Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru 2013
Deep ruby in color. These old vines offer dark berry aromas, violets, tobacco and minty notes. 100+ year old vines generates concentrated and rich flavors of dark fruit, plum, cassis and blackberries. This is a muscular yet balanced and well-structured wine that rewards cellar aging.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Produced from vines more than 100 years old in the heart of the Clos de Vougeot vineyard, this is an impressive wine with a long future. The wood aging is already surrounded by ripe, intense black fruits. A fresher character comes from the bright acidity of the vintage, giving the wine a lift. The aftertaste is long and concentrated. Drink from 2024.
Noticeable but not invasive wood and menthol frame a slightly riper array of aromas that are quite similar to those of the regular cuvée. Here too there is outstanding density and power to the even more concentrated broad-shouldered and robust flavors that possess even better depth and persistence on the impeccably well-balanced, saline and palate coating finish. This is presently extremely primary and while it's clear that this offers huge upside development potential it's also clear that plenty of patience will be required.
Perfumed, featuring cherry, rose, sandalwood and green olive notes. Currant, raspberry and spice flavors chime in as this builds to a lingering aftertaste. Shows fine balance and complexity, with finesse. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Tasted blind at Fine & Rare Wines' Clos Vougeot tasting, the 2013 Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Château de la Tour has a rather dour, uninviting, broody nose with a hint of wet tobacco infusing the slightly smudged red fruit. The palate is medium-bodied and much more vigorous: crisp, quite tensile tannin, some nicely judged, vanillary oak that is neatly interwoven with the red and black fruit, gaining intensity towards the lightly spiced finish; here, the cooperage is a little more evident. The palate is far more engaging than the nose, although bottle age should address that. Perversely I preferred the regular bottling to the Vieilles Vignes, but one supposes that will be addressed with bottle age. Won't it?
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”