Robert Parker – 92-94
The 2014 Meursault 1er Cru Charmes has an intense nose of fresh grapefruit, lime flower and a hint of frangipane; it is more rounded than the Bouchères, if not quite possessing the same charm. The palate is crisp on the entry, very saline and tensile with a precise, penetrating finish. This will have much more to give post bottling. Then it will switch on the charm. As an actor par excellence, Jean-Marc Roulot is probably a winemaker that is good at putting on a brave face. Even so, as he explained to fellow visitor Raj Parr and I, the catastrophic hailstorm that decimated his vines in a merciless five-minute spell, the resignation and sense of unfairness was etched on Jean-Marc’s face. “It began nicely,” he explained, down in his cellar on the fringe of Meursault. “The winter was not as cold as we would have liked, but it was okay. The vineyard was healthy. The hailstorm was over in five minutes. It was violent and it was the third year in a row. Everyone had been full of hope. The following Sunday, there was a school fête and there was a terrible atmosphere. We lost an average of 50% percent of the crop, the most damaged Bouchères and Poruzots. We finally harvested on September 10 and racked right before harvest in late August. We left the lees in the barrel for the 2015. Nowadays, I postpose the addition of SO2 so that it is added at the end of the press, when the juice is brown in the tank.” Despite this turmoil, Jean-Marc seems sanguine about it and commented that the conditions of 2013 were actually more difficult. “The pH for the 2014s is a little higher than 2013, but the perception is different. There is energy in these wines. There was need for chaptalization.”
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035
JancisRobinson.com – 17.5
Vines planted 1942. Broad and lively and rich. Good depth – a bit more charming than the Lafon Charmes. Lots to chew on at the end. Really quite tannic on the end.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2034