• 2017 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru red (89-92)
  • 2017 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru red (90-93)
  • 2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Amoureuses” 1er red (91-94)
  • 2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Baudes” 1er red (90-93)
  • 2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes” 1er red (90-93)
  • 2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Sentiers” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2017 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru red (89-92)
  • 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet “Morgeot” 1er red (89-91)
  • 2017 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru red (88-91)
  • 2017 Clos St. Denis Grand Cru red NR
  • 2017 Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru red (88-91)
  • 2017 Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru red (90-93)
  • 2017 Corton-Renardes Grand Cru red (88-90)
  • 2017 Echézeaux Grand Cru red (89-92)
  • 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers” 1er red (90-93)
  • 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Champeaux” 1er red (89-91)
  • 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Aux Combottes” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Lavaut St. Jacques” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2017 Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru red (91-93)
  • 2017 Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru red (91-93)
  • 2017 Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru red (91-93)
  • 2017 Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru red (91-94)
  • 2017 Morey St. Denis “Les Chaffots” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2017 Musigny Grand Cru red (91-94)
  • 2017 Nuits St. Georges “Les Cailles” 1er red (89-91)
  • 2017 Nuits St. Georges “Les St.-Georges” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2017 Nuits St. Georges “Les Vaucrains” 1er red (91-93)
  • 2017 Pommard “Les Epenots” 1er red (90-92)
  • 2017 Pommard “Les Grands Epenots” 1er red (90-93)
  • 2017 Pommard “Les Rugiens” 1er red (88-91)
  • 2017 Richebourg Grand Cru red (90-93?)
  • 2017 Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru red (90-93)
  • 2017 Volnay “Les Caillerets” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2017 Volnay “Clos des Chênes” 1er red (88-91)
  • 2017 Volnay “Pitures Dessus” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2017 Vosne-Romanée “Beaux Monts” 1er red (89-92)
  • 2017 Vosne-Romanée “Les Gaudichots” 1er red (90-93)
  • 2017 Vosne-Romanée “Les Malconsorts” 1er red (91-94)
  • 2017 Vosne-Romanée “Petits Monts” 1er red (90-92)
  • 2017 Vosne-Romanée “Les Suchots” 1er red (91-93)

Mounir and Rotem Saouma established their two-person micro-négoce in 1999 that focuses exclusively on the very best 1ers and grands crus in both red and white.

As is often the case at this address, at the time of my February visit the wines had been neither racked nor sulfured and as such some were noticeably reduced. I appreciate that this makes for boring tasting notes when reduction is constantly being cited as suppressing the fruit but if that is what I find then it is incumbent upon me to say so. I underscore that reduction in cask does not necessarily mean that the wine will be reduced in bottle so you shouldn’t be unduly concerned by this.

In terms of enjoying the Le Moine wines, one point that bears mentioning is that the wines always have noticeable CO2 and thus they should absolutely be decanted. With respect to the 2017 vintage, Mounir told me that “for me, 2017 is the opposite of 2016 in the sense that it was necessary to tame 2016 whereas with 2017, we had to help construct it because it’s not naturally dense. So I left them in cask completely untouched and it’s really remarkable how much they have improved, fleshed out and become more complete wines.

I would put the 2017 reds in the same family with such vintages as 2014, 2011, 2007 and 2001.” My sense at this early stage is that these 2017s can’t quite match the excellent Le Moine 2016s but the difference isn’t that great among the best wines though it is more apparent among the less successful ones.
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet “Morgeot”: A fresh and earthy nose offers up pepper-inflected red and dark berry aromas. The succulent and fleshy medium-bodied flavors possess solid concentration while delivering very good length and depth on the mildly warm finale. This should drink well young and reward mid-term cellaring as well. (89-91)/2024+

2017 Pommard “Les Epenots”: (from Petits Epenots). A more elegant and slightly fresher nose features the essence of red currant and newly turned earth along with a pretty spice element. The sleek and delicious medium weight flavors are shaped by slightly more refined tannins that are a bit firmer as well on the nicely persistent finish. This too should drink well after only a few years while repaying up to a decade of cellaring. (90-92)/2025+

2017 Pommard “Les Grands Epenots”: Here the pretty nose is fresher still with its layered mix of red and dark raspberry scents that are cut with plenty of earth influence. The rich and caressing but attractively punchy middle weight flavors possess evident power on the dusty and youthfully austere finish. This is less likely to be approachable young so at least some patience is advised. (90-93)/2027+

