• 2004 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru – red (91-94)
  • 2004 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru – red (92-94)
  • 2004 Chambolle-Musigny « Amoureuses » 1er – red (89-91)
  • 2004 Chambolle-Musigny « Charmes » 1er – red 91
  • 2004 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru – red (90-92)
  • 2004 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru – red 92
  • 2004 Clos St. Denis Grand Cru – red (91-93)
  • 2004 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru – red (91-94)
  • 2004 Gevrey-Chambertin « Lavaut St. Jacques » 1er – red (89-92)
  • 2004 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru – red (91-93)
  • 2004 Nuits St. Georges « Vaucrains » 1er – red (88-91)
  • 2004 Pommard « Epenots » 1er – red (87-90)
  • 2004 Richebourg Grand Cru – red (92-95)
  • 2004 Volnay « Clos des Chênes » 1er – red (87-89)
  • 2004 Vosne-Romanée « Suchots » 1er – red (88-90)

Mounir Saouma and his partner Rotem Brakin established their two-person micro-négoce in 1999. They describe the 2004 vintage as having created wines that are for “fans of finesse and those who love classically styled vintages with superb transparency of terroir. In some senses, the ‘04s were very tricky as the growing season was difficult as well as cool which resulted in a very light levels of malic acid, which understandably took a long time for the wines to digest. It was interesting to watch the wines develop and evolve and it’s amazing how much weight and mid-palate fat they have put on during the course of the élevage.” As I noted in Issue 18, the team likes to work with high levels of CO2, even with the reds so I would suggest decanting the wines 20 to 30 minutes in advance if you’re going to try them young. The cellar is extremely cold and it wasn’t easy to evaluate some of these samples as there was reduction and gas in quite a few. Moreover, several wines had been bottled less than one week before my late February visit.

2004 Volnay “Clos des Chênes: Noticeable wood frames high-toned and nicely complex red pinot fruit that is followed by rich, full and slightly toasty middle weight flavors that are delicious and really quite forward yet display excellent length. While this could almost be drunk now, there is ample material that will benefit from a few years in bottle first. (87-89)/2010+

2004 Pommard “Epenots”: (from Petits Epenots). A hint of reduction and more subtle wood notes highlight earthy red berry fruit aromas and rich, full-bodied and robust flavors underpinned by more obvious structure yet the tannins are quite fine on the solidly long finish. (87-90)/2011+

2004 Nuits St. Georges “Vaucrains”: Here the wood is decidedly more pronounced with ample wood spice and toast influence that presently dominates the dark pinot fruit aromas and continues onto the delicious, rich, full and muscular flavors that coat the palate, particularly on the firmly tannic finish. There appears to be enough underlying material to successfully integrate the wood though this will probably always carry some trace of it. (88-91)/2012+

2004 Gevrey-Chambertin “Lavaut St. Jacques”: An expressive nose featuring very pretty red pinot fruit, minerals, earth and iron plus generous wood spice combines with delicious, punchy and precise flavors that are textured, long and classy. This is lovely and while the wood is not subtle, it again should integrate with time in bottle. (89-92)/2011+

2004 Chambolle-Musigny “Charmes”: (bottled two days before my visit). A pungent yet ultra elegant nose of very pure red pinot fruit and subtle but noticeable wood spice merges into very rich and distinctly sweet flavors that offer impressive midpalate fat and plenty of volume yet retain a first class sense of finesse and restraint on the long backend. I particularly like the dry extract here as it gives the flavors a textured mouth feel. 91/2009+

2004 Chambolle-Musigny “Amoureuses”: Here there is less obvious wood with wonderfully spicy black berry and pinot fruit notes fading into soft, round, sweet and pure flavors that are textured, long and classy. Like the Charmes, this is a wine of obvious finesse with really lovely finishing detail and a long, lingering backend. (89-91)/2011+

2004 Vosne-Romanée “Suchots”: Wood toast and fairly strong reduction make the nose difficult to read at present though the racy, precise and punchy flavors evidence ample Vosne spice and plenty of vibrancy. This finishes dry and firm with good freshness. (88-90)/2011+

2004 Clos St. Denis: (from 90 year old vines). A slight touch of reduction cannot hide the wonderfully spicy, complex, layered and earthy aromas that complement perfectly the very rich, full and notably ripe flavors that culminate in a velvety, sweet and palate drenching finish. This is a very concentrated wine by the standards of the vintage and the old vine intensity, concentration and depth are seriously impressive. Lovely. (91-93)/2012+

2004 Clos de la Roche: There is a subtle note of reduction though again, it cannot block the wonderfully pure, elegant and expressive aromas of earth, leather, tea, spice and dark berry fruit aromas that introduce the slightly softer and exceptionally rich medium full flavors that are sweet, palate staining and wonderfully long. The tannins are firm and dusty though buried in the powerful yet stylish finish. An impressive effort by any standard. Decant first. 92/2012+

2004 Charmes-Chambertin: (from Charmes proper). A completely different nose with more emphasis on ripe and warm Gevrey earth, underbrush and higher-toned red pinot fruits blend into rich, full, sweet and exceptionally fresh and precise flavors that are generous yet admirably detailed and more minerally than one typically finds in a classic Charmes. This finishes with a racy and altogether harmonious backend if not the sheer depth of the Clos St. Denis. (90-92)/2011+

2004 Mazis-Chambertin: (from Mazis-Haut). The barest hint of reduction detracts only marginally from the spicy nose of underbrush, earth and a touch of the sauvage which continues onto the intense, robust, powerful and textured flavors that display at once both precise yet a velvety quality which expands on the wonderfully long finish. This is a ripe ’04 as there are notes of mocha and of toasty oak on the sweet backend. (91-93)/2011+

2004 Clos de Vougeot: A relatively expressive nose for a young Clos de Vougeot combines wood spice, earth, iron and a hint of game as well as precise, fresh and intense flavors that culminate in a the classic youthful austerity that characterizes this appellation. There is huge depth of material here and this is one stunning effort with an explosive finish that seems to go on and on. One of the very best examples from this vineyard in 2004. (91-94)/2012+

2004 Bonnes Mares: A superbly elegant and pure nose featuring dark pinot fruit and violet aromas of terrific complexity precede precise and almost racy flavors of exceptional freshness and vigor that explode on the hugely long finish. This is a gorgeous combination of style and grace yet with the barely concealed muscle and power of a fine Bonnes Mares. This will be accessible early yet the balance is so good that it should age well too. (91-94)/2012+

2004 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze: A spicy, bright and pure nose of crushed wild berries and there is a distinctly animale component that adds nuance to the earthy and gamy flavors that are concentrated, harmonious, deep and wonderfully intense with a powerful and mouth coating finish. This is a big wine for the vintage with a robust and muscular character that manages to remain refined and indeed, even elegant. This will require time as it’s quite firmly structured. (92-94)/2014+

2004 Richebourg: A relatively reserved nose of spicy black cherry fruit with hints of musk and anise framed by discreet hints of wood highlight intense, ultra pure and very classy flavors that offer extraordinary depth and a fresh, vibrant and perfectly balanced finish. This too is very firmly structured yet the tannins are fine and while this will require time, it should be at its best in 10 to 12 years. A most impressive effort. (92-95)/2014+