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Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot 2002
The vineyard is ploughed, with very little fertilizer used. Replanting is only done with material selected from the vineyard and grafted by the Domaine itself. Believing in small crops, Francois insists on very short pruning, always done in the middle of winter. Destalking is not systematic: it depends on the quality of the vintage. There is no need for chaptalization as the harvest is invariably as late as possible for maximum maturity.
Since the age of the vines is not uniform throughout the vineyard, Francois Labet ages the cuvee from the younger vines in 25% new wood. The older cuvee gets 75 to 100% new wood. The oak is from the Nevers forest.
The Clos Vougeot Chateau of de la Tour is a wine of considerable depth and structure, with the unmistakable breed associated with this Grand Cru.
Containing the largest Grand Cru in all of the Côte d’Or, Vougeot, the village, takes its name from the small stream flowing through it, called Vouge. Over three quarters of the village retains Grand Cru status, and a single vineyard at that: Clos de Vougeot (or simply, Clos Vougeot). Its mass—over 50 ha—retains the single name chiefly for historic reasons.
But today, Clos de Vougeot contains over 80 owners and shows significant soil and slope variations within its boundaries. The top, bordering Musigny and Grands Echezeaux, is calcareous and gravelly on oolitic limestone and exhibits wonderful drainage. The middle sections are limestone, gravel and clay with less of a slope. The lower part has little slant and is mostly made of clay. Historically the diverse parcels were blended but today the abundance of owners means that everyone has his own style. Exploring and understanding them is part of the allure of Clos de Vougeot.
In general a fine Clos de Vougeot when young will be dense and dark but juicy, with a pronounced austerity, and needs a good ten years to bring it to its full potential.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.