Moderate wood spice frames the notably ripe yet still beautifully elegant mix of dark and red berry fruit aromas nuanced with hints of earth, underbrush and the barest nuance of smoke. The big yet refined flavors are serious, rich and precise with superb depth of material and simply stunning length. You can easily pick out the contributions of the individual components with the elegance of the Vignes Franches, the power and structure of the Teurons and the finesse and minerality of the Les Cras. An exceptionally impressive yet understated effort, indeed this is brilliant. A 'Zen' wine. *Outstanding*
Combining superior, only partly de-stemmed, fruit from Teurons, Vignes Franches and Cras (a blend essayed in past generations, explains Germain) the 2005 Beaune 1er Cru Tante Berthe offers aromas and flavors of blackberry, cherry, cassis and dark chocolate, imposingly rich but chewy, abundantly tannic density, and a long, smoky, spicy, slightly resinous finish. This is a bit extraneously marked by its new wood (as was the '04) and lacks the fineness, subtlety or clarity of Germain's best wines, but then, Germain would argue that this wine is not for today but for ten or more years from now. (DS)
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