Lucien Le Moine 2013 white by TANZER / GALLONI

Mounir Saouma told me that the 2013s began appetizing and flashy, with low sugars and aromas of crystallized fruits, but are now gaining in depth, size and personality. « The alcoholic fermentations lasted until August of 2014, » he told me, « and we are now seeing the impact of the small crop. It’s really a vintage with incredible concentration, and by the numbers it’s a vintage to keep. But winemakers who rack, pump, fine and filter their wines will make them approachable early. In the same way, too many people killed the perfect fruit of 2009. » Potential alcohol levels in 2013 were generally between 12% and 12.5% and the wines will be bottled with around 13% alcohol. A number of the Lucien Le Moine ’13s give an impression of sucrosité owing to their combination of moderate acidity and residual sugar between 1.8 and 2.2 grams per liter.

When I asked Saouma which vintages he’s enjoying currently, he responded that « 2007 is great today, and 2011 will be soon. But the 2012s are shutting down »–an opinion shared by many of his colleagues on the Côte d’Or about red and white wines alike. His 2014s had not finished their malos at the end of May, and some of them were still fermenting their sugars.

Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
The reticent but vibrant nose and palate offer ripe apple, pear, wet stone, mint, spices and lavender, plus an almost smoky minerality. Sapply, pure and complex, conveying a strong impression of chewy extract. Not an exuberant style but boasts outstanding inner-mouth energy and finishes tight, stony and very long.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-95)

Montrachet Grand Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(a blend of barrels from the Puligny and Chassagne sides of the appellation): Highly expressive, typical Montrachet aromas of peach, lime, mint, iodine and smoky oak lifted by a floral topnote. Wonderfully perfumed and energetic, showing a crystalline purity to its tactile citrus and crushed stone flavors. I find this amazingly harmonious for a young Montrachet (Saouma referred to it as « Montrachet with a smile ») but the wine’s strong minerality and whiplash of a finish suggest that it will develop at a snail’s pace.
— Stephen Tanzer  (94-97)

Chassagne-Montrachet Les Embrazees 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Ripe peach and apricot on the almost oily nose. Densely packed and surprisingly tight for a young Embrazées, showing a linear quality to the intense flavors of stone fruits, spices and white pepper. Finishes saline and adamantly dry. Will this wine gain in flesh during its last months of élevage?
— Stephen Tanzer  (90-93)  

Chassagne-Montrachet en Rémilly 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(the first vintage for this bottling): Spicy nose shows a slightly exotic aspect to the soft citrus and honey aromas. Silky, sweet and powerful but fresh, boasting noteworthy energy for its almost viscous texture. Made from a very warm site, this wine will need some time for its fully ripe fruit flavors to meld with its greener dried-herb and lightly vegetal elements.
— Stephen Tanzer  (90-92)

Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Pale yellow. Captivating but reticent nose combines lemon, crushed stone, marzipan and crème brûlée. Then dense and weightless on the palate, with harmonious lemony acidity giving shape to the flavors of citrus fruits and anise. Very classy Chassagne with terrific finishing grip.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Crystalline aromas and flavors of lime and minerals. Silky, utterly primary and weightless, communicating outstanding precision and mineral cut. A wine of great class but a baby today. Extremely long and sappy on the aftertaste.
 — Stephen Tanzer  (92-95)

Criots-Batard-Montrachet Gra Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Sexy aromas of almond flower and honey. At once rich and penetrating, with a flavor of peach oil enlivened by powerful minerality. Wonderfully balanced wine in a serious, distinctly masculine vein.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(made from old vines on moist clay soil in the heart of Batard, according to Saouma): Aromas of lime, clove, nutmeg, mint, menthol and flint. Hugely concentrated but tightly coiled, conveying a powerful saline impression of terroir. Very dry and classic and explosive on the aftertaste, this grand cru will need a good decade of bottle aging before it approaches its peak.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-95)

Saint-Aubin Murgers des Dents de Chien 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Pale yellow. Sexy aromas of peach, clove, smoke and iodine reminded me a bit of Montrachet. Fat, rich and sweet, conveying an almost candied quality to its stone fruit and spice flavors. Boasts uncanny weight for Saint-Aubin, relying more on its underlying minerality than on its acidity for structure and grip. Finishes ripe, serious and long.
— Stephen Tanzer  (89-92)

Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Terres Blanches 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Hazy pale yellow. Aromas of redcurrant and spices; I might have guessed this was a red wine had I tasted it from a black glass. Thick and rich but with active limestone soil giving the wine very good definition and mineral cut. The slowly mounting finish offers an oily dried-fruit quality and a tannic impression. Very distinctive wine.
— Stephen Tanzer  (88-91)

Puligny-Montrachet Champ Canet 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Fresh and dried peach and apricot aromas are complicated by a note of hazelnut oil. Dense, sappy and classically dry, with the wine’s tactile thickness given definition by excellent mineral cut. This one went through a very slow alcoholic fermentation, which may explain its explosive fruit. Very long on the aftertaste.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-94)  

Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(this is 13.8% alcohol without chaptalization, according to Saouma): Medium yellow. Nearly exotic aromas of orange blossom, pink grapefruit, honey and rose petal reminded me of a late-harvest Alsace risling. Extremely rich and supple on the palate but much less exuberant and exotic than the nose suggests. Utterly seamless, harmonious wine with a long aftertaste. Saouma maintains that Garenne « needs botrytis. It needs to be very ripe and dirty. And it’s always oxidative in barrel. »
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Puligny-Montrachet Champ Gain 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(these vines are more than 45 years old): Bright yellow. Rather tight nose hints at lemon and licorice, along with a wilder earthy nuance. Then stony, penetrating and razor-sharp in the mouth, even a bit youthfully rigid, with lemony acidity energizing the citrus and mineral dust flavors. Finishes very tight and very long, with a strong impression of site. One can smell the dry soil of this vineyard, which is next to a quarry. Saouma calls it « the Batard-Montrachet of Puligny. »
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Aromas of pineapple, candied apple, clove and flowers show a tropical cast. Very rich, seamless and sweet, conveying an almost Condrieu-like thickness of texture. Not yet complex but finishes with terrific length and lingering sweetness of fruit. In contrast to the Garenne, this wine is always open in barrel, says Saouma, adding that he would never bottle this wine early as « it’s necessary to wait for the stupid fruit to disappear. »
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Meursault Blagny La Pièce Sous le Bois 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(the first year for this offering): Bright yellow. Distinctly rocky aromas of lime blossom and crushed stone. Very tightly wound on the palate, with strong mineral tension keeping the flavors of underripe pineapple and lemon under wraps in the early going. Finishes with a stony solidity and excellent energy and length.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Meursault Charmes 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Aromas of crystallized lemon and lime peel and linden flower; reminded me of a mojito. Dense and very ripe yet weightless on the palate, with urgent fruit intensity perfectly complemented by a powerful impression of chewy dry extract. This outstanding mineral expression really reverberates on the very dry, deep finish. This is a blend of Charmes du Haut and du Bas, notes Saouma, adding that these vines never yield more than 20 hectoliters per hectare. An outstanding Charmes in the making.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Meursault Bouchères 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Light-medium yellow. Musky, lightly saline aromas of peach, apricot, hazelnut and nut oils suggest a very rich wine. Round, silky and dry on entry, then quite closed in the middle, showing terrific inner-mouth tension for Bouchères. The wine’s impressive thickness is leavened by limestone and lemon nuances. A superb, very long, soil-driven Bouchères in the making.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Meursault Porusot 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Bright yellow. Reduced aromas of lemon oil, honey and clove. Thick and energetic; combines fleshiness and power. A sappy, crystalline essence of Meursault that finishes with a tannic impression and explosive building stone and citrus fruits. This may be less sophisticated than the Charmes but it’s every bit as good in the context of its cru.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-94) 

Meursault Genevrières 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Pale, bright yellow. Reticent, very pure aromas of ripe pear and flowers. Classy and linear in the mouth, offering intense but shy flavors of lime and lavender. Penetrating-verging-on-sharp and still a bit youthfully inscrutable but boasts terrific energy and refinement for the vintage. The flavors of citrus oil and spices build slowly on the very long finish. This wine should evolve gracefully.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Meursault Perrières 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Bright, pale yellow. Ineffable aromas of pineapple, mandarin orange, dusty stone, mint, iodine and rosemary. Dense and thick in the mouth, offering explosive flavors of pineapple, lemon and crushed stone. Finishes juicy, adamantly dry and very long, with a note of oyster shell. A bulletproof Perrières for the cellar.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-95)

Corton Grandes Lolières Grand Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Rather exuberant on the nose for a grand cru from Corton, offering an almost Pinot Gris-like spice character to its aromas of clove, cinnamon, lichee and smoke. Rich and broad but on the soft side and not showing the precision of most of these 2013s. A bit exotic and warm for me. Finishes with a suggestion of tropical fruits and a slight bitterness.
— Stephen Tanzer  (89-91)

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
(from vines on the Pernand side of this grand cru): Crystalline aromas of lemon oil, mandarin orange, flint and lavender, plus a whiff of warm, dry stones that’s unusual for a wine from the wetter side of the appellation. Densely packed, silky and weightless, with terrific mineral lift to its very dry citrus and crushed rock flavors. Extremely backward and austere but the vibrant, very long finish leaves the palate coated with dusty stone.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Tête du Clos 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Ripe nose offers scents of redcurrant and minerals; one can smell the grape skins here. Very rocky and delineated but not a fleshy or sweet style, with the lemon and grapefruit flavors currently hardered by an almost metallic mineral edge. Nicely detained but a bit lean.
 — Stephen Tanzer  (89-91)

Chassagne-Montrachet Abbaye de Morgeot 1er Cru 2013 Lucien Le Moine
Bright yellow. Very ripe aromas and flavors of clove and honey show the influence of the heavier clay soil here. Rich, honeyed and fat but quite dry and backward today. Finishes with surprising energy but this will need time. Saouma describes this wine as « Morgeot to the second power. »
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Pernand-Vergelesses Sous Frétille 1er Cru  2013 Lucien Le Moine
Pale yellow. Aromas of lemon zest and spices. Intense but on the lean side, showing good acid spine to its flavors of citrus fruits, stone, licorice and spices. Nicely juicy if a bit ungiving today.
— Stephen Tanzer  (87-89)