2017 Pommard “Les Rugiens”: (from both Haut et Bas). A high-toned and distinctly cool nose exhibits notes of red currant, raspberry, lavender and violet. The barely middle weight flavors are not especially dense but they are refined thanks to the fine but dense tannins supporting the dusty if slightly bitter finish. Note that my projected range assumes the bitterness will dissipate over a few years of bottle aging. (88-91)/2027+

2017 Volnay “Clos des Chênes”: Moderate reduction suppresses the underlying fruit at present but more positive are the rich, intense and mineral-inflected medium weight flavors that are youthfully austere and slightly drying on the mildly grippy bitter cherry pit-inflected finish. This will likely round out in time as the supporting tannins seem ripe though it’s not clear that the balance will ever be ideal. (88-91)/2027+

2017 Volnay “Pitures Dessus”: A cool, pure and restrained nose reluctantly offers up notes of red cherry, raspberry and a floral top note. The racy if not especially dense flavors possess both focused power and an appealing minerality, all wrapped in a better balanced if decidedly firm and persistent finale. Patience strongly advised. (89-92)/2029+

2017 Volnay “Les Caillerets”: Reduction masks the underlying fruit though does not extend to the palate of the much, much finer if decidedly less powerful flavors that exude evident minerality and underlying tension before culminating in a bitter cherry-infused finish. I like the depth though the dusty finish is somewhat short at present. Note that my predicted range assumes that the length will sort itself out. (89-92)/2029+

2017 Corton-Renardes: Reduction dominates the nose today. Otherwise there is good energy to the delicious if again not especially dense flavors that display evident dryness on the short finish. To be clear this is by no means drying to the point of being unpleasant but like the Clos des Chênes, there is a reasonable concern if this will ultimately harmonize. Optimists will choose to age this and find out and pessimists will prefer to drink this young with an appropriate dish. (88-90)/2029+

2017 Corton-Bressandes: Once again firm reduction renders the nose impossible to assess. More interesting are the almost painfully intense and quite finely detailed medium-bodied flavors that exude a bracing salinity on the attractively textured and much better balanced finale. Note that this is quite firmly structured and will require at least some forbearance. (90-93)/2032+

2017 Morey St. Denis “Les Chaffots”: A discreet suggestion of oak toast sets off the spicy and earthy red berry fruit aromas. The racy and seductively textured medium-bodied flavors possess excellent punch if only average complexity on the dusty, delicious and sneaky long medium firm finish. (89-92)/2025+

2017 Nuits St. Georges “Les Cailles”: Soft reduction flattens the underlying fruit but not the intrinsic spiciness. The supple and round if lighter weight flavors possess solid verve before terminating in a dusty, complex and mineral-suffused finish that offers pretty good persistence though the spiky supporting tannins stick out at present. While acknowledging that this is still clearly harmonizing in barrel, it’s an open question whether this will harmonize sufficiently well to merit the upper end of my projected range. (89-91)/2027+

2017 Nuits St. Georges “Les St.-Georges”: Here too there is enough reduction to block an assessment of the nose. The firm, muscular and serious larger-scaled flavors display evident power on the mouth coating and youthfully austere finale that delivers excellent depth and persistence. Good stuff in a built-to-age package. (91-93)/2029+

2017 Nuits St. Georges “Les Vaucrains”: Mild reduction masks everything but a whiff of sauvage character. The middle weight flavors are not as dense as those of the LSG but they’re just as powerful with good minerality adding a touch of lift to the rustic, focused and very serious finish that possess excellent persistence. To put away and forget. (91-93)/2032+

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Champeaux”: A pretty, cool and airy high-toned nose is comprised by the essence of red raspberry, cranberry and soft earth-suffused aromas. The lilting lighter weight flavors possess both good tension and ample minerality that continues onto the austere and bitter cherry-infused finish. (89-91)/2027+

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Aux Combottes”: A fresh if restrained and equally cool nose of red and blue pinot fruit along with plenty of floral elements leads to intense and super-sleek middle weight flavors that possess a polished mouth feel while delivering acceptable length on the linear and slightly lean finish. This is classy but needs to flesh out. (89-92)/2029+

