A distinctly cool and very reserved nose only grudgingly offers up notes of red current, dark cherry and spice and freshly turned earth. There is excellent vivacity to the equally big-bodied and powerful flavors that also possess excellent mid-palate concentration, all wrapped in a succulent but entirely serious youthfully austere finish that is quite firmly structured. Over the last few years the Clos de Vougeot appears to have taken over the crown as the best wine in the range and so it is again in 2017.
Aromas of orange rind, raspberries and cassis mingle with savory nuances of espresso roast, dark chocolate and grilled squab, introducing the 2017 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, a full-bodied, multidimensional wine with good concentration, succulent acids and rich but satiny structuring tannins that concludes with a long and nicely defined finish. This is a very promising wine from Domaine d'Eugénie that I'd expect to land at the upper end of my banded score. The 2017 vintage—the eleventh for this new carnation of the erstwhile Domaine Engel—is a success for Domaine d'Eugénie and the energetic Michel Mallard, delivering supple, expressive and seductive wines that are true to their underlying appellations. Early vintages at this address, it's fair to say, were so oaky and uninspired that serious consumers have tended to write off the Domaine d'Eugénie's wines, but that prejudice now needs to be revised, as the wines increasingly merit their attention. Congratulations are due to Mallard and his team for the turnaround they have achieved. (WK)
Cold soils, éboulis calcaires (limestone scree) with some hard Comblanchien limestone. On the top of the slope and planted 1952 and 1954. Faces the north wind. The wine needs oak to match its power, says winemaker Michel Mallard. 19 out of 23 barrels are new. Barrel sample. Mid to deep crimson. Much sweeter and more sweetly spiced on the nose than the Grands Échezeaux – seems to show more oak. Toasty sweetness. On the palate, it has less obvious oak except in the structure, which is firm, dry and powerful. ‘I always think of a block of marble that needs more air and time’, notes Mallard. Dense, compact but all fine like paper. Opens to a lovely stony/mineral note on the nose, more mineral than any Clos de Vougeot I have tasted before. (JH) 18.5/20 points
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