The 2015 Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epenaux was tasted from barrel as a mixture of the old and younger vines. Cropped at 15 hectoliters per hectare, because of the hail, it matured in a maximum of 30% new oak. There was less pigeage this year as the wine does not usually need a big extraction, with just two punch downs. It was kept in tank for one week at 32 degrees Celsius before transferring into barrel. It has a very refined, quite powerful bouquet that manages to retain superb delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, hints of brown spice infusing the red berry fruit, black truffle and sage. This is a sophisticated Clos des Epenaux, clearly less extracted in the past, with a long tail on the aftertaste. This is a sublime expression of one of the best Côte de Beaune terroirs and an affirmation of Paul Zinetti as a talented winemaker worthy of following in Benjamin Leroux's footsteps.
(the 5+ ha Clos is composed of approximately 80% Petits Epenots and 20% Grands Epenots; the vine ages run from 18 to 75+ years of age). As it almost always is chez Armand, this is the most elegant wine in the range with a pure and strikingly complex, if reserved, nose of pure red berry fruit, earthy, floral and spice hints. The sleek, tautly muscular and powerful flavors are underpinned by slightly more sophisticated tannins and outstanding length on the beautifully complex finale. This is quite clearly built-to-age and it’s going to need it. In a word, terrific. (92-94)/2027+
(bottled at the end of May 2017; vinified with 15% whole clusters and aged in 30% new oak): Healthy dark red. Less dark on the nose than this wine appeared to be in November of 2016, with its redcurrant and cherry aromas complicated by menthol and flinty minerality. At once silky and energetic on entry, offering thick yet brisk flavors of acidulated small red fruits, spices and minerals. This highly concentrated wine finishes with substantial ripe tannins, saturating the entire palate and building slowly on the aftertaste. Zinetti did a gentler extraction in 2015 but this wine should still last for a long time. It may well merit an even higher score ten years or so down the road. 93+ points. (ST)
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