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Lavaut St. Jacques”: Discreet wood frames the once again decidedly cool and restrained aromas of red and dark berry fruit aromas that are laced with notes of earth and the sauvage. Somewhat unusually the mouth feel of the medium-bodied and powerful flavors is almost as sleek as those of the Combottes while delivering excellent length on the overtly stony, youthfully austere and more complex finale. (91-93)/2032+

2017 Gevrey-Chambertin “Cazetiers”: Reduction presently overshadows the fruit. The intense, muscular and driving medium-bodied flavors exude plenty of minerality on the equally long if not quite as complex finish. The supporting tannins aren’t quite as fine as those of the Lavaut St. Jacques but this is impressive all the same. (90-93)/2032+

2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Baudes”: Very firm reduction stops short of hinting at mercaptans but it’s quite strong. There is a taut muscularity to the punchy and powerful yet relatively refined medium-bodied flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the impressively long and complex if very firm finish. Note that my range assumes that the nose will recover once the wine is racked. (90-93)/2032+

2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Sentiers”: An exceptionally pretty, pure and elegant nose freely offers up notes of various red berries and soft spice elements that are picked up by the caressing middle weight flavors that possess a beguiling inner mouth perfume, all wrapped in a soft mineral-inflected finish that possess a bit more overall depth. Lovely. (91-93)/2029+

2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes”: A soft dollop of wood sets of the super-fresh and elegant aromas of red currant, cherry, anise and lilac. The racy, delicious and refined middle weight flavors possess fine depth and persistence on the moderately structured and bitter cherry-inflected finish. This is really very pretty and should age well. (90-93)/2027+

2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Haut Doix”: A spicy high-toned nose reflects notes of strawberry, cherry and a whiff of cranberry. The silky and stony if not especially dense lighter weight flavors possess a lovely sense of energy before concluding in a racy and refined finale. This needs to add both flesh and depth though the underlying material seems up to the task. (89-92)/2027+

2017 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Amoureuses”: A very fresh and subtly floral nose of airy red pinot fruit and spice nuances leads to intense, energetic and gorgeously textured middle weight flavors that possess evident minerality on the highly complex, balanced and strikingly persistent finish where the only nit is a hint of warmth. This too is quite lovely. (91-94)/2029+

2017 Vosne-Romanée “Beaux Monts”: A restrained and layered combination consists of Asian-style tea, plum and a panoply of spice elements. The seductively textured and stony flavors possess a fine sense of energy though the dusty and delicious finish seems awkward and a bit short. This will likely recover but it’s somewhat clumsy today. (89-92)/2027+

2017 Vosne-Romanée “Les Suchots”: (from the upper portion of the vineyard). A classic Vosne nose is comprised by notes of spiced tea, sandalwood, cassis and a hint of the exotic. The velvety but powerful and muscular flavors are shaped by a slightly firmer core of ripe tannins on the serious and better balanced finish. Some patience will be required. (91-93)/2029+

2017 Vosne-Romanée “Petits Monts”: Reduction eclipses the underlying fruit today. The finer if less voluminous medium-bodied flavors exude obvious minerality on the dusty finish that flirts with dryness. My sense is that this will age out successfully though that is not a certainty. (90-92)/2029+

2017 Vosne-Romanée “Les Malconsorts”: This too is sufficiently reduced to render it difficult to read. There is a highly attractive inner mouth perfume to the tautly muscular and very intense middle weight plus flavors that terminate in a powerful, driving and linear finish that is focused by not overly austere. This too is “a buy and forget you own it” wine. (91-94)/2032+

2017 Clos de Vougeot: Once again, reduction dominates the nose. Otherwise there is a sleek and intense mouth feel to the lighter weight if delicious flavors that exhibit a touch of dryness on the somewhat short finish. Like several wines in the range, this may well put on weight and in the process improve the length but that isn’t a certainty. (88-91)/2029+

2017 Clos de la Roche: A somber nose half-heartedly offers up notes of forest floor, earth and leather on the essence of red berry fruit-scented aromas. There is better volume and muscle to the bigger and richer if decidedly grippy and somewhat short finish. This too may lengthen out but today it seems a bit clipped and compact. (88-91)/2029+

2017 Clos St. Denis: (from 90+ year old vines). Strong reduction completely masks the fruit and it extends to the palate as well. While this may very well clean up, when I find reduction on the palate it’s never a positive sign. Not Rated.

