Even though I'm a fan of Eyal Mermelstein's Portugese imports, foremost Luis Pato and Alvaro Castro, I've shied away from the whites and roses. Until an impromptu late evening date with Efrat led to a couple of tastes that we both enjoyed, and from there to a few purchases, which then led to even more buys. You get the idea.
The impression I got from these wines can be summed up by a single word: "exotic". These wines are made of grapes rarely cultivated elsewhere and the wines only vaguely resemble the so-called classic wines. So while their crisp, mineral profile may superficially resemble counterparts from Burgundy or the Loire (or Champagne, in the case of the sparkling wines), there are quite a few idiosyncratic twists in the plot.
Lastly, they are all damn good values, ranging from 60 to 140 NIS.
Alvaro Castro, Dão, Rose, 2015
A blend of Alfocheiro and Baga. A very pale, dry rose, the quintessential expression of rose as a neutral, dry wine that surreptitiously packs floral and mineral flavors. Or, it would be quintessential if there were more understated roses like this around. (Jun. 14, 2016)
Quinta do Portal, Vinho Verde, Trevo Branco, 2014
This is the kind of little wine that usually gets placed on the under card of more important wines at a tasting or gets served as an appertif in the real world where people drink wines with their dinners. But really, if this type of wine is just a stepping stone for other wines, it is an important stepping stone in the world of wine. It's light, pale, semi dry, crisp, vaguely frizzante and bundles green apples with tempered saltiness. It's great value and you won't find it a mere afterthought. (Jun. 19, 2016)
About 60 NIS.
Luis Pato, Vinhas Velhas, 2013
A blend of Bical (50%) from chalky-clay soil, Cerceal (25%) and Sercialinho (25%) from sandy soil. See what I mean by grapes we've never heard of? This is... different. Just think of Chablis or Muscadet transplanted over exotic fruits you've never tasted. It has a lean body, yet the fruit has an off dry feel, in contrast with elegant dryness of the nose, which shows a touch of marine air, salt and shells. The 2015, which Eyal let me taste alongside, is sweeter on the nose and drier on the palate, coming off as a mirror image of the 2013. Either one is a lithe wine and great for the Mediterranean summer, and both prove there's magic in everything Pato touches. (Jun. 24, 2016)
Alvaro Castro, Encruzado, Reserva, 2014
If I understand correctly, Castro has two white Reservas. One is a blend of the local Encruzado, Cercialand and Bical grapes, while this one is a pure varietal Encruzado. It's less forward than the Vinhas Velhas and really needs more time (at least a year, preferably two). It doesn't have the lightness of the Pato at first, although the fruit also has an exotic profile and really holds a lot in reserve. There's a fatty side to it that is the grape, I think, as this doesn't see barrels. There is a flinty/sulphureous character on the nose (a cross between Chassagne and Meursault) and a bitter peel after taste, that I take to come from what little tannins a white grape might have, which is tempered here by pleasant saltiness with air. Worth a couple of buys. (Jun. 24, 2016)
Luis Pato, Vinha Formal, 2009
The Vinha Formal vineyard is planted with Touriga Nacional, Bical and Cerceal grapes. Pato does a first harvest of them all for this sparkling rose, of which Touriga is the dominant grape (70%) and a later harvest produces a red, as well as an almost varietal Bical white. All are labelled Vinha Formal, and are a CellarTracker horror. Anyway, this is a really precocious bubbly, and while it won't match Champagne for the depth and the unique brioche/chalk/mushroom character, it does offer a few compensating factors. First of all, it's cheap for a sparkling wine. Not Cava cheap, but a very attractive price at around 100 NIS.
Now, I'm fast becoming a Pato fan, and the reason for that is the way the wines project both a sense of the grapes and terroir and how special they are - as well as the restless, creative personality of the man who made them (or orchestrated the group that made them; the winery produces an amazing number of bottlings each year, and I can't imagine a single man handling the workload).
