October 26th, 2018
Domaine de Courcel
Of the short list of producers who star in Pommard, Domaine de Courcel needs to be near the top of the list. Without a tremendous amount of fanfare, the Domaine has been turning out some of the most powerful, densely aromatic wines from a village known for long lived brooding Pinot Noir. The Courcel family has been learning how to navigate the animal intensity of Pommard fruit for 400 years. For the past two decades, the quality has steadily increased as the delicate balance between elegance and power is fine tuned.
A region between hills, most of Pommard’s vineyards are on relatively flat, protected sites. Wind and lashing rains may buffet the nearby hillside vineyards, but Pommard stays sheltered from the worst of the effects of the weather. Vineyard management and knowledge of the soils offers up rewards of fruit with dense black currant and cassis notes. The tannins are often firm and plenty, built for long term cellaring, but also offering gentle structure to those bottles opened early. Limestone dots the area but the prominent iron rich clay lends itself to the density of the flavor.
Annual production is usually less than 2500 cases, so it is nice to see these beautiful wines from a deep selection of vintages. The ageing has been done for you – all that is left is the enjoyment.
View the complete list below, or click here to shop.
Domaine de Courcel Grand Clos des Epenots, Pommard Premier Cru 1990 750ML Buy Now: $199 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Domaine de Courcel Grand Clos des Epenots, Pommard Premier Cru 2005 750ML Buy Now: $149 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Good deep red. Very ripe, smoky nose showed mounting red fruits with aeration; ultimately much less extreme than the Fremiers. Then similarly huge in the mouth, with smoke and mineral notes complicated by an exotic stone fruit (peach, apricot) character. This silky, voluptuous wine offers superb depth of flavor and slowly mounting, superripe finishing flavors that saturate the palate. Best of all, it seemed to gain in freshness as it opened in the glass.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “This red is rich, round and very accessible, tasting of freshly crushed berry and cherry. A phalanx of ripe tannins lurks in the background, but this is balanced and ends with a spicy note. Best from 2012 through 2026. 250 cases imported.”
Domaine de Courcel Grand Clos des Epenots, Pommard Premier Cru 2008 750ML Buy Now: $89 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91+ points “Good deep red. Deep aromas of cherry, menthol, rose petal and licorice. Sweeter than the Fremiers, showing terrific intensity of red cherry flavor. Plenty of ripe acidity here but today it’s hidden behind the fruit. Finishes with substantial, ripe building tannins that call for six to eight years of patience.”
Domaine de Courcel Grand Clos des Epenots, Pommard Premier Cru 2009 750ML Buy Now: $119 pre-arrival special, only 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points “Gorgeous aromas of toasty oak lead off in this polished red, followed by black cherry, blackberry and spearmint flavors. The structure present, yet ably matched by concentrated, ripe fruit. Best from 2015 through 2025. 160 cases imported.”
Domaine de Courcel Les Fremiers, Pommard Premier Cru 2008 750ML Buy Now: $79 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 91-92+ points “The Courcel 2008 Pommard Fremiers delivers marvelous energy, as well as purity of tart, fresh, ripe black fruits, with nutmeg, cooked ginger, black tea, white pepper, cyanic bitterness of fruit pit, iris, and elder flower all lending complexity. Positively silken in texture though palpably dense, this finishes with vibratory intensity of vividly fresh elderberry, blackberry and cherry; pungent spices; liquid floral perfume; iron filings and crushed stone. Here is an instance of synergy between relatively high acidity and abundant yet fine tannin such as one seldom witnesses in this vintage. Expect at least 15 years of fascination from this formidable yet elegant Pinot that beautifully marries virtues of both Volnay and Pommard, as befits its location.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “Raspberry and red currant notes are married to a supple texture that initially covers its density and layer of tannins, with fine length. Best from 2013 through 2023. 85 cases imported.”
Domaine de Courcel Les Rugiens, Pommard Premier Cru 2008 750ML Buy Now: $89 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points “Bright medium red. Complex, soil-driven nose combines redcurrant, flowers and minerals. Suave and weightless, with sneaky intensity to the brisk red fruit and minerals flavor lifted by a piquant note of orange peel. Finishes quite dry, juicy and classic, with substantial but very fine tannins and rising fruit. Winemaker Yves Confuron compares the marne blanche soil here to that of Gevrey’s Clos Saint-Jacques. This wine was bottled barely two months before my November visit and had not yet shut down.”
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