Weekend Vinopolpick- August 31st

August 31, 2013
Domaine D’ArdhuyClos des Langres, home base for D’Ardhuy wine

      Some key thoughts on Burgundy from Remington Norman, writing in The World of Fine Wines:
“The more a wine derives its character from the grapes from which is it made, the greater and more reliable its individuality, and the more surely it will be marked by its origin. This latter truth forms the cornerstone of climat and its importance on the Côte d’Or.” & “Many of the Côte’s top domaines now work biodynamically and are convinced of the benefits. These include: increased purity, finer acidity, advanced fruit maturity so earlier harvesting, more regular fermentations requiring less intervention, an altogether more harmonious adaptation of plant to its environment, and most importantly, a more profound and precise expression of climat.”

      Domaine D’Ardhuy is based at a unique location at Corgoloin, within their Clos des Langres, at the southern limit to the Cote de Nuits. The Cote de Beaune begins on the other side of their southern wall. It is the belt buckle of the Cote D’Or, and their meticulous red wines really combine the best of each world. Meaty intensity from their Corton’s to the South, and suave lusciousness from their Vougeot holdings to the North. The whites are pure Cote de Beaune.
This domain’s vineyards spread throughout the Côte D’Or are the heritage from current owner Mireille Santiard-d’Ardhuy’s father Gabriel, who founded the estate in 1947. The home base Clos des Langres Monopole was first planted by the monks of Citeaux around the tenth century. Today, the Domaine d’Ardhuy includes fully 6 Grand Cru vineyards and 15 premier cru.

      But the lands and legends of Burgundy do not guarantee great wine. It takes an inspired wine-maker too, and that brings our story to Ardhuy’s ‘regisseur’ Carel Voorhuis. He is Dutch by birth, his parents produce wines in France’s Savoie and, before d’Ardhuy Carel spent time making wine with BRL Hardy in the Yarra Valley of Australia as well as with a negociant in the south of France.  But he is no interloper, he has a diploma in enology from Dijon and did further studies at the Lycée Viticole de Beaune. As estate manager and vigneron for the past decade he led Ardhuy in a transition through organic viticulture to what has now become a full conversion to biodynamic practices. The now 39 year old Voorhuis was long ago recognized as a bright light among a cluster of young and bright Burgundy winemakers now recognized as the ‘Dijon School’; which is not a school but a movement.

      About 1% of Burgundy lovers have a great cellar filled with the likes of wines from Christophe Roumier and Frederic Esmonin. The other 99% wish that they had such a cellar. But most of such cellars were not acquired with the present day price of great fame included in their cost. The key is to recognize the artist before the marketplace clamors for the art. Voohuis and his d’Ardhuy wines are substantially proven, but not yet fully recognized. That’s a good ‘terroir’ to shop for your Burgundy.

Les vins here now:

D’Ardhuy Puligny Montrachet Sous Puits 2010 ($79.95) $69 special
Burghound 92 points ‘OUTSTANDING’ “This is slightly more elegant than the Trézin with notably better aromatic complexity to the white flower, citrus, spice and stone scents. There is excellent size, weight and punch to the solidly precise and intense medium weight flavors that culminate in a fresh and wonderfully clean and linear finish. You just feel like drinking this and while it will certainly reward medium-term cellaring, it is already very attractive.”

D’Ardhuy Bourgogne Rouge 2009 ($18.95) $14 special
Burghound “An earthy dark berry fruit nose leads to rich, ripe and solidly complex flavors that offer good balance and better than average length. A quality Bourgogne that could easily be enjoyed now or aged if desired.”
D’Ardhuy Savigny les Beaune Narbantons 2010 ($44.95) $36 special
Burghound 90 points “The appealingly complex nose offers up aromas of ripe dark berries that are infused with plenty of pungent Savigny style iron-infused earth. There is good density to the pliable and round flavors that possess good punch on the dusty, firm and balanced finish. This is the best of this group of Savigny-based wines and possesses the highest level of phenolic maturity as well. Worth a look”
D’Ardhuy Savigny les Beaune Aux Clous 2009 ($37.95) $31.90 special
Burghound 91 points “A ripe and relatively deeply pitched nose of plum, cassis, earth and subtle stone nuances where the latter element can also be found on the supple yet dense and quite serious middle weight flavors that possess seemingly buckets of dry extract that stains the palate and imparts a rich and velvety mouth feel to the impressively long finish. There is another dimension present here.”
D’Ardhuy Savigny les Beaune Aux Clous 2010 ($37.95) $28 special
Burghound 88 points  “There is a touch of crushed leaf character to the otherwise ripe, earthy and pretty mélange of dark berry fruit aromas. There is lovely complexity to the punchy and mildly rustic medium weight flavors that possess very firm tannins on the lingering finish. This is clearly built to age and will need the better part of a decade to arrive at its peak.” 

