Robert Parker 90
The 2012 Vougeot 1er Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot comes from 2 parcels that together total around 2-hectars of vine. Pierre told me that it usually spends a longer duration on barrel, around 15 months plus another four in tank. It has a light bouquet with apricot and white peach surfacing with aeration accompanied by a touch of pralines. The palate is crisp and fresh with fine acidity, leading to a composed, leesy finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. Delicious. Domaine de la Vougeraie was founded in 1998 when the domaines of Claudine Deschamps, Pierre Ponnelle, Louis Voilland and L’Heritier-Guyot were merged. I remember it well because at the time I was exporting L’Heritier-Guyot’s wines to Japan (to be frank, they were quite ordinary back then.) The man behind the venture was Jean-Claude Boisset, whose own considerable holdings meant that Domaine de la Vougeraie became a significant player in the Cote d’Or, with 37 hectares of prime vineyard including seven grand crus to their name. I have to be honest and say that like many others, I liked the first few vintages of their wine, but found them a little predictable and seemed to struggle for charm and personality. Perhaps that was a reflection of former winemaker Pascal Marchand applying the practices he had learned at Comte Armand: a lot of new oak with 100% de-stemmed fruit ” not really my bag. When he departed for pastures new, incoming winemaker Pierre Vincent seemed to apply a gentler touch. The new oak is still part of the wines’ character, but there is certainly a more considered approach, plus he is more open to using whole cluster fruit. Managing such an array of wines with a relatively small team cannot be easy in challenging vintages such as 2012, or for that matter 2013. Pierre told me that his average yields were 22 hectoliters per hectare, though for the grand crus, they were down to 17 hectoliters per hectare. Importer: Boisset Family Estates, St. Helena, CA; tel. (800) 878-1123
Pears, white flowers and quince meld together in the 2012 Vougeot Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot. This is another rich, inviting white with lovely resonance and an inviting, soft personality beautifully suited to near-term drinking. The oak still needs to become a bit more fused with the wine, but there is a lot to look forward to.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2014