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The 2008 Wines of Lucien Le Moine

White & Red Burgundy

Lucien Le Moine is a small, actually very tiny, n├ęgociant in Burgundy that purchases and produces in excess of 50 distinct wines from Cru level vineyard parcels spread out across Burgundy.  If tiny does not get the idea across of how small they are, they produce a total of 30,000 bottles of wine (or ONLY 2,500 cases of rare beauty).  LLM creates some of the most sought after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world as they meticulously respect the vines, the grapes and the wines to allow themselves to naturally express their true terroir.  At the most they are able to create 3 barrels of production from one vineyard, but many are also just one barrel, creating scarcity and therefore high prices.  Love and passion run deep in these wines and one could tasted and hear it first hand from proprietor Mounir Saouma.  Mounir is apparently somewhat of a road warrior, traveling a lot to speak about the wines he cares and tends to so well.  Mounir spoke about enjoying a wine over a period of hours, something we do at home as well, allowing to see how the wine changes over the few hours it is opened – basically respecting the wine and allowing it to show its true self.  “WOW” was a word he said to not use in describing his wines, as these wines were to slowly raise their volume as opposed to a huge California Chardonnay that starts out with an immediately loud and fast WOW impact on the palate that gives little complexity and intrigue to the taster.  Though by the looks on many of the faces in the room they had the word “WOW” written all over them as they tasted through the reds and then the whites.  I could not tell if he was joking by saying this, maybe only half so as these were wow wines, but also very complex and thought provoking wines that seemed almost cerebral.  The order of tasting red wines before whites is tradition in Burgundy and other areas of France.  My guess is that the higher acidity in the whites is not as shocking to the palate after first tasting through the rounder and richer red wines.   To me this was one of the better tasting I had been to recently and was a great testament to the care and quality of product that Lucien Le Moine is and will be known for so long as Mounir is at the helm.  The 2008 vintage is a mixed bag requiring expertise and a lot of hard work to achieve a high quality level of wine.  Many days of rain brought rot to the vineyard and the grapes, requiring a strict selection regimen and experienced vinification methods.  

All wines are vintage 2008

Bourgogne Blanc: Lithe and supple aromas of sea air and minerality, fine but good length, crisp pear and granny smith apple, minimally tart acidity

REDS

Morey St. Denis “Clos des Ormes” 1er
Only 2 barrels made
Deep maroon color
Spice, savory red fruits, good perfume
Metallic (iron) taste, orange zest, sour cherry and cranberry, tangy acidity and minerality, silky tannins

Chambolle-Musigny “Charmes” 1er
The vineyard is located in very dry soil on a hillside
Red/burg with purple tones
Deep nose plush with red to more black fruits

Cherry, Plum and savory Black Olives, baking spices
Bright acidity and a tighter structure with more noticeable tannins, shows much elegance

Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix” 1er
Fomr a vineyard with more moist soil and lower on the hillside where more moisture collects
Red/burg with medium red
Sweet and fruity perfume
A softer attack that cleans up with good acidity, plusher fruit, strawberry, plums, a hint of sweet herbs, sappy fruit, long and elegant finish

Bonnes Mares Nord Grand Cru (GC) (North)
Concentrated and balanced, with good depth and plushness
Classic color, grading from deep to lite burgundy
Aromas of tomatoe leaves, red fruits, somewhat savory and meaty aromas and flavors, great length on finish, long tall tannins.

Bonnes Mares Sud GC (South)
A touch lighter burg color
Muted and subtle nose, shy fruit and finishes deeper, olives, it smells like its compacted and not showing much yet, very young.
It gained weight in the glass and was the wine that stayed in it the longest since it was literally going through a mild evolution in the glass.
Bigger tannins but a deeper palate finish, still the palate tasted compact and comlex, showing great promise for ageing.

Meursault “Genevrieres” 1er
Golden straw hue
Popcorn nose initially blew off with sliced green apple, citrus, and a mineral streak in the nose
Great acidity and balance.

The 2007 label, we tasted the 2008 vintage.
Meursault “Perrieres” 1er
Golden color with green flecks
More taught and bright, salinity, lemons with minerality, flowers. Complex texture, nose and palate, all around  very impressionable and complex wine requiring some thought, Almost Chablis like in texture with rounder Beaune attributes.  Possibly the best wine of the night.

Corton Blnac GC
Golden yellow in color
Rich color, nose, and body
A nose of citrus, stone fruit peachy/nectarine, minerality, white flowers
Bigger palate presence, super complex with bolder fuits blending with mineral and acid structure, acidity keeps the largesse in place like a belt.

This was a small break from the Bordeaux notes I am still posting from our trip their in 2010. The next posting will resume with day 2 in Bordeaux in the Pessac-Leognan region of Bordeaux. 

Cheers!
-Tom

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