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Domaine François Lamarche, Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2011

Red Wine from France - Burgundy
Rich, meaty, powerful Burgundy from Vougeot’s biggest and most regal vineyard, which bestrides the commune like a colossus. It runs to over 50 hectares, of which Lamarche own a precious 1.35ha. Big and burly it may be, but perfectly tempered by ripe fruit and time in bottle.
Price: £95.00 Bottle
Price: £570.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: BU52861

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Pinot Noir
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Côte de Nuits

Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile...
Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle.

The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy that mean more variation than in any other fine wine region.

The appellations that sit above the generic regional ACs in the hierarchy are Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Echézaux and Nuits-St-George. Côte de Nuits –Villages is made from grapes grown at either end of the Côte, where the soils and sites are less impressive. Gevrey-Chambertin is a complete and balanced wine, full and harmonious. Wines from Nuits-St-Georges are the most tannic and, like Pommards, need long maturation. For many Vosne-Romanée is the summit. Its wines have beautiful velvety palates: dense and soft, sensuous and tactile. Chambolle-Musigny is the lightest yet one of the most fragrant wines of the Côte de Nuits. It is perhaps Nuits's equivalent of Volnay; a pretty, fine boned wine with exquisite perfume and a silky palate.
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Domaine François Lamarche

Domaine François Lamarche is a domaine in the ascendant. François, who sadly died in 2013, took over from his father in 1985 and his daughter Nicole assumed the management of the vines and winemaking in 2006. His niece Nathalie looks after the sales. They are based in Vosne-Romanée where François’ ancestors have lived since the 1740s, and they make 14 different wines from the 10 hectares under vine.

The portfolio of vine holdings includes parcels in the grand crus of La Grande Rue (a Lamarche monopole elevated to grand cru staus in 1992 and sandwiched between La Tâche and La Romanée Conti), Clos-de-Vougeot, Grands-Échezeaux and Échezeaux, and the premier crus of La Croix Rameau, Les Malconsorts, Les Chaumes and Les Suchots (all in Vosne-Romanée) and Les Crus in Nuits-St-Georges.

Great care is taken to ensure the quality of the fruit that is to be fermented, with sorting in the vineyards after hand picking, sorting again on vibrating tables at the winery, partial or total destemming depending on the cuvée, and a maceration of the must before and after the temperature controlled fermentation. Chaptalisation is avoided where at all possible. The wines are then aged in carefully chosen oak, 60% to 100% new depending on the appellation, for 14 to 20 months. Bottling is carried out without fining or filtration. Since taking over the winemaking Nicole has raised quality and consistency even further and Domaine Lamarche is on the rise.

Burgundy Vintage 2011

The 2011 vintage produced an array of attractive, ripe yet fresh, white and red wines in a classic style, by which we mean that at harvest the grapes were picked with ripe tannins and flavours but at low to moderate levels of potential alcohol. As a consequence, the wines are aromatic and fine boned. Pinot noir and chardonnay have evolved to perform well in cool conditions, and, like many fruits, they succeed when grown at the northern limit of their ripening ability, like a vibrant Tay raspberry or a crunchy and aromatic English Cox’s Orange Pippin apple. This vintage allowed pinot and chardonnay to succeed in just such a way.

Yields were moderate, and berry sizes small. Qualitatively the wines are a step up from the 2007 and 2009 whites, and the 2007 reds. Stylistically, the vintage is in the same mould as 2010, but lighter. The wines are succulent and approachable, and delicious from quite early on, but have the structure for mid-term keeping.

The reds are ripe yet fresh, with...
The 2011 vintage produced an array of attractive, ripe yet fresh, white and red wines in a classic style, by which we mean that at harvest the grapes were picked with ripe tannins and flavours but at low to moderate levels of potential alcohol. As a consequence, the wines are aromatic and fine boned. Pinot noir and chardonnay have evolved to perform well in cool conditions, and, like many fruits, they succeed when grown at the northern limit of their ripening ability, like a vibrant Tay raspberry or a crunchy and aromatic English Cox’s Orange Pippin apple. This vintage allowed pinot and chardonnay to succeed in just such a way.

Yields were moderate, and berry sizes small. Qualitatively the wines are a step up from the 2007 and 2009 whites, and the 2007 reds. Stylistically, the vintage is in the same mould as 2010, but lighter. The wines are succulent and approachable, and delicious from quite early on, but have the structure for mid-term keeping.

The reds are ripe yet fresh, with appealing, juicy pinot fruit with sweet tannins. They will give great pleasure. As ever, low yield were necessary for success. When Pernand and Aloxe’s wines have ripe tannins you know the red wines achieved full phenolic maturity. It is worth trading up with the négociants as quality rises faster than prices as one moves up.

The whites are fresh, balanced and delicious, spanning the apple to white peach spectrum of aromas. After an initial lovely burst of fruit there is a good mid-palate and fresh finish. The Måconnais have performed particularly well in this vintage.
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2011 vintage reviews

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