Bright red-ruby. Slightly medicinal aromas of blackberry, licorice and violet complicated by a rocky quality. Pungent, tangy and high-pitched, offering a very fine-grained texture to its flavors of cassis, black cherry and violet; aeration brought a slightly less black note of raspberry and sexy savory soil tones. From vines on very shallow soil just across the Route des Grands Crus from Chambertin, this wine offers terrific punch and building sweetness. Both these vines and those in Mazoyères-Chambertin were planted shortly after World War II but a small part of the Charmes was replanted in 1998. (ST)
A more elegant and airy mix features an array of various red berries that is laced with notes of lavender, violet and earth. Once again there is excellent volume and mid-palate density to the big-bodied flavors that exhibit evident power and punch, all wrapped in a dusty, balanced and focused finish. This is presently quite compact and though it's not quite as structured as the Rognets, this is still going to require at least some patience.
The 2016 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru has quite a candied bouquet with vivacious red fruit laced with orange blossom and a touch of Earl Grey tea. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, juicier than the Corton Rognet but maybe without the same degree of precision on the finish. This is a gutsy, generous Charmes-Chambertin that should age well over the next 10 to 12 years, though in this vintage it is the Mazoyères that has the upper hand. Romain Taupenot has been behind the ascent of Taupenot-Merme in recent years. It is almost as if fashion has caught up with them, traditionally furrowing their own path of slightly leaner, terroir-driven wines that were as much about texture as fruit, now many growers have changed back more to this style. Meanwhile, I think Romain has refined the quality here in recent years, the wines showing better integration of whole bunches (although everything was destemmed in 2016), tweaking the fruit up just a shade, certainly achieving more refinement and sophistication. (NM)
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