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January 30, 2015

Jean Grivot En Primeur 2013

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Domaine Jean Grivot is one of the very finest domaines in the Cote d’Or, famed for their truly outstanding wines from Vosne Romanee, Nuits St.Georges and Clos Vougeot. The Domaine’s history goes back to the French Revolution, when the Grivot family moved from Jura to the grand village of Vosne Romanee; although the family can trace its origins to Italy. The Grivot family turned its attention to wine-making by the end of the 19th Century led primarily by Gaston Grivot, the grandfather of Etienne Grivot who runs the estate with his wife Marielle today. The vigorous Gaston focused his attention on acquiring leading parcels in the Cote de Nuits, adding to these further through marriage. During this period of procurement he studied oenology at the University of Dijon. He made many advancements including, in 1919, being one of the first estates to bottle in its own winery.

Jean Grivot assumed the reins in 1955 after his father’s death and in 1959 all wines were estate bottled, since which time the Domaine has gained an extraordinary reputation for the quality of its wine and the embodiment of its wonderful terroir. In 1990, Etienne took over from his father, Jean, who is the fifth generation of Grivots to make wine in the village of Vosne Romanee. In fact two generations of Grivots married girls with the same surname!

Etienne completed his formal Oenological studies in Beaune and in California. In 1982 he joined his father and gradually took on greater responsibility. By 1987 he assumed full responsibility over both viti and viniculture. At this time the Domaine was famous for graceful and finessed wines. Etienne focused much of his attention on making the wines more concentrated, by working with the Oenologist Guy Acca in the period between 1987 and 1992. His winemaking dialectic progressed to bring these two styles together triumphing through the late ’90s and since 2000 the wines have been established as some of the very best in Burgundy. Today the winemaking style can be described as a synthesis between classic and modern. The wines have a very personal touch and are some of the most aromatically profound of all producers, with wonderful density.

Nuits St. Georges “Aux Boudots” 1er Cru - 91-93 pts, 6×75 - £500 and 3×150 – £530 EP
While the Domaine straddles three villages, Vosne Romanee, Nuits St Geroges and Vougeot, it is worth remembering that Nuits St. Georges is connected to Vosne at the south end of the village and the Grand Cru Vougeot to the north. As such, Grivot’s superb vineyard Aux (Les) Boudots is located at the northernmost segment of Nuits St. Georges next to the Vosne 1er Cru vineyard Aux Malconsorts. Aux Boudots therefore is the perfect balance between Vosne Romanee and Nuits St. Georges. The vineyard has a wonderful slope, brown limestone topsoil interlaced with rocks and fine gravel, the vine age is remarkable with an average age of 70 years, this is truly phenomenal. Allen Meadows describes Aux Boudots as “the most gifted Premier Cru in Nuits.” Grivot has one of the best plots here, located perfectly in the middle of the vineyard and along with Meo-Camuzet and Domaine Leroy makes one of the truly outstanding wines. Aux Boudots is one of the Domaine’s most prized plots, the wines combine the succulence of Vosne-Romanee with the richness of Nuits St. Georges and in 2013 Burghound has awarded it 91-93 points.

Vosne-Romanee – 88-91 pts, 6×75 - £195 EP
Grivot’s Village level Vosne Romanee is one of the finest on the market and hugely sought after. It is a typical blend of many of their plots in Vosne Romanee, 40% of which comes from Aux Ravioles cited on the Nuits border. This is a must own wine, we have tasted many vintages recently and it is utterly superb at £195 a case of 6×75 bottles. It allows one the opportunity to experience Grivot’s incredible wine-making talent for £32 a bottle. For a Village level wine it receives a super score from Burghound more akin to a 1er Cru, in 2013 it received a superb 88-91 and is so powerful he suggests it will ‘need up to a decade of cellar time to reveal its full potential’, although it can certainly be enjoyed next year.

Vosne-Romanee “Les Beaux Monts” 1er Cru – 91-94 pts, 6×75 - £570 EP
The 1er Cru vineyard Beaux Monts lies above the Grand Cru vineyard Echezeaux. The vineyard has a wonderful elevation of 300 metres and predominates in deep marly soil. These characteristics unite to make a wine that is rich and full, with immense flair, perfume and balanced acidity. Grivot’s is one of the very best wines here, once again along with Domaine Leroy. Grivot’s plot is located very near Echezeaux, in fact there is very little distance between their plots in Echezeaux and Beaux Monts. Burghound adores this wine and Grivot’s incredible wine-making, combined with its proximity to Echezeaux means it receives Grand Cru scores, confirmed in 2013 with 91-94, the joint best with Dujac in this vintage. The wine displays exquisite red fruit and exotic spices, with a velvety roundness and natural balance – it is truly one of the most famous plots for a reason.

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Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru - 92-95 pts, 6×75 – £685 EP
The Grand Cru vineyard Clos Vougeot has over 80 producers and together they make around 7,000 cases. The quality of this large vineyard moves from sublime Grand Cru to wines that are more 1er Cru level. The Clos itself holds a very special place in Burgundy culture, Napoleon even annexed the entire vineyard because he loved it so much. Grivot is one of the best producers here, again confirmed with the 92-95 score in 2013. The plot was acquired by Gaston in 1919 and the vines have an average age of 40 years. Yields are low and the quality is very high. The wine is fervently sought after for its richness, finesse, intense flavours of smoky game, herbs, liquorice and incredible bouquet. In 2013 its score puts it up there with Ponsot Vieille Vignes as one of the wines of the vintage, besting Meo-Caumuzet, Anne Gros, Lamarche and Arnoux Lachaux – this is an outstanding purchase.
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Jean Grivot is one of the favourite wines of our Chairman Val Brown. He brought us a bottle of Village level 1978 Vosne Romanee to try years ago. It was remarkable to taste a Village wine at this age, which frankly was out of this world and speaks of the undeniable fact that Grivot is one of the greatest winemakers in the world. We have a bottle of Grivot Beaux Monts 1990 waiting for a special occasion, the wines provide truly memorable experiences. Very little is made, it is hard to source and the wines rise in price quickly, as such it offers superb investment value.

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