Capitain-Gagnerot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2010
With over 120 acres planted and around 50 producers, the Clos Vougeot is the largest single grand cru (if not largest vineyard!) in Burgundy. Because of its deep roots in Burgundian tradition, the walled-in Clos has always been considered an integral whole. But of course it is not. Only certain sections actually merit Grand Cru status. So let the buyer beware! The small parcel that Maison Capitain owns is in the heart of the very best zone at the top of the Clos, sharing the same iron-rich soil with Grands Echezeaux (on the other side of the wall). The result is grand cru structure and power, with deep black fruit and natural balance. You need 10 years for the tannic structure to fully develop, but that's what grand cru is all about. One thing is certain: Capitain Clos Vougeot is true Clos Vougeot.
Burgundy 2010 is a small harvest, even smaller than expected. Uneven flowering and a subsequent cold snap in early summer meant that all but the best-exposed vineyards gave greatly diminished yields. The exceptions are…exceptional. Michel Arcelain in Pommard (who completed his 64th harvest that year!) told us that while his village Beaune ‘Siserpe’ was down a third in quantity, his Beaune 1er Cru ‘Clos des Mouches’ gave him the same as last year. It’s the exposition, he says. And that, in short, is what makes it a premier cru.
A hot and cold summer combined with (in the Côtes) too much moisture brought the threat of rot, and meant that the growers had to be particularly vigilant with their treatments, and then again at the sorting tables. Meaning even less crop. Most unusual of all, the harvest did not come to maturity by color. Usually it's red and then white. In 2010 growers alternated harvesting between Pinot and Chardonnay as the parcels reached maturity. Some even sent their pickers home for a few days in mid-harvest.
But the good producers did not complain (much), because the quality is there. With good natural sugar levels, and remarkably tame acidity, the wines were promising right from the outset. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay like to come to maturity slowly, and 2010 gave them this opportunity. So if the phyto-sanitary side was seen to (which is what it means to be one of the good producers), we are looking at rich bright voluminous wines, both red and white, and from south to north.Chardonnay
2010 is a year for whites. From the north to the south of Burgundy, the whites show the whole range of expression of Chardonnay. These are balanced wines with freshness and purity, and refined minerality. This is a Chardonnay as the Burgundians like it. The Chablis are superb!
Delicious reds in a classic style, with excellent balance between fruit, acidity and tannins.
Compared to 2009, the 2010s are less rich but more precise. Compared to 2008, they are richer and more balanced. Precision and purity, character and depth; and above all elegance. Many producers have told us that they prefer their 2010s to their 2009s. Again, 2010 is Burgundy as the Burgundians like it.
COTE DE NUITS
The Clos de Vougeot in the heart of the Côte de Nuits occupies most of the vineyard area belonging to the commune of Vougeot. Vougeot's neighbors are Chambolle-Musigny, Flagey-Échezeaux and Vosne-Romanée. On the slopes at the upper end of the Clos, it abuts on the vineyards of Musigny and Grands-Échezeaux.
Founded around 1110 AD by the monks of nearby Cîteaux, who remained its owners until the Revolution of 1789, the Clos de Vougeot is a Burgundian icon. Its 50.96 hectares have never been broken up and it pretty much retains its identity intact within the walls which were built to enclose it 5 centuries ago.
WinesNowadays the vineyard is divided among approximately 80 owners. And for this reason no single description can be applied to the reds wines. There are, however, common features. Intense color, a suave floral bouquet of rose and violet. Blackberry and raspberry fruit, mint, licorice and truffle. The palate is rich, elegant and delicate for its heft. A long finish and long aging potential.
TerroirsThe Clos de Vougeot, at over 120 acres (50.96 ha), is all classified as Grand Cru. Yet it is anything but that in terms of soil make up and quality. The top end is certainly Grand Cru, butting up against Musigny and Grands-Echezeaux. But the lower reaches have more in common with the neighboring climats in Vosne-Romanee and the Vougeot premiers crus. At about 255 meters above sea-level, its upper end is gently sloping, with soil only some 40 cm deep, coarse-grained and gravelly over a limestone base. In the center, at about 250 meters of altitude, the soil is still shallow (45 cm), brown, more clayey, overlying broken limestone. The lower portion (around 240 meters) has a brown soil which is deeper (90 cm) and lies on a layer of marl, rich in clay and alluvium.
Only red wines - Pinot Noir
Production surface area
1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres
Reds : 50.96 ha
Clos Vougeot, solid and opulent, is complex in a way that is both sensual and structured. Strong soft-centered cheeses are often served. But, without question, its closest companions are meats that match its power and intensity. Roast or grilled beef, or any and all game (furred or feathered) roasted, braised or in sauce.
On the label, the words 'Grand Cru' must appear immediately below the name of the appellation in characters of identical size.