of Chambolle and Vosne Romanée in the locality of the Combe d'Orveau. It was bequeathed by Louis Gros on his death in 1951 to his son François. The origin of the word "Orveau" comes from "Val d'Or" (small golden vale). East facing, this coomb opens onto the anticlinal valley where Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux and Clos de Vougeot are situated. The climate is more extreme due to its geographical situation (colder in winter, hotter in summer). The wooded surroundings, which are battling erosion, contribute to a more humid autumn. This 1.10 ha parcel is composed equally of 45 year old vines and 6 year old vines. The soil, which is very stony, rich in scree and extremely fine-grained, rests on a substrata of white marl.
2015 Clos Vougeot Le Grand Maupertui Grand Cru
Wine searcher average price in US$: 208
This wine comes from the 0.93 ha single block parcel Le Grand Maupertui that was bequeathed by Louis Gros to his son François. It was planted in 1905. Regular replanting makes the average age of the parcel 50 years. The name of the plot, Le Grand Maupertui, goes back to the Citeaux monks and is featured on the label.
2012 Haute Cote de Nuits (Rouge)
Wine searcher average price in US$: 39
2006 Bourgogne (Rouge)
25 years old vines. Blending of three small plots.
2006 Richebourg Grand Cru
K and L Wine Merchants: U$ 365
94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: Deep red, a bit less saturated than the Clos Vougeot. Sappy dark fruits, flowers and spices on the nose, complemented by an exotic suggestion of white peach. Suave and supple, seemingly more open-knit and easier to taste today than the Clos Vougeot, with exotic floral lift adding to its early appeal. As sappy as this is, it's also quite sweet and pliant today. Broader than its stablemate but is it as fine? (ST) (3/2009)
Postings: Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)
Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History
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Introduction to the Burgundy Wine Region at Antic Wine in Lyon with Flying Sommelier Georges Dos Santos - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
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Vineyard Walk in Meursault with Karoline Knoth - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Dinner at the 1 Michelin Star Restaurant Ed.Em in Chassagne Montrachet - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
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Lunch in a Typical French Brasserie: Le Carnot in Beaune - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
Visit and Tasting: Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune – Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne
An American Making Ultra-Premium Wines in Burgundy: Visit and Tasting at Domaine Dublère in Savigny lès Beaune, with Owner/ Winemaker Blair Pethel - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting Natural Wines with Maurice Marle at Chez Maurice in Beaune - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits St. Georges - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting from Barrel at Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron in Prémeaux-Prissey, Côte de Nuits, with Owner/ Winemaker Louis Meunier - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch at Restaurant La Cabotte in Nuits-Saint-George - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair in Nuits-Saint-George, from Barrel and from Bottle, with Thibault Liger-Belair - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Visit of Château du Clos de Vougeot - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Where the Most Expensive Red Wines Come from: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne-Romanée, Côte de Nuits
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Guillon & Fils in Gevrey-Chambertin, Côte de Nuits, with Jean-Michel Guillon
An Institution: Lunch at Restaurant Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Armelle et Bernhard Rion in Vosne-Romanée, Côte de Nuits, with Alice Rion
Tour at the Fontenay Abbey (Bernard de Clairveau), Montbard
Wine Pairing Lunch, Cellar Visit, Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Domaine Jean Marc Brocard in Préhy, Chablis
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and other Wine Venues in Chablis, France
Champagne – An Introduction, France
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Visit and Tasting at the Grower Champagne House Champagne Jean Josselin in Gyé sur Seine, Champagne, with Jean Pierre Josselin, his Wife and Sharona Tsubota
Cellar Visit and Tasting at the Champagner House AR Lenoble in Epernay, Champagne, with Export Manager Christian Holthausen
Cellar Visit and Tasting at the Champagner House Taittinger in Reims, Champagne
Lunch at Brasserie Flo in Reims