2017 Latricières-Chambertin: Soft reduction and wood serve as a pungent introduction to the sleek, mineral-driven and well-detailed medium weight flavors that possess a refined if muscular mouth feel, all wrapped in a youthfully austere, linear and sneaky long finish. (91-93)/2029+

2017 Charmes-Chambertin: (from both Charmes and Mazoyères in a roughly 50/50 proportion). In contrast to several of the preceding wines having funky noses, this is beautifully elegant and fresh with its cool combination of various red berries, earth and a whiff of forest floor. The texture of the equally cool and nicely refined middle weight flavors contrasts somewhat with the moderately rustic finish. This needs to add depth to merit the upper end of my projected range. (89-92)/2029+

2017 Griotte-Chambertin: This too is aromatically very pretty with a restrained and beautifully layered array of cherry, raspberry, spice and soft earth nuances. The focused, intense and beautifully delineated medium-bodied flavors possess evident minerality that also suffuses the dusty and youthfully austere finale. This is presently quite compact and a wine that will require at least a few years to unwind and add backend richness. (91-93)/2032+

2017 Mazis-Chambertin: (from both Mazis-Haut and Bas). Prominent spice nuances add breadth to the distinctly earthy and sauvage-inflected deeply pitched nose of red and dark currant, poached plum and leather. The succulent but muscular medium-bodied plus flavors possess plenty of minerality and even better depth and persistence on the attractively balanced if very firm finish. (91-94)/2032+

2017 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze: Reduction knocks down the underlying fruit though wisps of spice escape the funk. More positively are the racy and highly energetic middle weight flavors that brim with minerality on the markedly firm but balanced and persistent finish that will need to add depth to reach the upper end of my projected range. (90-93)/2032+

2017 Bonnes Mares: (from both Chambolle and Morey). A moderately toasty nose reflects notes of cassis, wild red currant and soft floral wisps. The sleek, muscular and broad-shouldered flavors make quite a contrast with the slightly skinny and lean finish where the wood toast telegraphed by the nose resurfaces. Again, this may come together but that is far from a certainty. (89-92)/2029+

2017 Musigny: There is a kind of reduction the Burgundians call cassis flower (bourgeon de cassis) that dominates the fruit today. The even sleeker, intense and more mineral-driven flavors possess a more refined mouth feel while offering really lovely persistence if limited depth on the compact finish that needs to flesh out. My sense is that this is very much a baby and should develop nicely if held for at least a decade as the terroir of Musigny will eventually speak. (91-94)/2032+

2017 Echézeaux: (from multiple climats).
Like the Musigny the nose is comprised by bourgeon de cassis aromas. The relatively refined middle weight flavors possess good verve though somewhat curiously, the lingering and dusty finish is moderately rustic. (89-92)/2029+

2017 Grands Echézeaux: An overtly floral and well-layered nose is elegant, airy and pure with plenty of spice elements adding breadth to the super-fresh essence of red currant aromas that are trimmed in discreet oak nuances. There is notably more size, weight and power to the tautly muscular flavors that culminate in a serious, robust and lingering finish. This is not a monster of concentration but I like the balance and overall sense of harmony. (91-93)/2032+

2017 Romanée St. Vivant: A ripe and very spicy nose features notes of sandalwood, tea, rose petal and a hint of lilac. I very much like the sleek, even satiny, texture to the nicely vibrant flavors that conclude in a slightly drying and short finish. This may well age out but it’s a bit awkward today. (90-93)/2029+

2017 Richebourg: Full-on reduction flattens the fruit. There is even better energy to the more mineral-driven flavors that are taut and serious with a lingering finish where the reduction reemerges. As I mentioned with the Clos St. Denis, reduction that shows up on the palate is never a good sign and typically I do not rate such wines but here my sense is that this will eventually clean up and harmonize. Even so, I flag my range with a cautionary question mark. (90-93?)/2032+

2017 Vosne-Romanée “Les Gaudichots”: An overtly floral and spice-inflected nose is at once cool, pure, airy and beautifully layered. The intense and well-delineated medium weight flavors exude the hallmark minerality of a fine Gaudichots while delivering pretty good length on the tightly coiled if slightly skinny finish. This is classy and balanced but it’s going to have to flesh out to earn the upper end of my range. (90-93)/2029+