Back on the road headed to Domaine Debray, a young winery (first vineyard purchased in 2006) that produces bottlings from around 25 different crus. We would soon taste them all. The team of owner, Yvonnick Debray and his oenologist, Jean-Philippe Terreau, have quickly established a prolific range of high-quality wines that will be hard to overlook in the coming years.
This was an intensive tasting inclusive of five 2012 barrel samples and 20 bottle tastings from the 2010 and 2011 vintages. There was about a 60:40 ratio of red to white tasted. The thing that stood out most with this tasting was the precise detail of the entire experience and the intense professionalism of the two gentlemen. These are men committed to creating the best wines possible via exacting methods in the vineyard (sustainable practices, establishing vine-strain, ensuring small yields) through harvest and in the cellar (destemming, gentle pressing, meticulous temperature control, natural fermentation, etc.). The same behaviors were reflected in the nearly ritualistic nature of the tasting.
It would be foolish and daunting (and nigh-unreadable) for me to post all of my tasting notes here. Suffice it to say that my overarching comment on the wines when asked about possible favorites as we neared the end of the tasting was, “…difficult as it’s all just varying degrees of very good…”. I think that sums it up. There is not one wine in this visit that I would not personally buy or not enjoy drinking. There were, however, highlights:
- 2011 Savigny les Beaune (tropical,spicy/toasty)
- 2011 Meursault 1er Cru LesBoucheres (fleshy baked red apple, cinnamon, mineral)
- 2011 Corton Charlemagne (fruit blossom melange, silken mouthfeel, marshmallow finish)
- 2012 Pommard 1er Cru Les Chaponniéres (mossy/earthy cherry nose, powerful, high-toned, high-extract)
- 2011 Bourgogne Rouge (modern, sagey, ripe and bright, great value)
- 2011 Mercurey 1er Cru Sazenay (cherry lozenge, sage, toasted marshmallow, cardamom, lavender)
- 2011 Aloxe Corton 1er Cru Les Velozieres (black cherry, vanilla, full and rich)
- 2011 Corton Grand Cru (old-school, black cherry, sanguine, high-toned)
- 2011 Vosne Romanée Les Barreaux (intoxicating cinnamon/clove nose, über-ripe cherry, baking spice, chewy texture)
- and the utterly ridiculous 2011 Clos de Vouget Grand Cru (dark and dense, silken, mixed herbs on front with red cherry bringing up the rear, impeccably structured: ripe fruit, sloping acid, velvety tannins)
This is a winery to watch.