Francois Lamarche 1er Cru Vosne Romanee “Aux Malconsorts” 2016
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“A domaine that continues to make great strides under the current generation.” The World of Fine Wine, Issue 47
“Lamarche is now a top domaine, with wines which express themselves through their subtlety rather than their power. Since 1999, and more especially since 2005, the quality has been top-notch. This is now a three star domaine.” Clive Coates MW, My Favourite Burgundies
Domaine François Lamarche are sole owners of La Grande Rue, one of the four grand cru monopoles of Vosne-Romanée (La Tâche, La Romanée and La Romanée Conti are the others). In this day and age, great Burgundy Domaines such as this are a rare find – even more exceptional because the vineyard holdings here are almost entirely made up of Grand Cru and Premier Cru parcels in Vosne/Echézeaux. Under the current generation – Nicole and Nathalie Lamarche – quality at this Domaine has skyrocketed and this is now one of the very finest sources of fragrant, supple and richly-fruited Vosne.
It’s safe to say Nicole Lamarche isn’t really concerned about ruffling a few feathers. In the ultra-conservative village of Vosne-Romanée Lamarche’s sense of fashion already has her standing out, and she also isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Perhaps this individuality is one reason Nicole Lamarche has been able to so rapidly lead her family’s Domaine back up the quality hierarchy.
This Domaine has made huge strides over the last decade largely in thanks to the hard work and passion of Nicole Lamarche. Today the quality is where you would expect it to be for a producer with such a brilliant collection of vineyards — outstanding. And it’s only heading north. In fact, the brilliant 2017s are the finest wines we have tasted from the Domaine so far. They are wonderfully perfumed, pure, intense wines that are big on finesse—something that Nicole Lamarche values extremely highly. They will drink well young (a feature of many top 2017s) but equally, they have the stuffing to age. In fact, they have more stuffing and (admittedly very fine) tannins than we’ve seen before. The top wines will live for decades.
Harvest was between the 7th and 14th September, so very classic, and yields were, on average 40hl/ha (also very classic). The dry conditions meant no disease pressure and the fruit came into the cellars in terrific condition—we were in Burgundy for this harvest and saw this ourselves. Thirty per cent whole-bunch was used for all cuvées, bringing pretty florals and tannins. The wines are very, very exciting and signal the continued revival of this storied grower.
Lamarche has four Vosne-Romanée 1er Crus: La Croix Rameau, Aux Malconsorts, Les Suchots and Les Chaumes.
Aux Malconsorts (located south and abuts the mighty La Tâche on the border of Nuits-Saint-Georges) is one of the most esteemed vineyards in Vosne Romanee dating back to 1482. It is also sometimes referred to as Les Malconsorts. Wine Historian, Jean Lavalle in his 1855 Burgundy Classification included Les Malconsorts amongst the finest vineyards in Vosne-Romanne – giving it a “Premiere Cuvee” rating alongside Romanee Saint-Vivant, La Grande Rue now classified as Grand Cru cru and others. This Aux Malconsorts hails from half a hectare planted in 1969.
Rare pedigree here for the cellar.
“The 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts has a more substantial bouquet than the Les Suchots this year, a mixture of black and red fruit (blackberry, crushed strawberry, briary, subtle autumn leafy scents percolating through with time). Like the other cuvées, there is very fine delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition. This feels lithe and harmonious in the mouth, hints of tobacco and smoke filtering through the dark berry fruit and seguing into a spicy finish that leaves the mouth tingling for 45 to 60 second afterward. Excellent. (12/2017)” 93-95 points, Neal Martin for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“This is the first wine to reveal any appreciable wood influence and here it includes menthol and toast though it’s not so prominent as to overshadow the red currant, lavender, Asian-style tea and rose petal scents. As is always the case there is more size, weight and power to the more mineral-driven flavors that exhibit superb intensity that builds from the mid-palate before culminating in a wonderfully persistent finish. This is perhaps not quite as imposingly-scaled as it usually is but I very much like the balance. Again, at least some patience advised. *Outstanding* (1/2018)” 90-93 points Allen Meadows – Burghound
“Fresh deep pink colour. Not touched by the frost: is there just a touch more luxury to the fruit on the nose? Just a wafer but there clearly is more weight on the palate, that feeling of ripe luxuriant fruit, a touch of the sumptuous feel of an Amoureuses, with pure graceful texture and excellent length.” (01/2018) 92-94pts Jasper Morris, M.W.
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