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January 17, 2019

New Release – Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux 2017, 6×75, £595, 93-95 Pts & Comte Armand Bourgogne Blanc, 6×75, £90

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Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux is one of the jewels of the Cote d’Or. We are also delighted to offer the Bourgogne Blanc 2017, at just £90 per 6×75, this is one of the best value wines of the vintage. Clos des Epeneaux is the finest vineyard in the village of Pommard, which runs from the border of Beaune, with Volnay on the southside. Comte Armand is the only producer on this hallowed plot making the 5-acre Clos des Epeneaux a monopole. This restricts production to a meagre 1,700 cases a year, making it highly allocated and hard to source. In 2017, this world-famous wine has been awarded 93-95 points from Neal Martin at Vinous Media. This surpasses the score of 92-94 from Vinous in 2016 and equals Neal Martin’s Wine Advocate score for 2016, which trades at around £695 on the market. The score provides ample promise of matching the 94 point scoring 2010, which trades at £650 and the 93+ scoring 2005, which trades at £675. We are pleased to offer the superb 2017 at £595 per case of six, for what is one of the best priced of the finest plots anywhere in the Cote d’Or.

Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux was purchased by Nicolas Marey at the end of the 18th Century, along with the now DRC’s Romanee St.Vivant Marey-Monge. The vineyard is mainly sited in Grand Epenot its famous walls and gate completed in 1805 both to protect it and to highlight this jewel as the finest terroir of the village. Jean-Francois Armand inherited the vineyard as a dowry when he married Nicolas’ daughter in 1826, the Comte Armand family have owned it ever since. The vineyard was replanted in post-phylloxera in 1930 and has built on its vast reputation, all the while being considered as one of the best monopoles and certainly 1er Cru vineyard – it is clear why the family kept this vineyards over all their holdings. It comes as no surprise therefore that many vines are 80+ years old, no younger than 30 years for their finest wine.

The wine, which is always highly prized, has gone through a beautiful evolution. The modern era began with Pascal Marchand as the winemaker, where wines were known for their density, structure, power and complexity. It was in this period it cemented itself as the foremost Pommard. Thereon, Benjamin Leroux took over the helm, introducing the practice of 100% destemming, but not crushed, rather left intact, long maceration and moving new oak to around 30%. He oversaw the adaptation to biodynamic winemaking, becoming certified in 2005. In 2014, Paul Zinetti took the reins, his mission to harness the power and ageability that defines this great wine, yet retaining this composition and delivery in a moderated style, which can be enjoyed younger. 2015 to 2017 have seen some of the highest scores in their history and are among the finest of the vintages, the change therefore has been seen as positive and a further extension of this highly prized wine.

Both Pascal and Benjamin wanted to extend the Domaine outside of Clos des Epeneaux and in 1994 they began acquiring vineyards, under the watchful eye of Vicomte Gabriel Armand. However, on the weight of the brilliance of the white wines in this vintage, we have also selected to release their stunning and incredible value Bourgogne Blanc. This is a remarkable wine that flies under the radar. It heralds from a minuscule 0.41 acre parcel, near Volnay, which was planted in 1958, on stunning clay soils. It is planted with 90% Chardonnay and 10% Muscaté. Amazingly, the small percentage that makes up the Muscaté is selection massale from Oliver Merlin’s Macon des Cras Vielles Vignes. It is produced with the domaine’s artistry, certified organic. It is whole cluster pressed, uses indigenous yeast for the alcoholic fermentation and then goes through malolactic fermentation. It then spends one year in barrel before it is racked and blended in stainless steel tank and bottled. The result is a stunning white burgundy, with plenty of rich exotic fruit, citrus fruit, some smoke, toast and brioche. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, with lovely minerality, crispy acidity and with a harmonious dry and elegant finish. The price makes it unmissable, £90 per case of six. At £15 per bottle this is a perfect white burgundy from a world class producer.  Remarkably they often make little more than two barrels of this a year, barely 100 cases in some vintages.

To buy any of these wines please click here