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20/02/2015

2012 DRC - Expect the Unexpected

by Sam Gleave (Sales Director)

2012 DRC - Expect the Unexpected

Critics have generally not had a huge amount to say about 2012 Burgundy (in the positive sense) - other than for the odd wine, from the odd estate, and the key topic appears to be the issue of a small crop for most. I was therefore cautiously optimistic that at least a few of the 7 red crus I was due to taste at the annual DRC February trade tasting would be stand outs… but what the next hour had in store for me after my arrival absolutely blew me away. How on earth they managed to conjure up wines with the vivacity, sweetness and purity of the ‘09s combined with the structure and classicism of the 2010s is absolutely beyond me. There must be a magician at the Domaine for this to have occurred. There was general wonderment from others in the room and quite rightly so. Here are the wines:

DRC 2012

Corton

Youthful, light appearance. Sweet cherry nose. On the attack, gorgeous, sweet juicy fruit. Some welcome grip on the mid-palate. Very expressive and forward (especially for a Corton!) but then a hint of density leading to a fabulously well balanced and intense finish.

94 pts

 

Echezeaux

Somewhat denser than the Corton and a little more backward with the oak slightly prominent. Still quite floral and fresh on the entry and then lovely fine ripe fruit to the fore. As it opens wet stone and mineral starts to become noticeable. Lovely harmony and deliciously sweet finish.

94+ pts

 

Grands Echezeaux

Dense and leathery oak, less expressive than the previous wines. Quite tannic but the attack is still very sweet and in time explosive dark cherry fruit shows itself. Really concentrated. Big and structured but the core of fruit more than competes with the deep concentration. In time, will be an absolute classic Grands Echezeaux.

94+?

 

Romanee St Vivant

Seriously unctuous, juicy and succulent fruit up front and then supple tannin, with pure ripe red summer fruits. Lovely richness, wonderfully vibrant, and yet with a perfect balance in terms of tannin and depth of concentration. The finish is quite incredible. Seemingly dancing on the palate for well over a minute. A  gorgeous RSV.

97 pts

 

Richebourg

In recent years the RSV has been shown after the Richebourg and this year it is certainly not to the detriment of the RSV (as you can see from my note above) that the team at DRC chose to reverse that recent trend; but 2012 Richebourg is quite simply the best produced here since I can remember. A little oak before some incredibly expressive, ripe tangerine and tropical fruit begins to hit on the nose. Without doubt the most complex aromas so far and this backs up the massive depth of power, richness and concentration on the palate. Beautifully textured and undulating layers of fruit. Somehow, there is a wonderful fatness to the wine. Opulent almost. This is such a sexy Richebourg. Pure and sweet, rich and intense. Sensational.

98 pts

 

La Tache

Unusually for La Tache this seems a little muted. Not off key but just a little lacking expression-wise. That’s just the nose, on the palate however no such drama. Just jammy, mineral driven pure fruit. There’s a great deal of freshness too backed up with a well-balanced backbone of depth and structure. Lovely harmony and a very long finish although maybe not as far as the RSV.

97+ pts

 

Romanee Conti

Just a whiff of oak soon blown off by seriously expressive mineral and sweet berried notes. There soon becomes evident far more complexity to the nose and it actually changes numerous times during the 10 to 15 mins I try not to finish my glass! This is incredibly enigmatic in terms of keeping up with the evolution of aromas. Sweet and pure jam, incredibly expressive for RC at this age. On the palate the vibrant fruit starts to get denser and incredible layers of concentration start to dominate. The more time spent indulging the more it evolves beautifully and gains succulence before finishing wondrously with grippy tannin and a finish longer than a minute. Amazing!

99+ pts

Prices will be high. Supply will be tight. Basically any opportunity of securing perfect, OWC stock should be snapped up. These will be legendary wines.

The chart below shows clearly how low yields were for these wines...

 

Vineyard Holdings and Production

2012 Vintage

Ave. Age of Vines

Ave. Production (doz)

Total Production 2012 (doz)

% Vs. Ave.

Corton

45

n/a

242

n/a

Echezeaux

35

1340

1057

-21.12%

Grands-Echezeaux

55

1150

987

-14.17%

Romanee-St-Vivant

37

1500

1148

-23.47%

Richebourg

45

1000

634

-36.60%

La Tache

50

1870

1113

-40.48%

Romanee Conti

56

450

350

-22.22%

Le Montrachet

65

250

97

-61.20%