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Four years on

We tasted this [link2post id=”1486″]wine almost four years ago[/link2post]. I said I’d like to come back to it in 5-10 years but the partner has popped his bottle after merely four; it has developed. In the right hands (and ‘Le Homme’ Vacheron has the right hands, he’s worked at DRC) and the right places Pinot Noir is what does it for us.

Sancerre Rouge ‘La Belle Dame’ 2002, Domaine Vacheron

If I was given this blind I’d sniff it and say “Good Burgundy, I think”. There is a lot of Pinot fruit, which is ripe and beginning to smell a bit soft and mature with a smoky, grilled pork character as well. This seems less overtly Sancerre on the nose than the last bottle but, whilst it may not be the most explosively complex set of aromas, when you smell it you know this is quality wine. The palate has a lot of ripe fruit, but thanks to its extremely pleasing acidic backbone it seems totally balanced. The acidity strikes me as being a bit green and grassy in character, and we could say this makes it seem more Sancerre-y, but such an interpretation could easily be caused by me knowing what the wine is; blind tasting is such a good way of assessing wines without being lead by the label. The tannins have really softened and seem quite silky. It is a fresh, lively, sculpted palate with enough complexity and length to keep the lover of good things interested. It is drinking terribly well now, but I don’t see it falling apart in the immediate future.

I really like beautiful little Pinots like this, they just deliver so much pleasure and are such great drinking wines. We cannot, nor would we want to, drink Richebourg every day, wines like this we can drink more regularly and they are still quality action.

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