Robert Parker 92
The 2012 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers, which comes from their 0.61 hectare of 31-year-old vines, has an enticing bouquet with accentuated forest floor and mushroom scents that are immediately tangible. The palate is sweet and sorbet-fresh on the entry. There is a bold, firm structure in situ: a Nuits Saint Georges built like an ocean freighter replete with a stocky masculine finish. This is long-term for sure. â€œYou were supposed to be here at two o’clock,â€ admonished Bertrand Chevillon upon my entering his courtyard at 2.20pm. I resorted to the wine critic’s equivalent of the schoolboy’s default excuseâ€ â€œThe dog ate my homeworkâ€; replying that â€œThe Satnav had sent me in the wrong directionâ€. Which is true incidentally. For despite tasting, writing about and admiring this domaine’s wines since the late 1990s, this was the first time that I have visited. Chevillon might well be the appellation’s benchmark producer, especially since the ‘lesser-spotted’ Denis and Bertrand Chevillon took over the entire running of the estate from their father in 2000. They tap into the essence of their enviable holdings year on year, wines not just driven by power or complexity, but by their sheer force of personality. As Bertrand’s large frame flitted around the barrel cellar, gathering momentum as we scaled the heights of his premier crus, he enthused about the vintage’s innate ability to express the uniqueness of their terroir. If you require evidence that Nuits-Saint-Georges is long overdue its own grand cru (â€œLes Saint Georgesâ€ the shoo-in when I enquired) then take a look at these splendid 2012s that are destined to give so much joy over the next two decades. As usual, bunches were de-stemmed, underwent a pre-ferment maceration and matured with a prudent use of new oak, around 25-30%. Importer: Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA; tel. (510) 524-1524
Good bright, dark red. Discreet, pure, rather reticent nose offers red cherry and raspberry. Juicy, minerally and a bit youthfully imploded, offering terrific density and lift to the flavors of raspberry, strawberry and minerals. Lifted by a distinctly floral character I did not find in the last couple of samples. Solid and densely packed but juicy and light on its feet, finishing with serious but fine tannins and a saline touch. A superb showing today.