That's exactly what you get here: a wine that Pato did not design to try and match Champagne weight for weight, assuming he could (of course you can drink Champagne in summer, but that's really because you can, and should, drink Champagne every day that you can. But Champagne is not specifically intended to be a summer drink), but designed, rather, to exude the joy of Levant spring and the twinkling eye of Luis. And there's something else besides the sheer drinkability, something that will keep me buying more of this: a streak of scorched earth and savory tobacco leaves that offhandedly conveys the essence of Touriga and echoes the character of Pato's reds, without, obviously, any of their weight. (Jun. 25, 2016)
The final two wines in this survey are the siblings of the sparkling Vinha Formal. One is a still wine from the same vineyard, the other is a non-vintage bubbly made from yet another local grape. Compared to the uniqueness of the sparkling Vinha Formal, they are both a letdown, but they are nonetheless useful wines to order when dining at Eyal's establishment.
Luis Pato, Bairrada, Vinha Formal, 2013
This is the Vinha Formal white, comprised of 85% Bical, with 15% Cerceal, and, like the Vinhas Velhas, it is a very mineral laden wine, but not the flint/crustacean minerals of the Velhas, more of a herbal/dusty character, not unlike garrigue. In that sense, it reminds me of Rhone whites, but with an acidic zest that bursts with focused precision on the saline finish. I suspect it's the kind of wine you either love or hate and surely takes you off the beaten track. (Jun. 27, 2016)
Luis Pato, Maria Gomes, n.v.
A sparkling wine made of the indigenous Maria Gomes grape (also known as Fernão Pires, grown extensively throughout Portugal and elsewhere only in South Africa), this is a spicy, very dry and chalky/salty wine. Obviously a DYA quaffer, but an interesting one. (Jul. 2, 2015)
Monday, July 18, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
|This month: the story of a horse and a tasting note of an oxidized wine.|
Bonus: I detail my Gewurztraminer purchasing strategy.
I'm not sure what vintage(s) make this up. The Bourgogne Crown catalog says 2013, the bottle says non-vintage. I'm going with 2013. Anyway, the style is the same as the previous vintages, a lot of brett on the nose, very pure fruit. Go figure. As always with the Maison's wines, a lot of jism and attitude. (Jun. 4, 2016)
Bourgogne Crown, 110 NIS.
Château de Villeneuve, Saumur-Champigny, Le Grand Clos, 2009
Pungently earthy, with a light, unobtrusive layer of sauvage (as opposed to brett). While the complexity takes time to show, there is good balance and persistence and an enjoyable finish and I simply love the way it develops. Very lithe and refreshing and well worth the effort and storage space to age further. (Jun. 6, 2016)
20 euros in a wine shop in the Loire, three years ago. What great value!
Vitkin, Grenache Blanc, 2014
This is Vitkin's best white, in my opinion, and one of the most unique whites produced in Israel. It packs a lot of compact yellow fruit in a reserved frame with aromas of dried grass and subtle minerals and flowers. The biggest compliment I can give it is, if you had bought a bottle on a trip abroad, you'd open it with friends and go, "hey, look what I found" - I'm not comparing it to foreign wines per se, I'm talking about the thrill of discovering a great little wine. Just loads of fun and very moreish, and I wonder what will come of it in a couple of years. (Jun. 8, 2016)
La Maison Romane, Marsannay, Les Longeroies, 2013
It's amazing how much the style of the wine is preserved across 2012 and 2013. Both are joyful in their youth, open and vibrant, with tart fruit and fresh acidity, while the aromas speak of flowers and the typical Cote de Nuits spices. And like the 2012, the earthy aromas and the soft tannins become more pungent with time, without impinging on the overall harmony. This sparks two observations. Firstly, the bretty character of the Maison's Macons so far seems to be limited to those wines only, so it doesn't reflect Oronce de Beler's general approach. Secondly, I'm almost surprised the Marsannays are so fetching at this age. I just never though his style would be so flattering to infants, but it is. I need to buy a pair at least of future vintages. (Jun. 10, 2016)
Bourgogne Crown, 280 NIS.
