2017 Auxey-Duresses, Comte Armand, Burgundy
William Kelley - 31/01/2019
About this WINE
Domaine Comte Armand
Owned by the family of the Comte Armand since 1825, Clos des Epeneaux is among Pommard’s most revered vineyards. Post-phylloxera, it wasn’t replanted until 1930. Further vineyards were acquired in ’94: Auxey-Duresses, Auxey-Duresses Premier Cru, Volnay and Volnay’s Frémiets.
The modern era effectively began with Pascal Marchand, who was succeeded as winemaker by Benjamin Leroux. When Ben left in 2014 to focus on his own business, Paul Zinetti took the reins.
A small village in a side valley off the Côte de Beaune, with a slightly cooler local climate making for a more austere style of Burgundy. Nonetheless this can be an excellent source of relatively inexpensive wine in warmer years, or from top producers. At the moment production is about 75:25 red to white. The reds can age well, while the whites can have a most attractive minerality.
- 138 hectares of village Auxey-Duresses
- 32 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (nine in all), the best being Les Duresses
- Recommended producers: Comte Armand (red), Fichet (white)
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Add to wishlist
A lovely bright, luminous colour, this has a very pretty nose and enough weight to balance Auxey’s slightly grainy tannins. With a bigger crop, Paul only had space for eight percent whole-bunch in the tank and the oak component has been kept to 15 percent. Drink 2020-2024.
Paul Zinetti was realistic yet confident in the quality of his 2017s. Such an early harvest, which started in Volnay Frémiets on 3rd September and ended in Auxey on 11th September, provided new challenges which Paul addressed creatively and sympathetically. The wines were fruity and direct but he found that colour and structure were slow to come, so he kept the wine on skins for a week or more after fermentation. There is less whole-bunch this year as the stems weren’t always fully ripe, but his de-stemmer preserves a lot of whole berries anyway. He will bottle all the reds before Christmas without filtration but he will trial some fining to round out the tannins.
wine at a glance
Delivery and quality guarantee