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Domaine François Lamarche, Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2016

Red Wine from France - Burgundy
Like 2015, 2016 is another good year for Clos de Vougeot because the tannins have been tamed and sweetened. Lamarche have vines in the bottom, middle and top of the Clos, and blend their fruit to make a good example each year.
Price: £125.00 Bottle
Price: £375.00 Case of 3
Low stock
Code: BU67731

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Pinot Noir
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • 2028 to 2039
  • 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 2016

It is difficult to compare this special vintage with previous ones: the wines have the aromas of a cool year and the palates of a ripe one. Normally, wines with ripe palates will have less intense aromas, while aromatic wines can have excessive acidity or scratchy tannins. In 2016, we have all the benefits and none of the disadvantages. The only big problem is quantity: 2016 produced roughly half a normal crop due to a severe frost. What has been made, however, is exceptional.

Reds are pure, intense and exquisite, especially in the Côte d’Or, which had the best weather. Combine this with deep colour, ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a fresh finish, and one has something very rare. The ripe character and the quality of the tannins are remarkable.

There is some inconsistency in style – the frost damage is very variable, so that leads to great differences in yield and therefore ripeness – but quality is uniformly high, with medium to long-term ageing potential. An exceptional year.

The whites ...
It is difficult to compare this special vintage with previous ones: the wines have the aromas of a cool year and the palates of a ripe one. Normally, wines with ripe palates will have less intense aromas, while aromatic wines can have excessive acidity or scratchy tannins. In 2016, we have all the benefits and none of the disadvantages. The only big problem is quantity: 2016 produced roughly half a normal crop due to a severe frost. What has been made, however, is exceptional.

Reds are pure, intense and exquisite, especially in the Côte d’Or, which had the best weather. Combine this with deep colour, ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a fresh finish, and one has something very rare. The ripe character and the quality of the tannins are remarkable.

There is some inconsistency in style – the frost damage is very variable, so that leads to great differences in yield and therefore ripeness – but quality is uniformly high, with medium to long-term ageing potential. An exceptional year.

The whites have a similar blend of freshness and ripeness – traits that are usually diametrically opposed. To find them in the same wines is very unusual.

There is a little more variation in style and quality than for the reds. The Côte d’Or was the warmest region, while Chablis was distinctly cooler, with a rainy September, making bright, tense and classic wines. The Mâconnais, spared the frost, was successful too, but 1,500ha were damaged by hail in the south of the region.
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2016 vintage reviews

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