Tzora, Or, 2014
A dessert wine made of Gewurztraminer grapes frozen in the winery. I'm just enough of an indifferent fan of the grape to buy a few bottles a year and I always buy two of these, so I guess it's one of my favorite renditions. The way I see it, dry Gewurtz is interesting but not always an easily palatable proposition, one bottle a year of of a dry one suffices. The off dry versions from Alsace are probably my favorite, but they're hard to shop for because you don't always know the level of sweetness unless you're very familiar with the producer. With anything sweeter than that, the acidity is suspect, but using frozen grapes preserves the acidity. Natural ice wine made of Gewurztraminer is rare, so you're left with countries where artificial ice wine is allowed. To wind down the long story, this is the reason why the bulk of my Gewurztraminer turn out to be the Or, which usually comes off as liquid litchi toffee, with the viscosity balanced by the acidity. (Jun. 11, 2016)
Coudert, Fleurie, Clos de la Roilette, Griffe du Marquis, 2014
Well, finally! I've tried a couple of vintages of this famous estate and they never lived up to my expectations. But this bottle does. The story is the original owner was so pissed off in the 1920's when the vagaries of the AOC laws forced him to sell his wines Fleurie instead of Moulin-a-Vent, that he labeled his wines Clos de Roilette, after his racehorse, and sold all his wines outside of France. Decades later, new ownership, and the name "Fleurie" is back on the label. This bottling is meant to be drunk with some age (like the aptly named Cuvee Tardive, where the term tardive refers to late drinking, not late harvest), but I was impatient. There nose is pungently earthy and spicy, lightly meaty, and you get a sense of oak as a frame, not the picture in the foreground. The palate is charmingly rustic, with very good length, and best of all, very lively acidity. The downside, it's rather brooding and really does need a few years in the fridge. (Jun. 16, 2016)
Château d'Epiré, Savennières, 2009
Even though I love the Loire and Chenin Blanc, I've shied away from Savennières, mainly because the producers imported to Israel (Joly, Clusel, Baumard) are the kind that make better copy than food pairing, interesting to observe but often mixing ripeness, high alcohol and intense minerality for an almost psychedelic effect that I find too tiresome to pursue on a regular basis. So I probably haven't had a Savennières in five years. Château d'Epiré is one of American importer Kermit Lynch's pet finds, and for the US market, he selects a special, unfiltered cuvee. This, however, is the regular bottling distributed in Europe, annd it's oxidized, too, God fuck it! So much for the artisanal hype, I'll keep on looking for a Savennières to love. (Jun. 18, 2016)
About 25 GBP.
Chablis saved the evening. Chablis, when it's on, when it's really great, takes you over like a pipeline.
Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils, Chablis Grand Cru, Le Clos, Clos des Hospices, 2007
I always have such high expectations and hopes for Le Clos, that I invariable wind up being disappointed. But this, although initially reticent, is exquisitely refined, with a complex and elegant veil of saline shells, citrus and pungent lime. Great length and moreish acidity. (Jun. 18, 2016)
Burgundy Wine Collection, 360 NIS.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
This was one of those evenings where the food, the camaraderie and ambiance were all great, but the wine lineup was too eclectic to actually be as great. On the plus side, it was all very educational and we drank a few things we wouldn't have, if this was the kind of evening where people were just trying to impress each other. For example, the Astrolabe Chenin Blanc: we were going to skip it because the people-to-bottle quotient looked to be a medical disaster, but it was too interesting to pass by. I mean, I might not have actually bought it myself, but if someone brings something like that to the table, I definitely want to taste it.
Hambledon, Classic Cuvée, n.v.
This is an English bubbly that has been spotlighted at the hip London wine bar, Noble Rot. For my money, it comes off on the level of a decent Champagne house n.v., but not at the interest level of the grower stuff - it's just not very expressive and a little too sweet.
Golan Heights Winery, Katzrin, 1996
Yeah, this is definitely not a wine we'd usually be drinking. 1996 was a vintage where the GHW style was starting to become riper and more alcoholic, but to be quite honest, I'm not a big enough of a follower to be sure. Anyway, when people talk about how well the GHW wines age, they should not use this bottle as an example, despite the Katzrin being the flagship wine yadda yadda yadda. The nose has some interest, with old wood and balsamic vinegar, but it's a sort of a generic mature nose, nothing especially distinctive, and the wood is too prominent on the palate. So maybe it was great in its day, but that was the day of the iPhone 4 at the latest.
Domaine Matrot. Meursault, 2013
Matrot should definitely do better than this bottle - which probably needed more time, either in the cellar or before or after pouring. Decanting might have been a good idea. This is mute on the nose, one-dimensional on the palate. All you get is lime. I'm a fan of the domaine and I always recommend it, so please wait on any 2013's and don't repeat our mistake.
