Maison Lucien Le Moine (Beaune)

  • 2006 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru red (92-94)
  • 2006 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru red (92-94)
  • 2006 Chambolle-Musigny “Amoureuses” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2006 Chambolle-Musigny “Charmes” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2006 Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2006 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru red 91
  • 2006 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru red 92
  • 2006 Clos St. Denis Grand Cru red 92
  • 2006 Echézeaux Grand Cru red 93
  • 2006 Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers” 1er red 89
  • 2006 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru red (90-93)
  • 2006 Nuits St. Georges “Les St. Georges” 1er red (89-91)
  • 2006 Nuits St. Georges “Vaucrains” 1er red (88-91)
  • 2006 Pommard “Epenots” 1er red (87-89)
  • 2006 Pommard “Les Grands Epenots” 1er red (87-90)
  • 2006 Richebourg Grand Cru red (91-94)
  • 2006 Volnay “Caillerets” 1er red 89
  • 2006 Vosne-Romanée “Malconsorts” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2006 Vosne-Romanée “Suchots” 1er red (90-92)

Mounir and Rotem Saouma established their two-person micro-négoce in 1999. They describe the 2006 vintage as a “vintage of great pleasure. The reds are very fruity and should drink well relatively early though the balance is such that they will be capable of aging well. As to the growing season, you had to pick late because August was so cool, wet and overcast that the grapes just didn’t have the necessarily phenolic ripeness they needed. Thankfully September was so fine that growers who were willing to take a little risk could in fact wait. Those that did, like our growers, gave us really fine raw materials and as long as you didn’t push the extraction too much, you could make some really, really lovely wines, especially in the Côte de Nuits.

Indeed, a few of our ‘06s are every bit as good as our ‘05s. But it was a delicate balancing act as the press wine in many cases was extremely tannic and thus one needed to be very judicious about adding very much. We mostly used the press wine simply to top up our lots. We found the development of the ‘06s to be very interesting as you really couldn’t see the potential of the vintage until the malos finished, and because they were extended in many cellars, and certainly ours given how cold it is, I think that explains why there was less buzz early on for the ‘06s.” Team Saouma also told me with considerable pride that for the first time since they began their production hit 100 barrels, divided 60/40 in favor of the reds. Note further that I also tasted what appeared to a very promising Clos de Vougeot but as more than 40% of the malo remained unfinished at the time of my February visit, it is not rated here. I should point out though that Saouma is so high on the wine that he intends to bottle the bulk of it in magnum. As I have commented in the past, the Le Moine wines have a distinct house style which is partially explained by the fact that the lees are stirred with the reds, which gives the wines a certain suave and round mouth feel. Moreover, the wines always have some residual CO2 in them and thus they should be decanted.

2006 Volnay “Caillerets”: A gorgeous and seductive nose of very fresh red pinot fruit that is layered, airy and pure while complementing the light to barely medium weight, delicate and detailed flavors brimming with an underlying minerality and fine finishing intensity. This is a really lovely effort that is on the understated side in this range. 89/2012+

2006 Pommard “Epenots”: (from Petits Epenots). An appealing nose of red and blue pinot fruit laced with violet and rose petal notes leads to relatively concentrated and solidly complex flavors that possess a round and quite supple mid-palate supported by good underlying tension and fine length though there is a noticeable, if slight, finishing edge. (87-89)/2012+

2006 Pommard “Les Grands Epenots”: Here the nose is more reserved though equally attractive with a similar if slightly earthier nose that merges into dense, rich and serious medium plus-bodied flavors that possess slightly better phenolic maturity of the structural elements and I like the nicely intense and persistent finish. In short, a touch better. (87-90)/2012+

2006 Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers”: Generous and borderline intrusive wood frames a fresh and distinctly fruity red berry nose that introduces round and rich flavors that the wood noticeably sweetens as well as rounds off the finish though not enough where it loses focus. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the wood compromises the balance of this wine but it’s enough where stylistically it’s not for me. 89/2013+

2006 Nuits St. Georges “Vaucrains”: More discreet if not invisible wood sets off aromas of dark berry fruit, earth and a distinct gaminess that is also reflected by the rich, full but supple flavors underpinned by dusty and firm tannins plus very good length. This is a “civilized” Vaucrains and not nearly as robust and formidable as in a more typical vintage. (88-91)/2013+

2006 Nuits St. Georges “Les St. Georges”: Fairly strong reduction makes the nose difficult to read but the rich, full and serious flavors possess a supple and textured mouth feel along with a sappy, dusty and detailed finish that displays more minerality than I usually find in this cru. A lovely if not truly distinguished effort that is worth a look. (89-91)/2013+

