Robert Parker – 93-95
The 2013 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru, which comes from the Mazoyères sector, has a very well-defined and quite intense bouquet with live-wire red cherry and strawberry preserve underpinned by zingy citrus fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and plenty of sorbet-fresh red fruit that build toward a composed but energetic finish. No, not quite as thrilling as the 2012 tasted alongside, but surely one of the finest examples of this vineyard. Before we entered the Lignier’s gîte that imposes upon the courtyard, Laurent showed me around their renovated cellars built to accommodate their expanding portfolio, partly from fermage agreements entered into by Laurent and partly from the resolution of the court case with his late brother’s widow. The space was much needed. When I visited last year things were becoming cramped in the cellar, but having excavated underneath the vat-room there’s now sufficient space for their expanding portfolio and also to allow the wine to be transferred from vat to barrel by gravity. This is a domaine moving forward after a tumultuous few years. The constant in all this is Hubert Lignier whose first vintage was 1959 (just feel his calloused hands if you don’t believe me.). He appears to have decided not to age every time I see him, which is great to see. Hubert joined us as we tasted through both their 2013s and their bottled 2012s, which will appear in a separate report.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2037
Vinous – 91+
Good dark red. Subtle aromas of raspberry, rose petal and spices. Juicy but imploded, showing red berry flavors complicated by herbs and spices. Quite backward today owing to its firm spine of acidity and tannins. More red-fruit in style than the darker Combottes. Today the wine’s tannins are a bit musclebound.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2032
JancisRobinson.com – 16++
Almost a caramel note on this – unusual! Then sweet, opulent fruit. And a bit of oak in the mix. Decidedly youthful with a slightly raw note on the palate. Not really charming at the moment.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2032
Burghound – 90
A softly spicy and relatively ripe nose features notes of both red and blue pinot fruit, rose petal and discreet hints of earth, game and underbrush. There is good richness to the supple and utterly delicious medium-bodied flavors that offer fine length and while there is a touch of acid-tinged dryness, it stops short of causing the finish to feel unduly clipped or lean. To be sure this is not a generous wine on the palate but I like the refreshing character as the first sip invites the next. Note that with 30+ minutes of air this could be approached young.