Chateau Haut-Marbuzet, Saint-Estephe Cru Bourgeois, 2000
We've been drinking bottles of the 1999 over the last few years and finally moved on to 2000, which is notorious for the Robert Parker score of 79. Now, it is rather small scaled for the vintage, but that 79 is just silly, Parkercentric. and displays pathetic ignorance of what made old school Bordeaux such a delight. This is a very classic claret: balanced, compact and detailed, with black currants, earth and cedar in the background, a touch of brett even further in the background.
Astrolabe, Marlborough, Chenin Blanc, 2013
Here we have the Astrolabe style ( lightly tropical, pure, and expressive in a clean way) applied to Chenin, and despite the salinity and mineral overtones, there's nothing here that recalls the Loire versions, and I'm thankful for that. I don't like rip-offs.
Feldstein, Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc, 2014
Avi Feldstein offered us a preview of one of the wines in his new boutique. This is another example of the kind of wine I can't refuse to taste, even at the risk of liver damage. For two or three reasons. Sauvignon Blanc is a grape that does so well in Israel that I think it might be the best white variety, while Semillon seems to perform well when local wineries try to make something of it. The combination is, of course, the classic white Bordeaux blend, and I adored the precedent set by Ya'acov Oryah, who made excellent wines out of the blend at Midbar and Psagot. So that's the first reason - interest in the wine. The second reason is the man who made it. Avi is a dear friend. If I have to choose between two wines of equal quality, I'll choose the one made, imported or sold by the nicer person. All the more so if it's a friend. Trust me to be objective, okay? In this case, the friend happens to be one of the half dozen or so winemakers who heralded the first wave of quality Israeli wines in the late nineties, and this wine, along with some he's made over the last decade, show he's still in the major leagues. I like wines that can convey tense silence and that is what we have here. It's nubile and raw, but very balanced and refreshing and very true to what the blend is supposed to show, without being a conformist.
Finally, a couple of carets that illustrate trends in the latter day wine world.
Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 2001
I remember my first Canon-la-Gaffeliere. It was a 1998 and one of the wines that made me fall for Bordeaux. This, despite classic cedar notes, is on the extracted side for my tastes, even though it's not actually over the top, just that with its ripess, the effect is too modern, like someone almost getting classic claret right. This is damn hard to nail, because with air it gets so close to settling down to the mold without actually getting there. This being my last bottle, I'll have to revisit the 2000 in five-ten years, but for now, this reinforces the notion that Bordeaux is just so influenced by trends and critics - I mean, no one wants to get a 79, hahaha,
Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, 2012
This starts out riper and sweeter than the CLG, but the given the bigger size of the wine, the ripeness works, and eventually it settles down - and you know what, it is quite a lovely claret despite my misgivings about its modern bent, just as good as any mid-tier, latterday Bordeaux chateau trying to balance modernism and tradition.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
|Cos to Cos|
Chateau Cos d'Estournel, Saint Estephe 2me Cru, 2001
Tasted blind, everyone (except me - I brought the wine, remember?) went for Pauilliac. I agree this has something of the characteristically iron-laden lift of black currants and cigar box. The tannins are bitter and earthy at first and, even with air, the palate is still mute, deep but not very complex. It's still too young for my tastes, even after fifteen years, and 2001 is only a very good to excellent vintage, not a great one. Which makes me sad when I think about it: basically I have something on the order of five more years to buy new Bordeaux vintages before I'd be too old to reasonably expect to drink them at their peak.
Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauilliac 5me Cru, 1998
These days, Lynch-Bages is one of the most expensive Left Banks, especially given its official 5me Cru ranking, I wouldn't cast doubts on its quality, because I love it and I think it's high class indeed, but some might. What I believe is inarguable is how seductive, even sexy, it is. The 1998 is a classic Pauilliac, with pungent, rustic aromatics, and it opens very nice to show a soft, classic facade, which is very seductive indeed.
Chateau Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Leognac, 1989
This is what a mature Bordeaux is all about, with the fruit in the background and a herbal, cedary character. Having said that, it still has a rusty, tough aspect that I guess will always be there. So yeah, further evidence I'm almost too old to buy young Bordeaux.
Chateau Prieure-Lichine, Margaux 4me Cru, 1996
This, too, is a sexy wine, like you'd expect a Margaux to be. Be it the vintage, or the fact that this wine arrived at the table at a warmer temperature than the other wines, this was the softest wine of the evening.
