Clos des Epeneaux 2004 to 2015
Tasted in 2016 at Domaine du Comte Armand with Paul Zinetti. First published in the Burgundy Briefing 2015 Vintage Report. My tasting notes are followed by Paul’s observations.
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2015
Elegant, smooth and concentrated. Nicely balanced acidity. Sweeps across the palate. There is density in the mid palate with some power, sweetness and certainly richness, but nicely balanced. And then at the end it is energetic and more refined with a vibrance of fruit. Score 19 or 95
Paul remarks, “I would describe 2015 as having elegance, concentration and richness.”
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2014
Just bottled. Dark berry fruit, slightly jammy. Quite rich on the strike, full, plenty of tannins, but also good freshness. It is concentrated, but not too rich The tannins are pretty robust at the moment. It has a burly quality, but the fruit is sweet. It finishes on a fresh bite, and a touch of that tannin. 18.25 As it opened up – Paul put it in a decanter – the tannins softened and became less robust…it will mellow. I think Paul bought in some barrels from the Côte de Nuits, so he would not have new oak, and he feels the tannins are more from the barrels.
“Closed and tight tannins, a bit bitter. Hard at the moment, but good potential,” says Paul.
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2013
Red berry fruits. Ripe raspberry. Concentrated. It is medium bodied. The tannins are firm, not as many of them as the 2014. The fruit is sweet, slightly jammy notes and on the finish a good balance of sweet fruit and freshness. Actually this is more elegant then expected. Score 18.25. From 2019
“Jammy nose, Grapefruit. Nice concentration. A good balance. I like this vintage. Good potential to keep. Nice tannins. Too young.”
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2012
Ripe cherry and sweet Victoria plum. This has a rich and thicker texture, quite viscous. The tannins are full, firm, slightly burly and dense and dark. Deep tannins, still very compact in the mid palate. There is a lot of tight tannin on the finish. It is very ripe and concentrated. It has a lot of matter. It is a structural wine. Score 18.5. From 2021
“The magnum effect. Black fruits. Tannins very tight still and more open than the 2013. The end of the mouth closed… amertune.”
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2011
Red cherry fruit, floral notes. Sweet onto the palate. It is more delicate, warm raspberry fruits. Just a nice level of freshness to balance. The tannins are still firm, but integrating. It is ‘lighter’ but the finish is quite long and pure…the purity is good. You could decant it to drink now. Score 18.
“Black olives. The mouth starts to open. Tannins are ok. Not a big vintage. We can taste it now.”
***Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2010
Sweet and energetic on the nose, just a touch of chamois leather, but principally still on the wild forest fruits – sweet wild strawberries. Suddenly we are in a different league to the more recent vintages. It is vibrant, juicy with supple tannins and a smooth satin texture. Wonderful depth and intensity. The acidity is lively and streams with the fruit. So elegant. Such energy. It is harmonious and glides across the palate to a wonderful long finish. This is the Clos at full potential. Score 19 From 2020, but with very long ageing capacity.
“It was already lovely after 6 months in barrels. It is always amazing! Very nice intensity of fruit on the nose with acidity in the nose too. A little closed. Wonderful potential. Super fruit, super tannins. Top wine with good energy. I love it. It is the best vintage in Burgundy. Quintessence of Pinot Noir.”
**Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2009
Dense and ripe on the nose. It has dark fruit, ripe black cherries. Velvet richness onto the palate. Richly sumptuous, velvety tannins. It is full-bodied, opulent and spicy. A little warm maybe. The alcohol is not yet resolved into the palate so it is still a little heady…powerful. The acidity is there to balance the richness and there is depth to the palate. It lacks sophistication at the moment, but it will slim down to find it. There is plenty of ripe matter. The finish is long. Wait. Do not drink this now. Score 18.8. In ten years it will be great! From 2025.
This become more seductive as it sits in a decanter for an hour. Supple and rich, generous. The matter integrates. More accessible and more elegant. It still needs a lot of time. I would wait in bottle. It would be a pity to drink this now, even decanted.
Paul says, “I love the elegant nose. A little bit warm and alcohol and on the mouth, but with volume. Smooth tannins. Sweetness. We need to keep this. I love the tannin structure. It will be a great wine in 10-15 years.”
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2008
This is showing delicious development on the nose, forest floor, mulchy notes; a bit hoofy. I love the nose. The palate has a lightness of body. It is quite lean and the acidity carries this wine. The tannins are softening..a bit of bite at the end where the acidity and tannins meet (but this would be great in combination with food). So you have a slight bitter crunch right at the end. I don’t dislike that at all. I like it now. It is fresh and lively and shows aromatic complexity. Score 18.25
“It is a good pinot. It is ready to drink for me. We do not need more time. The acidity is maybe too much at the beginning, but for the balance it is good. Elegant,” says Paul.
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2007
This is showing evolved notes as the 2008 does, but these are sweeter, more sweet hay and warm brioche. I love the nose…more so than the nose on the 2008. Soft and elegant onto the palate. This is pure pinot. Sweeps pure and simple on the palate. The tannins are light. It is all lovely to that point and then, if I am being critical as I must be, the tannins are dry at the end. The 2008 is fresher and finer. I prefer the finish of the 2008. Shame about the finish. This is a bit of a surprise. Score 17.75
“For me the only problem is the finish too. Very pure. Nice balance an energy, and quite long…I love the nose..”
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2006
This is ageing well on the nose. Rich, heavier aroma than the 2007 and 2008. More beefy and marmite. It smells warm and sweet/savoury. Rich and creamy on the front. Big impact. Quite juicy too. Full-bodied. Soft acidity but a full load of tannin, which are rather coarse. Now this is not at all elegant, but it has muscle and generosity and a full and savoury dark, granite finish. There is a depth to the palate. There is bitterness with the sweetness on the finish. A really good wine with a meal. I am surprised to say it, but I prefer the 2006 to the 2007. Decant it or wait until 2020. Score 18.
“It is not closed, but it is not open. It is difficult today. Nice concentration in mouth. Hot in the middle. For me too much tannin at the end…maybe another 5 to 10 years we will have more pleasure.”
We took another quick look…the 2006 had been in a decanter for an hour and the tannins soften a bit. Wow it does have a lot of tannin. Perfect for a rich gamey dish. I love the nose, the tannins need food.
**Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2005
This is showing evolution on the nose, sweet woodland notes. Hoofy, light mushroom, toast and a touch of salt. It is complex. Marked sweetness at the front and then a red cherry ‘snap’. It is fresh and vibrant and very zesty. Pure. So much tension. I love the minerality and finesses. The tannins are still taking time to resolve. Firm, tense and strong but fine tannins. Not ready yet. It has a vibrancy and tension and minerality on the lovely long and pure finish. Score 18.8. Wait. From 2020.
“The nose is very expressive and strong…alcoholic…minerality, lots of tannins. It is very young. Very energetic and volume. I love the tannins..in Clos des Epeneaux we need these tannins. It has elegant tannins. We need many years.”
Pommard, Clos des Epeneaux 2004
A big aroma shift. It has a green and ageing aroma. I don’t like the nose. The palate is better, but also these crunchy, herbal and acid notes. It is lean and tight. It is bitter at the end. I would really like to find something nice to say, but…
“The nose is quite good. It is not very long. It is difficult,” muses Paul.