1996 Domaine Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru "Clos des Epeneaux"

SKU #1003045 97 points Wine Spectator

 ***Top 100 Wines of 1999*** A deep wine--one where you have to put your nose far into the glass to capture the subtleties. The black fruit, game, mineral and currant notes fill the palate, proving how dense and thick this '96 red Burgundy is. A brilliant Pommard. Best from 2006 through 2020. (PM)  (9/1999)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (opened from personal storage and from a bottle opened at the domaine). Still quite deeply colored though the rim is now lightening. A perfumed and beautifully complex nose displays moderate secondary development where added nuance is offered by the presence of earth, subtle spice and smoky nuances. There is good freshness to the bright and energetic medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent detail and obvious minerality on the ever-so-slightly tangy finish where the tang does not seem to compromise the length as this is seriously persistent. The structural elements of acidity and tannins are still certainly present though they're not aggressive and this should continue to successfully age over the next 25 to 30 years as the balance is almost perfect. For my taste this has largely arrived at its pinnacle though as I note it should easily continue to hold without difficulty. Tasted several times over the last few years with consistent notes. (AM)  (1/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 No tasting note. Previously (4/1998)...The famed Clos Des Epeneaux vineyard yielded 42 hectoliters/hectare in 1996, compared to 24 h/h in 1995 and a ten year average of 32 h/h. As always, Marchand divided the harvest into separate cuvees determined by the age of the vines....The first is made up of vines planted 11, 15, and 19 years ago, the second from vines between the ages of 30 and 35, the third with vines averaging 40 to 45 years of age, and the fourth, from the estate's oldest vines, averaging between 50 and 65 years old. Two-thirds of the cuvee made from the youngest vines will be declassified...The 1996 Pommard Clos Des Epeneaux will be outstanding when it is finally assembled, with three out of the four cuvees meriting scores whose upper reaches were 90 or above. Medium-to-dark ruby-colored, it exhibits rich black cherries, crisp ripe currants, and blackberries on the nose. Its medium-to-full-bodied, refined, yet powerful core is packed with assorted sweet red and black fruits, stones, candied cassis, and traces of leather and underbrush. This complex, intense, and elegant wine has a sumptuous velvety texture and loads of soft, ripe tannins in its long and persistent finish. It is the finest Clos Des Epeneaux I have had in years and should age admirably well. Bravo! (Barrel Tasting - 4/1998) (PR)  (10/1999)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Vibrant, perfumed aromas of cherry, plum and cocoa powder, plus a deep kernel of spice. Great sappy sweetness and purity in the mouth: red raspberry, redcurrant, plum and chocolate. Impeccably balanced. Finishes with a strong spine of noble tannins and an explosion of black cherry fruit. This wine hasn't budged since its September bottling, says Marchand, and may not close down for a long time. As complete a bottle of Pommard as I've tasted from this vintage.  (4/1999)

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


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- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north. View our bestselling Burgundy.