Chateau Cos d'Estournel, Saint Estephe 2me Cru, 1989
A very complete, complex wine, on the nose (bacon, cigar box and smoke) and the palate isn't very far off, either, with its savory, muscular tannins. It's a ripe wine, but ripe in a reined in way, the way the warm vintages used to be, before ripeness became such a holy grail that other considerations were overwhelmed.
Chateau La Tour Blanche, Sauternes 1er Cru, 2003
Sauternes and its satellites are the most over-hyped region and style in Bordeaux. And I don't like them much any more. I've said it before, and its acolytes can only kill me once. But this is quite nice. The acidity is very low, as is often the case in the region (which is why I always veer towards German, Loire and Tokay dessert wines, where the acidity is sanctioned, preserved, even championed) but the botrytis funk saves the day.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Domaine Marquis d'Angerville, Volnay, 2013
Lushly perfumed, a sexy, silky glove covering an earthy core of black cherries, with the cool, languid elegance I have found in the wines of the Domaine in the past - albeit without the detailed complexity and depth of the Premier Crus. The big picture is, I'm very pleased with it. (May 6, 2016)
Bourgogne Crown, 345 NIS.
Château Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan, 2008
I don't like young Bordeaux much, and 8 years old is a young Bordeaux, even for 2008, which is a good, yet friendly vintage. The nose is excellent, black fruit with smoke and rock, but the tannins are still bitter, even after a couple of hours. At the core is the classic claret form and the Pessac accouterments of minerals and smoke that I mentioned. The modern wine making doesn't take it into the realms of over-extraction, but there is a bland polish that renders it a bit too safe and round. (May 7, 2016)
Wine Route, this cost me 150 NIS in futures, wow, I can't believe we could once buy good Bordeaux for that price.
Domaine des Lises, Crozes-Hermitage, Equis, 2014
This is the domaine of Maxime Graillot, son of Crozes legend Alain (arguably the best producer in town). Pere Graillot goes for whole clusters, whereas Maxime de-stems, which might account for the the plusher, less tannic result - yet Maxime also works at the family domaine and has retained some stylistic touches. The end result is a floral, complex wine with velvety, limpid, effortlessly succulent fruit hinting at bacon. (May 13, 2016)
Château du Hureau, Saumur-Champigny, Lisagathe, 2010
I knew this is Hureau's 'serious' wine, I just didn't expect it to still be this seriously closed. It's brooding, almost petulant, monolithic black fruit, which is adorned by notes eucalyptus and distracts, at first, with alcoholic band-aid funk. Later, I find hints of black pepper and ozone drenched earth. Cabernet Franc doesn't produce massive wines in the Loire, and this isn't a massive wine, but it does impress as dense and it's almost aggressively tannic, and so tight, it seems like it still hasn't escaped the cold cellars of the Chateau, and won't for at least five years (cue Dylan, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"). (May 26, 2016)
Fat Guy, 170 NIS.
Lewinsohn, Garage de Papa, Blanc, 2014
The trend is to be anti-oak, and I've been guilty of that. But oak is useful and, for certain, grapes, necessary. Chardonnay takes to it - there's a reason it's used to such an extent in its homeland in the Cote d'Or. Lewinsohn models his Chardonnay on the Cote and so the oak is obvious, both in the the texture on the palate and the aromas of roasted nuts and flint it coaxes. Knowing how this wine behaved in past vintages and in different stages of its life, and judging by the balanced ripeness of the fruit, I suspect that the oak will become less obvious in a couple of years. But you can still enjoy it now, for two reasons. One, the quality of the fruit provides enough pleasure. And two, the subtle and precise winemaking technique is, in itself, an intellectual pleasure to witness. (May 27, 2016)
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
|Winemakers, colleagues, friends|
Sphera is a boutique owned and run by Sima and Doron Rav Hon. And what you get when you see the clean, minimalistic labels and when you look at Doron - lean, white haired, usually dressed in white - is what you get in his all-white lineup: nuanced, 'quiet' wines, the equivalent of a Japanese rock garden. Drinking them is almost like drinking cold spring water - they're that invigorating - and there's always a distinct and distinctive structure that hovers between limpid and nervy. Tasting the wines in the context of a launch gala doesn't do them justice - they require meditative attention - hence the lack of notes, but I'll re-visit. I will say this: the style and quality is consistent across the lineup and the Chardonnay gets my vote for the best in the country.