D’Ardhuy Clos de Langres 2009 ($44.95) $36 special
Burghound 89 points ‘OUTSTANDING’ “A ripe but relatively high-toned nose offers up notes of raspberry, red currants and rose petals that precede supple, round and appealingly detailed flavors that evidence a subtle stoniness on the beautifully well-balanced and focused finish. This is less rustic than usual and really quite pretty. Worth a look.”

D’Ardhuy Clos de Langres 2010 ($49.95) $38 special
Burghound 88 points “Bright ruby. An agreeably fresh nose of red and black currants, plum and earth gives way to precise and attractively vibrant flavors that are unusually refined in the context of the appellation. There is only moderate depth but I like the balance and overall persistence. Good quality here.”

D’Ardhuy Corton Clos du Roi 2010 ($89.95) $79 special
Burghound 91 points “This is surprisingly elegant with its strikingly pure nose of red currants, spice and distinctly pungent earth. There is a coolness to the relatively supple mid-palate with ample minerality to the firm, balanced, long and imposing finish. This is a dazzlingly good Clos du Roi though note that this will need a minimum of 12 to 15 years to be at its best and thus I would not advise buying this if you’re not planning to bury it deep in your cellar.” 

D’Ardhuy Corton Hautes Mourottes 2009 ($99.95) $69 special
Burghound 93 points “A highly complex and brooding nose speaks of dark berries, warm earth, underbrush, stone and a hint of the sauvage that also characterizes the backwards, tight and mineral-driven large-bodied flavors. This is a big bad boy that is very, very firmly structured, indeed this is old school Corton in the best sense but also one that will require a minimum of 15 years of cellar time and 20 will not be out of the question. That said, the potential is exceptionally impressive.”

D’Ardhuy Corton Pougets 2010 ($99.95) $69 special
Burghound 91 points “An openly earthy nose also offers up notes of dark berries, plum, stone and dried floral nuances. There is a velvety and utterly delicious quality to the solidly concentrated and mouth coating flavors that also reflect an underlying minerality on the long finish that displays fine balance…”

D’Ardhuy Clos de Vougeot 2006 ($179.95) $149 special
Burghound 91-94 points
 ‘DON’T MISS!’ “This is again a beautiful wine and is displaying the sheer size, weight and concentration of the 2005, it’s not far off and the tannins are perhaps a bit finer in the 2006 version. A floral and relatively expressive nose for a young Clos de Vougeot of earthy dark berry fruit aromas merges into powerful yet precise flavors that deliver a real sense of volume and drive on the long and superbly complex finish. As it was in 2005, this is again the class of the range though note that patience will be required.”

D’ardhuy Clos de Vougeot 2009 ($189.95) $149 special
Burghound 94 points “A reticent, backward and exceptionally earthy nose reluctantly displays the aromas of red pinot fruit and crushed plums. The rich, full-bodied and overtly muscular flavors possess outstanding size and weight before culminating in an extract-rich finish where the tannins are buried yet quite tactile. This offers simply knockout depth and despite the huge size, it is impeccably balanced but this is in all likelihood a 20+ year wine so if you buy it, be prepared to forget it in the back of your cellar.”

D’Ardhuy Clos de Vougeot 2010 ($149.95) $119 special
Burghound 92 points “This is also quite somber and restrained with an intensely earthy character to the otherwise pretty red currant and wild berry aromas. There is equally good intensity to the supple medium weight plus flavors that display good power and fine concentration on the balanced, long and moderately austere finish. This is very much a typical Clos de Vougeot that will need time to flesh out.”