The majority of Les Bonnes-Mares vineyards sit in the Chambolle Musigny village boundary whose wines have a reputation for delicacy. However, Bonnes-Mares wines are described by Clive Coates as having a ‘worsted rather than silk and lace’ texture; ‘full, firm and sturdy, needing its time’ as the ‘tannic power can almost be too much’. If you take these general characteristics and add them to an exceptionally hot year (2003) the result is the wine we tried on Sunday. Domaine Drouhin-Larose own under 2 hectares of this Grand Cru burgundy and this certainly was atypical of the Pinot Noir style.
An intense, almost black colour was circled by a brownish rim, the nose was initially quite menthol (I originally suggested Syrah) but then changed to sweeter, vegetative notes with something of a medicinal quality.
The palate was meaty, savoury rather than fruity, deep and long with firm tannins – more north Rhone than north Burgundy (it must have been hot!). Trying to imagine the stereotypical cherry taste was difficult; this was a big wine in every sense. Beautifully made, however, its richness and generosity of flavour was wonderful to drink. This, I think could last another five years, it would be interesting to try it in 2020. Unfortunately there is no more.
[Richard: I forgot to take a photo of this one. A shame because the wine was atypically dark in the glass. From the no longer offered WS ‘mystery Burgundy’ cases. Purchased in 2009. Not sure of the price but I estimated £44 when received. A very enjoyable drink which would challenge a preconception that all burgundy is light, pale and ethereal. I was reminded of a Pommard we tasted some time ago. Meaty, savoury is right – and I hope there was no Syrah in it.]