Eran Pick has been the winemaker at Tzora for a decade (he's been recently promoted to CEO as well) and his work has been improving by small increments each year; I wouldn't expect major jumps, given the already high quality of the previous three or four vintages. The Shoresh Blanc is, as always, a major contender for the country's best Sauvignon Blanc (which I think is the country's best white grape). We opened it later at home and it's explosively expressive and balances tropical fruit with minerals, which is its signature really - the way the minerals shift between foreground and background. You know what? Who cares which Sauvignon is the country's best - the Shoresh's big achievement is how consistent its character is, year after year. Not just the quality, but the character. Which is what terroir is all about, really.
The 2014 red Shoresh might be the best so far, the structure tannic, yet friendly at the same time. The iconic Misty Hills is excellent as always, but I'll defer comparisons to previous vintages until I attend a vertical tasting.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Gevrey is not just about meaty, gamey aromas and flavors. There's a floral character in the wines (especially those made from the cooler vineyards) by winemakers who aim for elegance and eloquence, instead of the more cliched, roughhouse style. That character may not be as intensely flowery and perfumed as Chambolle, but it's there, in the Burguet portfolio, for example. You can also find a lot of minerality.
Such are the inclinations of the Duroche domaine, which is imported by Bourgogne Crown and which this post explores, following a tasting of select examples of the 2014, examples which course the range from Village crus, through Premiers and up to the Grand Crus, one of which is stellar enough to make a grown man cry.
This is not very aromatically expressive at first, but air renders more detail, such as exotic spices and flowers. The palate is on the light side, with sleek tannins. A nice house wine at the tasting price of 155 NIS.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Le Clos
More expressive and open, also more typical of the village with its sauvage character and the floral element is more pronounced as well. Because the vines are the youngest in the Village wines lineup, the wine is ready to play at a younger age and plays the role of a trailer, in the way you'd usually expect an unnamed Village wine to play. And, it signals the harmonic, precise wine making of the rest of the lineup.
Daniel says this is one of the tightest wines in the domaine, but the nose is a step up in expression from the first two Village crus. It is textbook Gevrey aromatically, with that sauvage, again, that you can't pinpoint a strictly funky stink on. Some people call it fur. There is also a tense aromatic signature of earth and minerals. The palate, though, is truly tight and closed, the fragrant fruit of the previous wines locked behind brooding tannins. Which doesn't distract from its feminine elegance. And the potential is foreshadowed by the long, acidity driven finish.
Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Les Champeaux
This is, on the one hand, more obscure aromatically, while, on the other, the palate is more expressive, framing richness in an insistent, yet elegant, structure. Anyway, it continues the style of the Champs, but adds a degree or two of breed. When the nose finally opens, it shows even more minerals than the Champs.
Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Jeunes Rois
Very expressive, more than any of the Village wines, mixing flowers and minerals, and languid fruit draped by dusty tannins that are seemingly designed to captivate the intellect.
Gevrey-Chambertin Premier, Cru Lavaut St. Jacques
Very intense fruit that jabs at your face with a hint of blue fruit and retains that elegance and rich austerity that is the essence of Bourgogne. Here maybe what clinches the fight is focused tannin control. Amazing how it has that blue fruit character without any sign of over-ripeness. You spend years studying wine just to be able to recognize that this has much more to grow into than the previous wines.
Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Lavaut St. Jacques V. V.
All I said about the regular, except the impact is much more reserved and austere. Plus, there's an additional dimension of density and depth of expression.
Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru
Again, that blue fruit sneaks in, but there's additional depth. When we tasted the Charmes and Lavaux 2013 last year, there wasn't a clear cut distinction of quality between Grand and Premier Cru. In fact, the Lavaut was the better wine, certainly the more interesting one, and the same holds here, although the Charmes has greater clarity and purity, while the Lavaut (both of them) greater depths of pungent mineral essence. I think, though, the Charmes has more of the exotic spices you might associate with Vosne.
Clos de Beze Grand Cru
Holy stinking cow. You could just copy random lines from all of the above and place them here, then add a caveat about the endless depth and multiple layers interacting with each other. What I personally love about this is how it recalls my first taste of Clos de Beze ( Jadot 2001) years ago. Like someone shoved mud and earth in your face and it turned into nectar.