Richebourg 2007, Gros Frère et Soeur

Richebourg can be one of the most sensational pinots. Regal in nature, it makes me dream of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953: ermine, crimson velvet robes of state, embroidered gold, swearing of oaths, symbols of authority, the paying of homage, fireworks and the crown jewels. What do we get from Gros Frère et Soeur? Strawberry and vanilla. A wine that is hot, rich and alcoholic like a tawny port. I bought some wine in the hope that it may improve slightly over the next 5 years. But the reality is that I recommend everyone to avoid this domaine's wines which are highly inconsistent, dominated by the vinification process (which is not that successful) and not respectful of the terroir. There are dozens of better producers to choose from and life is too short to struggle with muddled Richebourgs and Vosnes!

Comments

  1. I'd agree with your comments - although I don't know Richebourg well as a wine. That said, I had the impression the bottle from which I tasted had been open for days if not weeks.

    I found the entry-level Haute Cotes red and white to be pleasant, and not unfairly priced. Their top-level wines were, I thought, an unconvincing rapport prix-qualite. I liked their Vosne more than you did, though it lacked some of the more spicy notes and also was overpriced, but I don't know VR that well either. Learning slowly.

    I was given the tasting by Madame, who was very pleasant given that our kids were sprinting around with gay abandon.

    It's a magnificent old house, though. And the tasting room is very James Bond. Probably the funkiest I have yet visited.

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  2. Ultimately I'm a humanist when it comes to wine-tasting: knowing the people and social milieu makes a big difference. The people at Gros Frere & Soeur are perfectly nice its just the way they make the wine is below par. I asked some of the wine-makers I've known for a long time what the problem is and it boils down to over-intervention in the wine-making process and in particular a machine that extracts water from the must which results in this fiery style of wine denuded of fruit breadth. Sometimes it works but more often it doesn't and that's not good enough at 30 euros plus a bottle. But given the brand name appellations and Gros name I imagine the wine sells and so the system continues...

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  3. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I import their wines to Sweden and we had a similar experience as you did a couple of days later. In the new piano room there was a tray of half bottles with ther date they were opened written on the back. They were all several days old, and I know Bernard likes his wines well aired. However, I have had all his 2007s from bottle and they are very fine. But I agree, the tasting at the domaine was not good, and if that had been my only experience I would never have bought their wines. Actually, his barrel sample from 2008 were also very fine. In sum, buy a bottle next time, I think you will be surprised.

    Fredrik

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  4. Hi Fredrik, thanks for the additional info. For the record, I did buy a few bottles since I agree one needs to taste wines in different conditions to make a fair assessment. We plan to taste them blind with other Vosne wines. That said, we did hear from other wine-makers about their concerns (off the record of course as is always the case in Burgundy) and the issue of inconsistency remains. High prices should offer a quality guarantee.

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  5. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Looking forward to read about that tasting! Blind is the only way to go.

    Fredrik

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  6. Last June I've tasted Richebourg for the first time, being 25 years visiting the Côte now. It was the 2009 Thibault Liger-Belair on the Domaine in NSG and I could never had expected the difference with his other Grand Cru's would be this big. It made me speachless...

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  7. Jacob, glad to hear you have joined the Richebourg club. I agree, the wines from Thibault Liger-Belair are spectacular. I arranged a tasting there for some friends and they confirmed the quality and elegance. I have a magnum of NSG 1er Cru 2002 waiting in my cellar... Likewise never underestimate the wines from DRC. They are horribly expensive and mind-blowing.

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