Flash Friday Tasting
Parking In Back
2017 Domaine Rougeot Père et Fils
La Monatine Bourgogne Blanc
In the center of Meursault village, Pierre-Henri Rougeot has been quietly producing impeccable minimal intervention, low-sulfur wines since he returned to the family domaine in 2010. The 18th century stone cellar was originally built for the Hospices de Beaune to press the fruit from the adjacent orchards, and was purchased Pierre-Henri’s great-great-grandfather in the 19th century. Today the orchards have been transformed into an elegant garden and stamp-sized monopole vineyard, and the cellar has been renovated to comfortably hold two vintages from Rougeot’s 13 hectares of vines in and around Meursault.
Pierre-Henri’s experience travelling throughout France gives him a unique vision that hews strongly to Burgundian tradition with a soft touch inspired by the vins natures made by his friends in Saumur, Cahors, and beyond. Today, the Rougeot vineyards are farmed organically, and Pierre-Henri’s no sulfur vinification effortlessly balances a natural wine approach with traditional Burgundian technique to create wines with energy and balance. Each terroir from Aligoté and Passetoutgrain through Premier Crus is bottled as a single-vineyard designate. The wines are energetic, precise, and delicious. It’s simply astounding that the domaine has maintained a quiet profile while producing such compelling wines. It will be even more astounding if that continues.
Vinous 91 Points: Bright lemon-yellow. Highly aromatic, expressive aromas and flavors of yellow peach, ripe citrus fruits, flowers and spices, with a hint of orange juice emerging with air; less obviously oaky than the Les Grandes Gouttes. Quite silky and fine-grained, with harmonious acidity contributing to the wine’s impression of softness and refinement. Tightens up on the back end, finishing with noteworthy force and excellent length. A beauty in the making.
2015 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte
Le Petit Haut Lafitte
Thanks to its 55 hectares of superb gravelly vineyards, Smith Haut Lafitte is often referred to as the “archetypical Graves.” The estate’s history goes back to the Crusades, and a Scottish navigator, George Smith, who became the owner of the estate in the 18th century. He was followed by M. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, and then Louis Eschenauer, a famous wine shipper.
In 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard also fell under the spell of this beautiful estate. Since then, they have restored the 16th century tower, renovated the 18th century manor house, built two underground cellars, went back to traditional vine growing methods without chemical herbicides and set up their own cooperage. The perfect elegance, excellent balance and fine structure of Smith Haut Lafitte’s red and white wines are the ultimate reflection of the current owners’ total commitment to quality.
James Suckling 93 Points: The 2015 Le Petit Haut Lafitte is another terrific wine from Smith Haut Lafitte. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon speaks with authority. Black cherry, leather, earth, licorice and grilled herbs are all laced together, but it is the wine’s pure power and structure that stand out most. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2015 for at least a few years, as it is far from an easygoing second wine.