Each year, Comte Georges de Vogüé’s Swedish importer (Tryffelsvinet) arranges a tasting with the vintage to be released. It is their director marketing, Jean-Luc Pépin, who shows up and presents the wines. de Vogüé is a Burgundy producer in the village of Chambolle-Musigny, where highly elegant red Burgundies are produced. The importer also takes the opportunity to present the upcoming vintage of Bonneau du Martray’s Corton-Charlemagne, i.e., white Burgundy. Some older reference vintages are also included.
After last year’s tasting I wrote a slightly longer profile on both producers.
So what about the 2011 Burgundy vintage, which was the focus of the recent tasting. Well, it’s a good vintage with a regular-sized crop, but it has the bad luck of following in the footsteps of two excellent vintage: the somewhat hot and ripe 2009 and the highly classical 2010. My overall impressions of the three 2011 reds from Comte Georges is that they are rather similar in style. They are definitely classical Burgundies and rather elegant and slightly discrete, and not as flowery or expressive as the 2009s and 2010s were directly on release. Their fruit component is “medium dark” for a Burgundy and all three show some herbaceous notes, i.e., slightly green notes in the nose. These notes were not at all disturbing to me, but the note is there if you look for it. On the palate they show great minerality and freshness, and a good acidity. White 2011 Burgundies, and I’ve tasted many more of those, tends to be in a “ready to drink now” style (to a much higher degree than the acid- and mineral-packed 2010s). This is not really how I would describe the three 2011 reds of this tasting. Rather, they come across as rather young and as of a style that would benefit from cellaring. This was the first time I’ve tasted red 2011s at this level, so I can’t really say how representative they are for the red wines of the vintage in general. I’d have to say that the wines were slightly better than I had expected.
The prices for the 2011 vintage is at about the same level as that of the 2010s, despite slightly lower quality and a larger production. I’m not just talking about these wines, but of Burgundies in general. An explanation is that 2012 – which was harvested before the prices of many 2011s were set – is a small vintage in terms of quantities, while the demand for good Burgundies is still strong. I suppose that this means that most producers didn’t feel that is was justified to reduce the price of a vintage that is sandwiched between a top vintage and a small vintage. And I already have guess in which direction the prices of the 2012s will go…
The wines had been given about 40 minutes of air when the tasting started.
2011 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne
Light yellow colour. Nose with butter, yellow apple, yellow plum, some citrus, chalky mineral, and discrete flowery notes. A powerful and classical Burgundy nose. Palate with strong citrus notes, yellow apple, high acidity, noticeable mineral with some “pleasant soapy notes” (if that’s at all an understandable description), great concentration, slightly viscous, slightly spicy. Rather young, but both nose and palate indicates that it is rather ready to drink. 92 p.
Not as young and undeveloped as e.g. the 2010 was at the same stage. Since it comes across as much more ready to drink, I’d say it reflects the style of the vintage.
Medium yellow, but not as dark as one could expect. Nose with ripe yellow apple, some winter apples and butter, a hint of citrus and exotic fruit, some spice, and chalky mineral. Rather young nose for a 15 year old white wine. Palate with citrus, yellow apple, hints of white peach, quite high acidity, powerful and chalky minerality, and a mineral-dominated aftertaste. Pleasant development in the nose, fine elegance, and the palate shows no tendency to having tired. 92 p.
No signs of “premox“, the curse of many white Burgundies from 1996 and on, in this bottle. Buyers of older white Burgundies should however always be aware of this risk. As far as I know, the wines of Bonneau du Martray has been far from immune from this phenomenon.
2011 Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny
Light to medium red colour. Nose with cherries, hints of balsamico and animal notes, a slightly “dusty” impression that isn’t at all disturbing and probably should be described as some kind of minerality, hints of herbs, some spice, slightly flowery notes. Palate with cherries, some cranberries and strawberries, noticeably tart fruit, strong mineral notes, good acidity, light tannins, rather good concentration. Definitely fresh and elegant on the palate. Young, but reasonably approachable now, could develop, 89+ p.
2011 Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru
Light to medium red colour. Nose with cherries, ripe strawberries, spice, balsamico, a hint of herbs, discrete and well integrated oak barrel notes. Palate with cherries, tart fruit, very strong mineral notes with a “crystalline” character, medium- tannins, good acidity, rather good concentration. Very fresh and elegant on the palate. Young, reasonably approachable now, good potential, 90+ p.
Shows more and sweeter berry notes than the village-level 2011 Chambolle-Musigny, and with more power in the nose. However, in this vintage I found the step from premier cru to Musigny VV to be larger than that from the village level to the premier cru. This has not always been the case in other vintages, where the premier cru has been “more than halfway” to the Musigny VV level. There were other tasters who placed the 2011 premier cru closer to the 2011 than I did.
2001 Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru
Light red colour, brick edge. Nose with ripe strawberries, some cherries, some oranges and orange zest, cool minerality, spice, some developed notes, slightly flowery. The nose shows elegance and depth. Palate with ripe strawberries, oranges, discrete and well integrated sweetness of fruit, good concentration, fine mineral notes, good acidity, some tannin, some spice, and a mineral-dominated aftertaste. Rather ready to drink, but could probably develop a little more, 91(+) p.
Good power, but compared to the 2011, it has a slightly more “unpolished” palate.
2011 Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Vieilles Vignes
Light to medium red colour. Nose with rather dark cherries, balsamico, some animal notes, spice, slightly herbal, discrete flowery notes. Palate with cherries, strong mineral notes, slightly viscous feeling, high acidity, spice, medium tannins, and a mineral-dominated aftertaste. Young, definitely elegant, good potential! 93+ p.
Compared to the 2011 premier cru, the 2011 Musigny VV shows more depth and somewhat darker notes, and definitely has more noticeable tannins. The colour is also slightly more compact than in the two simpler 2011s.
1996 Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Vieilles Vignes
Light red colour with hints of medium red, and a paler edge. (Actually darker in colour than the 2001 premier cru.) Nose with cherries, noticeable but simultaneously discrete perfume notes with an impression of ethereal oil, mineral, development with animal notes; shows quite some and is definitely elegant. Palate with ripe strawberries, some cherries, very noticeable minerality, slightly oily, spice, high acidity, slightly softened medium(-) tannins, and a long mineral-dominated aftertaste with acidity. Smooth palate, quite elegant, rather ready to drink, but can take more time in the cellar. 94 p.
The Swedish version of this post can be found here.