Rich, healthy crimson. Hints of herbs and jam. Just a tad clumsy but lots of fine intent here. A bit dry. Needs more juice.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019
Robert Parker 89
The Fourrier 2007 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes is strawberry- and meat stock-scented; bright and juicy, as well as subtly silken in a very welcoming way, and finishes with enough intimation of carnal, forest floor and chalk to qualify as complex. It has the sort of vintage charm that I see as fragile and simply unlikely to last for many years, so I would opt for enjoying this over the next 3-4. Jean-Claude Fourrier left no doubt that he viewed 2008 under the aspect of a return to times and conditions he thought his generation would never have to face. â€œThe most important determinant of quality in your range,â€ in 2008, he asserted, â€œwas how willing you were to sacrifice on the sorting table.â€ He had only just bottled his 2008s when I tasted them at the end of February ” with the exception of two wines that remained in tank, one a Combottes he had just warmed-up in a last ditch effort to push it across the lactic conversion line! â€œBy last October,â€ he explains, â€œI was facing the situation that 5 casks out of 7 were at 80% of malic acid and the others at 20%. So you have the choice either to heat your cellar, or to make the ” for me, painful ” decision to bring the wine back together into vat for promoting natural inoculation. Otherwise, I would have been waiting until April, and I can hardly even consider two full years in cask for my wines To be honest, I hated my ’08s for the first 14 months.â€ Primary fermentation also took place this year in large part through inoculation by utilizing whichever lots spontaneously kicked-in first as starters, because as Fourrier explained, â€œI’m not a fan of extended cold maceration, which means adding sulfur,â€ and with the ambient temperatures at which the 2008 fruit arrived in the press house, it could have taken a long time for many fermentations to commence. Potential alcohols were in the low to mid 11s, and boosted by at most a degree, lower total alcohol being one throwback to â€œthe old daysâ€ that Fournier appreciates, â€œexcept,â€ as he notes, that back â€œin those days growers were mistakenly fixated on sugar, and chaptalization.â€ Fourrier finds his 2007s phenolically riper than his 2008s, but they were not showing an especially user-friendly side on the occasion when I tasted them, leading me to wonder where they’re headed, or whether they were experiencing a collective period of withdrawal. (For more about Fourrier’s always articulately and thoughtfully expressed methods ” as well as about his vineyards ” consult my reports in issues 170 and 186.) Importer: Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Pine Plains, NY; tel. (800) 910-1990
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2014
Good full medium red. Much wilder on the nose than the Echezeaux, offering plum, raspberry, truffle, game and underbrush. Fat, silky and sweet, with a distinctly plump and seamless texture. Reminded me of a late-harvest wine with freshness, thanks to its underlying spine. Finishes long and sweet.