2006 Chambolle-Musigny “Charmes”: Well-integrated wood allows the subtly spiced red berry fruit nose to express itself clearly, which is followed by round, generous and relatively easy flavors supported by soft and round tannins, all wrapped in a balanced, intense and persistent finish. This is very Chambolle in style and character. (89-92)/2013+

2006 Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix”: This too displays well-integrated wood that does not diminish the at once spicier yet earthier red and blue pinot fruit aromas that are in perfect keeping with the soft, round and again, very Chambolle mediumbodied flavors that are textured, forward and generous but finish with verve and a tangy minerality. A choice. (89-92)/2012+

2006 Chambolle-Musigny “Amoureuses”: A spicy, pure and classy nose features hints of anise, clove, red and blue pinot fruit and dried violet notes that merge into very rich, soft and round flavors that possess a sappy mid-palate that buffers the underlying tannins on the detailed, persistent and stylish finish. I like the impressive depth here. (91-93)/2013+

2006 Vosne-Romanée “Suchots”: A very spicy, and very Vosne, nose is trimmed in discreet oak where a touch of crushed herb surfaces though it does not continue onto the rich, soft and quite forward medium full flavors that culminate in a firm and dusty finish. This is really quite seductive and is blessed with excellent length. (90-92)/2013+

2006 Vosne-Romanée “Malconsorts”: This evidences a highly expressive nose that also is highly spiced and notably pure with an almost airy quality to it, which is relatively rare for the generally more masculine character that is Malconsorts. However, in keeping with a more classically styled example, the powerful and sleekly muscled flavors are both bigger and richer, all wrapped in a solidly firm and driving finish supported by prominent but not rustic tannins. Impressive. (91-93)/2014+

2006 Clos St. Denis: (from 90+ year old vines). A relatively high-toned nose featuring notes of red berries, particularly currant and cranberry, is nuanced by spice, wood and earth undertones precedes round, rich and admirably full-bodied flavors that possess good depth and length on the lingering finish that combines both finesse and power. 92/2014+

2006 Clos de la Roche: A more deeply pitched nose of red and dark berry fruit liberally laced with ample amounts of earth, game, smoke and underbrush, all of which are picked up by the rich, full and powerful flavors that possess plenty of dry extract that both coats and stains the palate on the admirably long finish. This is bigger and more powerful than the Clos St. Denis but also less elegant. A qualitative choice though the respective personalities of these two wines are quite different. 92/2014+

2006 Echézeaux: Here the wood plays on the edge of fighting for center stage with the strikingly, indeed exuberantly spicy nose that mixes red, blue and black berry fruit notes plus warm earth hints that continue onto the rich, full and serious medium weight flavors blessed with impressive amounts of dry extract and terrific length. As I noted in Issue 29, Echézeaux was blessed in 2006 and this is just one more outstanding example. 93/2014+

2006 Charmes-Chambertin: (from both Charmes proper and Mayzoyères). Unobtrusive wood surrounds the fresh, airy and layered red berry fruit nose that evidences notes of Gevrey style earth with hints of underbrush and a sauvage note that can also be found on the relatively elegant and notably pure flavors that are rich, pure and sweet, all wrapped in a solidly powerful finish. This doesn’t have the depth of the best in the range but it’s lovely in its own right. 91/2014+

2006 Mazis-Chambertin: (from both Mazis-Haut and Bas). A highly complex nose deftly blends surprisingly high-toned cranberry and raspberry aromas that also evidence a distinct animale note and this superior complexity also characterizes the deep, rich and moderately concentrated medium full-bodied flavors that possess fine finishing detail and real verve on the persistent finale. This is youthfully awkward at present but the potential is clearly here. (90-93)/2013+

2006 Bonnes Mares: A very densely fruited nose that possesses seemingly one layer after another of both red and blue fruit aromas, earth hints and a discreet note of minerality that is picked up by the rich, full, sweet and sappy flavors and I really like the mouth feel here as there is a textured quality to the explosive finish. The mid-palate concentration is such that the firm tannins seem buried and if not invisible, then less prominent than they will be in time. Terrific. (92-94)/2014+

2006 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze: Here the nose is unusually fruity for a young Bèze with plenty of the classic spice, underbrush, Gevrey earth and the usual sauvage hint that complements perfectly the detailed, pure and firmly mineral-infused big-bodied flavors that possess a taut muscularity on the hugely complex and almost painfully intense finish. This is a deep wine and the underlying material is most impressive. (92-94)/2014+

2006 Richebourg: Somewhat unusually for Richebourg the aromatic spectrum runs almost completely to high-toned red fruit liberally sprinkled with plenty of Vosne spice, hoisin and soy notes that extend to the rich, sweet, full and detailed flavors that possess ample depth and fine balance with a slightly sweet finish that may originate with the oak treatment. (91-94)/2017+