Below is the complete article from BURGHOUHD.COM ISSUE 26 (2nd Quarter 2007) evaluating our wines.

  • 2005 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru red (94-97)
  • 2005 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru red (93-95)
  • 2005 Chambolle-Musigny “Amoureuses” 1er red 93
  • 2005 Chambolle-Musigny “Charmes” 1er red 92
  • 2005 Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2005 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru red (93-95)
  • 2005 Clos St. Denis Grand Cru red (93-96)
  • 2005 Echézeaux Grand Cru red (92-94)
  • 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers” 1er red 92
  • 2005 Grands-Echézeaux Grand Cru red (93-95)
  • 2005 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru red (94-96)
  • 2005 Nuits St. Georges “Les Cailles” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2005 Nuits St. Georges “Vaucrains” 1er red (91-94)
  • 2005 Pommard “Epenots” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2005 Pommard “Les Grands Epenots” 1er red (92-94)
  • 2005 Richebourg Grand Cru red (94-97)
  • 2005 Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru red (92-95?)
  • 2005 Volnay “Caillerets” 1er red 92
  • 2005 Vosne-Romanée “Malconsorts” 1er red (92-95)
  • 2005 Vosne-Romanée “Suchots” 1er red (91-94)

Mounir Saouma and his partner Rotem Brakin established their two-person micro-négoce in 1999. They describe the 2005 vintage as a “small harvest that gave very concentrated raw materials. Across our growers, the crop was very clean with around 13.5% potential alcohol and very ripe phenolics. The extractions came easy which is good because the fermentations were relatively fast so I tried to slow things down by having very long malos. The tannins are not only ripe but quite dense and I stirred the lees between January and May and I believe that it really helped because the tannins really needed the lees, which were super clean and maybe the best and finest I have ever seen, to help round them out and refine them. The 2005s are wines that will be capable of aging for decades. Moreover, none of the wines have ever been racked and we never pumped any of them even once plus they will be bottled without fining or filtration. I want to point out to your readers that because our cellars are very cold with naturally long malos and we treat them with the gentlest handling possible that our wines always have some residual CO2 in them and thus they should be decanted.” I asked the Le Moine team about pricing and Saouma was quick to respond saying that “for our size, we really stretched in 2005 and between both colors we’ll put out about 50 1ers and grands crus. The reason that I say stretched is that the raw materials cost us between 30 and 40% more though we only raised prices between 10 and 15% and in some cases zero. It’s also the first price hikes that we have made since 1999.” In Saouma’s view, the wines of Pommard and Vosne were the stars in 2005. Overall, this is a very impressive set of wines and since I have been following the Le Moine wines, 2005 is the best I’ve yet seen. I should point out that because of the lees stirring that the mouth feel of these wines is distinctly different plus the style runs to being very suave and round. As readers know I am a stylistic agnostic in terms of qualitative ratings and I can tell you that the underlying material here in 2005 is superb. That said, if you are not familiar with the Le Moine style, I suggest trying a bottle or two first to see if it appeals to you.

2005 Volnay “Caillerets”: This is very ripe with aromas of blue fruits, violets and obvious spice notes that continue onto the suave, round and very rich medium full flavors that coat and stain the palate on the wonderfully long finish. This offers excellent volume and concentration and the structural elements are obviously ripe but balanced. 92/2013+

2005 Pommard “Epenots”: (from Petits Epenots). This too is notably ripe yet quite fresh with an earthy blend of dark berry fruit aromas and hints of underbrush that can also be found on the delicious, intense and very rich full-bodied flavors that somehow manage to retain a fine sense of detail and precision on the mouth coating finish. A terrific effort. (91-93)/2013+

2005 Pommard “Les Grands Epenots”: A background touch of wood spice frames slightly more elegant and less obviously ripe aromas of earthy black pinot fruit that complements the finer and equally well detailed big-bodied flavors that display wonderful purity, excellent depth and flat out superb depth. An impressive effort. (92-94)/2013+

2005 Nuits St. Georges “Vaucrains”: The very late malo shows here as the nose is quite reduced and it’s impossible to discern much other than the aromas are clearly ripe. The big-boned flavors however are fresh, intense, sweet and fleshy with plenty of dry extract conferring a textured and sappy mouth feel to the vibrant but backward finish. This is a firmly structured and well-muscled wine that appears to possess outstanding cellar potential. (91-94)/2015+

2005 Nuits St. Georges “Les Cailles”: Moderate wood spice adds nuance to the ripe, pure and mostly black pinot fruit aromas that flow effortlessly into rich, generous and refined middle weight plus flavors that are textured, sweet and sappy, all wrapped in a wonderfully long finish. As one would expect, this is not as big and powerful as the Vaucrains and while it is more elegant, it can’t quite match the sheer depth of extract of its Nuits partner. (91-93)/2013+

2005 Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers”: Somewhat paradoxically, here the nose is even more elegant, high-toned and refined, offering gorgeously pure, spicy and dense black fruit aromas where the spice continues onto the stylish, detailed and unusually mineral-infused flavors that stain and coat the palate with extract. An impressive and harmonious effort. 92/2015+

