Les Caves du Palais, Pommard 1er Cru, Les Epenots 1999
Region: Pommard AOC, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France
Grape: 100% Pinot Noir
Price: around 90 euros / $120 for this vintage
We have a problem in my family, a problem which, I think, is fairly common among wine lovers. We buy wine, a lot of it, a lot of every day wine and some special bottles that we swear we’ll keep for a special occasion. Of course, many occasions, more or less special arise, and we do not open the bottles, and we keep buying new wines. And of course, after a few years, our special wines are way past their optimal opening time. You open a bottle and the wine is dead. No mouth to mouth will bring it back to life. I happened to me a few times while I was in Paris and it’s pretty sad…
So, in order to save a bottle or two, on a Monday night, with no special occasion in sight, I went down to the cellar and decided to find a special bottle nearing or possibly just past its peak, and see what it had to say for itself. I found one, a Pommard 1er Cru from 1999. Pommard is in the Côte de Beaune but is known for its red wines. Pommard wines have the reputation of being the “manliest” of Burgundy reds with intense tannins. It seemed like a good idea to see if this manly wine stood the test of time.
Eye: pale ruby
Nose: Clean, medium + intensity, raspberry, strawberry, wet leaves and ferns with woody notes
Palate: Dry, high acidity, medium + body, very structured and present tannins, long finish.
Red fruits aromas with raspberry first and strawberry and fraise des bois close behind. Then the typical Burgundy red sous-bois flavors hit. I call them Fall flavors as they automatically make me think of this season: wet leaves, fern, mushroom,… There were also a lot of woody flavors, tobacco mostly came to mind. The body and intensity were a little disappointing at first, which made me worry that I had found a DOA wine again, but the wine woke up after an hour or so and the aromas nicely expanded. The Pommard trademark tannins were there, definitely more so than on other burgundies and along with the long finish they made this wine something special.
Food pairings: I had it by itself but I think it would be a great cheese wine
Overall opinion: I’m glad I saved it, and I’m glad I gave it time to open up and give its best (the cellar might be a little cold). It was a great wine with complexity and structure that helped it last 25 years. A very special bottle in my opinion.