Lucien Le Moine - Gevrey-Chambertin "Estournelles St Jacques", Premier Cru
Gevrey-Chambertin "Estournelles St Jacques", Premier Cru
Gevrey-Chambertin is the northernmost of the great communes of the Côte de Nuits; it covers 1,315 acres. There are 26 premiers crus in Gevrey occupying a total of 211 acres, and eight grands crus lying on a contiguous strip of 215 acres. Half of the premiers crus of Gevrey-Chambertin lie scattered around the perimeter of the grands crus; the other half occupy a steep, southeast-facing slope to the north, and are superior to the former by virtue of their exposition and calcareous clay soils. Estournelles St Jacques sits just above Lavaut St Jacques, a five acre vineyard at the top of the slope.
Mounir Saouma describes this wine by staying it is in character between "Les Cazetiers", which is fine and subtle, and "Lavaut St Jacques", which is more powerful and tannic. "Estournelles St Jacques" has a beautiful balance, and a lovely weight that also displays subtlety.
There is more talk and interest about 2009 in Burgundy than in any vintage since 2005. Mounir Saouma has warned us to be careful, however. He loves this vintage, and in fact believes it is the greatest he has seen in his two decades in Burgundy. He believes the fruit had everything from the start, and the wines from the beginning were healthy and beautifully balanced. The major issue was to understand and respect the wines, and avoid working them, since they already had everything they needed in superb balance. Overly working the wines, he believes, resulted in a loss of freshness and delicacy.
2009 is the first vintage at Lucien Le Moine that Mounir did not do any lees stirring whatsoever, and as usual he never racked the wines in their nearly two years in barrel. He didn’t add sulfur until a few months before bottling, and yet his wines are still completely fresh; some whites he describes as even having a tint of green. The Lucien Le Moine 2009s across the board are beautifully pure and focused, with the exquisite harmony of truly great wines.
"The 2009 Gevrey-Chambertin Estournelles St. Jacques sneaks on the palate with gorgeous notes of crushed flowers, mint and red fruits. The mid-palate is taut yet subtle, with plenty of Gevrey personality, giving way to a final blast of textured fruit on the generous close. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029." 91-93 Points Wine Advocate
"A cool red berry and kirsch-like nose also offers up notes of animale and stone that can be found on the elegant, pure and refined middle weight flavors brimming with more minerality on the detailed, understated and linear finish. This moderately austere effort is an exercise in harmony and is text book Estournelles." 91-93 Points Burghound
"Good full red. Perfumed, musky aromas of red berries, spices and mocha; more polite on the nose today than the Lavaux. Then juicy and stylish, with lovely perfume to the slightly jammy raspberry and strawberry fruit flavors. Wonderfully ripe, integrated wine with terrific limestone lift. Finishes very long and harmonious, with fine tannins and lingering perfume." 92-94 Points International Wine Cellar
As Mounir Saouma says, “2007 saw a fresh summer – when we say fresh summer, we mean well-balanced rain and sunny days. There were cool but not cold days, days with some rain and sun, but not exaggerated either way. And you see in the wines there is beautiful acidity, but not as much as 2008, and nice sweetness, but not as much as 2006.”This character of mid-way but not extreme in many areas resulted in wines that took a long time to reveal their nature. “The wines started fruity and the tannins were firm, and slowly we started seeing a kind of melding between sweetness and acidity after the malolactic a year later; we started seeing the real character of the wines after 14 months.This development of the vintage is the reason that 2007 was the latest bottling Lucien Le Moine has ever done, and why they were the last producer in all of Burgundy to bottle. Typically Lucien Le Moine starts bottling in January or February; in 2007 they started in February, but the majority of bottling took place from May to September. Mounir aged all his 2007 wines on their lees, without sulfur, and never racked.Mounir compares 2007 and 2006 a lot; they will both be vintages that are approachable and will last, and their technical numbers are similar, but they are physically and aromatically in completely different worlds. “2006 is more about sweetness and for some people a heavier character; 2007 is more about freshness. We will enjoy 2007, but it doesn’t take anything from the aging.Some general commentaries on the Crus in 2007: for people who love freshness and silkiness, with tannins that melt away, the Vosne-Romanées, Volnays, Chambolle-Musignys, and Morey-Saint-Denis show ethereal balance and almost transparent tannins. For those that think 2007 is a light and easy year, the Gevrey-Chambertins, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Pommards and Cortons will show them depth and power.
Mounir Saouma’s approach to the 2006 vintage differed from many. His growers picked late, allowing the fine September weather to draw out the maturity of the grapes and compensate for a cool, wet August. It was a risk, and not a typical vintage for Mounir, who usually harvests earlier than most, giving him the good acid levels he likes. The reds express the typicity of their terroirs, and will be enjoyable to drink earlier than the 2005’s, but also possess the heft and structure to age nicely.