Robert Parker 94
The 2005 Chapelle-Chambertin exudes black cherry, plum preserves, chocolate, brown spices and licorice, along with Chartreuse-like high-toned distilled herbal and floral essences. This fills the mouth with doughy thickness and sumptuous richness. The finish evinces more brightness of fruit than with most of the wines, but is above all marked by sweet richness, purity, and sheer might. The selection and age of vine, as well as the vinification are identical for this and the Griotte. a oeOnlya 300 meters separate them. Laurent Ponsot (like his father) vinifies to the beat of a different drummer, whether it is in his employment of a basket press from 1945, his reliance on exclusively (truly) old barrels, his aggressive pigeage, or his virtual refusal (since 1988) to sulfur the wines (nitrogen and CO2 are administered at bottling). The results are as distinctive as the methods, but also profoundly impressive and proven to age magnificently. Certainly one has to adjust to a background level of chocolate and that lack of a certain a oepepa that is otherwise conveyed, MSG-wise, to wines given a normal quota of sulfur during their elevage. But after a few samples " and especially when I re-tasted these wines a oecolda at 7:00 A.M. " I was fully attuned to their virtues. The alcohols in 2005 are as high as 15%, but you do not notice it, even when told. Asked when he intends to bottle, Ponsot replies a oeI don’t know. Maybe one or two in the Spring, maybe before the harvest, maybe afterward.a Importer: Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL; tel. (205) 980-8802.
Full, deep red. Superripe, distinctly high-toned aromas of dark cherry, mocha, tar, black tea and rooty licorice, with a pharmaceutical dusty quality and an emerging liqueur-like note of framboise Thick, sappy and extremely intense; a hugely rich wine that’s like a boiled-down essence of pinot, and yet powerful acidity gives it tremendous energy in the mouth. Notes of black cardamom and botanical herbs give this hugely rich wine a distinctly medicinal character. I had the feeling I was awakening a very angry bear during the early weeks of its winter hibernation: yes, it was the wrong time!