Earlier today I was so unhappy I thought I didn’t deserve wine – that’s a pretty messed-up state for a wine writer to be in. The Editor insisted I not be so miserable and open something good for dinner. The Colombier Hermitage 1998 I popped was corked. Rather than view this as some existential judgment of myself, I popped something else. What a wine I opened!
2003 red Burgundy is weird old stuff; not all that often good, if we’re honest. When they are good they have personality in abundance. This certainly did, but it was merely an amplified, distilled personality of the village and vineyard. That counts as a real success. And if I deserve wine of such personality then my personality must be pretty winning – hooray! Take that, insanity!
Pommard Premier Cru Clos des Epeneaux 2003, Comte Armand
Now that’s what mega-Pommard smells like! Ripe cherry fruit, with bright, fresh raspberries, a hint of leafiness and pure earthiness. And it’s powered up seriously in all those aspects, yeah! It’s not overly alcoholic or over-ripe, but just intense and focussed. Seriously serious and seriously fun on the nose; there’s just so much there! The palate has scale and intensity too, it’s a personality packed wine. The tannic structure is powerful with definite silkiness, fruit throbs in bucket-loads and there’s actually quite a lot of acidity too. It’s very Pommard in that the fruit is red tinged with green and there are robust tannins, and the Pommard it is is Clos des Epeneaux because the fruit hints at liqueur like characters and the tannins are both severe and polished enough. Being a 2003 this is not a wine to sit down and quaff. Then again, it is not heavy or overwhelming either, rather it is involving. It asks questions of you as you drink it, it engages your faculties, it wants to get as much out of you as you get out of it. There’s concentration, length, balance, tannin, all that stuff, but the defining character of this wine is that it is a really brilliant Clos des Epeneaux – an example of the very highest order I’d say. It’ll age forever – pow, zap, wow, drink it now!
I had another four bottles of this which I had to sell at the start of the year. Whoever got those is in for some extraordinary pleasure when they pop them – so good it might make them pop their clogs!