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The Case for the Off-vintage Grand Cru


DonRocks
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It's awesome, and makes me wonder how many larger-framed vintages will ever be this balanced at their apogee. Too often, bigger vintages have spikes sticking out of them, whereas this is a perfect sphere, albeit at the lightweight Village- or Premier-Cru level. No, it's not Grand-Cru size, but it's in Grand-Cru balance. Buying great wines in off-years often proves to be a smart decision, not because they're "pretty for what they are," but because, quite honestly, the moment at which they come into balance is MORE balanced than some of their bigger brethren. I wonder how many "great" vintages of this Mugneret Ruchottes will ever be more harmonious than this little 94. With the additional size of a better year comes additional responsibility, and that responsibility is often met with weird stuff: brambly aromas, acids, or other factors sticking out like a thorn and never coming into full harmony and resolution. A great terroir and producer from a lightweight year, is often better then a great terroir and producer in a heavyweight year. The standard response is, "yes, but not in terms of ultimate quality when the wine is fully mature," but my reply to that is, "yes, even in terms of ultimate quality when the wine is fully mature."

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Don Rocks :

Your comment is very interesting : I share roughly the same point of view and my last experience in Beaune where I did discover at Ma Cuisine (a restaurant in the City-Center) some Haut-Brion 62 at 225 euros, I was quite excited : the wine was so good (we were 3) that we order a second bottle.

Really, in difficult years, on a top terroir and with a top producer, you may reach outstanding qualities.

Thanks for your sensible report.

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An interesting point Don but I am afraid this is true only for younger wines.

It is age that seperates the men and the boys

Edited by Andre (log)

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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