2005 Chambolle-Musigny “Charmes”: A very Chambolle nose of ripe, high-toned and airy red berry fruit aromas nuanced by spice and earth hints dissolves into sweet, intense, precise and focused flavors that are generous on the mid-palate but tighten up quickly on the firm finish where the extract renders the tannins almost invisible. This is a relatively big Charmes and built to age though again, there is so much extract that it will be approachable young too. 92/2013+

2005 Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix”: Here the aromas are riper still with wood spice and crushed black berries dominating the expressive nose. The rich, warm and mouth coating flavors are textured and supple though like the Charmes, they tighten up on the moderately structured finish. This is clearly a solid effort but it’s not in the same league. (89-92)/2013+

2005 Chambolle-Musigny “Amoureuses”: In contrast to the wonderfully expressive noses of the prior few wines, the Amoureuses is almost discreet and backward though aggressive swirling coaxes pretty and spicy aromas of red berry and pinot fruit. The flavor profile however is rich, full, intense and sweet with a beguiling mid-palate tenderness that also quickly firms up on the hugely long and concentrated finish. This is a wine of obvious class and refinement that will require at least a decade in the cellar to really be at its best. 93/2015+

2005 Vosne-Romanée “Suchots”: A potent mix of wood spice, Vosne spice and pain grillé introduces rich, full, sweet and sleekly muscled flavors that are impressively scaled and powerful on the dusty, ripe and stunningly long finish. This really stains the palate and the intensity is almost painful yet there is impeccable balance. One to cellar. (91-94)/2015+

2005 Vosne-Romanée “Malconsorts”: This too finished its malo late and was quite reduced aromatically but the sturdy and powerful big-bodied flavors are also impressively scaled with serious size, weight and richness with the robust character of a classic Malconsorts yet this remains harmonious, long and beautifully balanced. A real stunner of a wine. (92-95)/2017+

2005 Clos St. Denis: (from 90 year old vines). Mild reduction cannot completely hide the spicy black fruit nose and there is none at all to be found on the stylish, pure, refined and sophisticated flavors that are sturdy and powerful, culminating in a detailed, classy and penetrating finish that seems to go on and on without end. This too exudes an underlying and exceptionally appealing harmony of expression. (93-96)/2015+

2005 Clos de la Roche: A densely fruited nose of ripe and distinctly earthy crushed red berry fruit aromas leads to delicious, rich and full-bodied flavors that are supple and sweet with ample extract and palate coating sap on the gorgeously long finish. While this is certainly a most admirable and distinctly imposing wine, it can’t quite match the Clos St. Denis’ sheer density of material and harmony of expression yet it’s even bigger and more powerful. (93-95)/2017+

2005 Echézeaux: This is perhaps the ripest nose to this point with subtle notes of mocha, spice and roasted coffee adding nuance to the black berry fruit nose that gives way to rich, full and slightly sauvage and mouth coating flavors that are exceptionally deep, concentrated and persistent. This is a big wine that is not quite as complex as the Clos de la Roche but just as big and well-muscled. (92-94)/2015+

2005 Grands-Echézeaux: A deft touch of wood spice frames notably more elegant and less obviously ripe aromas that include notes of earth, game, smoke, hoisin and violets where this floral component can also be found on the rich, refined and exceptionally pure flavors that are classy and detailed if perhaps a bit less concentrated on the harmonious and impeccably balanced finish. The intrinsic class of a fine Grands Ech is on display here. (93-95)/2015+

2005 Mazis-Chambertin: (from Mazis-Haut). An explosive nose of red berry pinot fruit of fantastic breadth and depth features the ripe and classic sauvage and animale character that continues onto the wonderfully intense, driving and energetic big-bodied flavors that retain a beautiful sense of delineation on the layered, sweet and mouth coating finish. This is a big but balanced wine that carries the weight and power with effortless grace. (94-96)/2017+

2005 Bonnes Mares: Prominent wood spice mixes with ripe black berry and violet infused aromas that marry into the rich, sweet and intensely sappy and mouth coating full-bodied flavors supported by outstanding power, depth and structure. This is quite marked by its wood at present though there is so much sheer extract that there is little doubt that it will be up to the task of successfully absorbing the oak. Moreover, this is such a big wine that it will age for decades and will need at least 15 years to really come into its own. (94-97)/2020+

2005 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze: A naturally spicy and beautifully elegant nose puts on parade nose of red pinot fruit, earth, underbrush, leather and an interesting wet stone component that complements the obvious minerality of the pure, rich, refined and detailed big-boned flavors that are supported by a firm tannic spine and simply huge length. This is a big wine if not quite as massive as the Bonnes Mares and offers superb cellar potential. (93-95)/2017+

2005 Romanée St. Vivant: Fairly strong reduction blocks the nose though glimpses of ripe black fruit and the natural spice of a classic RSV peek through and continue onto the rich, full and intense flavors that culminate in a dusty, focused and linear finish that ends a bit abruptly. This would appear to have outstanding underlying material but it was quite awkward and frankly difficult to judge and my score mixes a bit of reservation with the benefit of the doubt, given how impressive so many other wines in the range are. (92-95?)/2020+

2005 Richebourg: This is a seriously impressive wine from the fantastically densely fruited and spicy black fruit nose to the explosive, rich, full, deep and graceful robust and powerful flavors that are supported by buried and ripe tannins as well as the hugely long finish. A complete effort that will require long-term patience for it to arrive at its full majority. (94-97)/2020+