2015 Parent Premier Cru Beaune Les Epennottes
These two wines from Domaine Parent represent the best of Burgundy. It’s in the quality of the estate, its vineyards and its winemakers. It’s in the taste of their wines. And it’s in the knowledge about the details of the wines. In Burgundy, with its long history and nuanced terroirs, knowledge and its power are the keys to cellars of great drinking. Both of these wines are great values, and knowledge about them explains why.
What I know about Burgundy tells me Anne and Catherine Parent, the two sisters who make up the 12th generation of Domaine Parent, are rising stars in the wine world. You may have not heard of them yet, but my ear is close to the railroad tracks of the Route des Grand Crus, and there is a buzz about what they’re doing. Why? Because over the 10 years they’ve been their estate’s winemakers (yes, viticulture is a slow process), Domaine Parent’s wines have gained in precision, elegance and depth, without becoming heavy, oaky or extracted. This is the best of Burgundy: When wines taste of their terroirs; when terroirs shine through their wines.
The vineyards of Domaine Parent are located primarily in the village of Pommard. In good vintages, Anne and Catherine blend wines from Premier Cru and Pommard Village vineyards with wine from Bourgogne Rouge vineyards. In their best vintages, the sisters separate these Premier Cru and Pommard Village wines into a “Sélection Pomone,” named for the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance. What you’re getting in this bottle is 10% Premier Cru Pommard Noizons, 20% Premier Cru Ladoix, and 70% Pommard Village old vines — over 70 years old — from the “correct” side of the Route des Grands Crus. As Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate sums it up, “this ‘basic’ red Burgundy punches at a high village cru level.”
The 2016 Sélection Pomone opens like a Pommard, with black cherry fruit, bramble, spice and mineral tension from its depths. This is big-boned Burgundy, and all of the bottles I’ve had take a while to open up. Don’t underestimate its power. Put the wine in a decanter for an hour or two, or start with a glass of it at lunch, drink the bottle with dinner, and discover how the wine’s power evolves with pleasures of balance and poise. Experience how the wine unfolds with the passing of the hours. Taste how its warmth and complexity are revealed.
Now to complicate the offer just a bit more, and bring you into the wonderful world of complex burgundy. One of the best Premier Cru Vineyards in Pommard is the Les Epenots, which rests on the border between the villages of Pommard and Beaune. In fact, part of the vineyard straddles into Beaune for a brief stretch. This part is of the same soil, aspect and terroir, yet it gets a new (feminine) name – Beaune Les Epenottes. The wine is amazing, but even better, Les Epenottes goes for half the price of Les Epenots. Complex Burgundy indeed, but with a huge payoff.
And here is Allen Meadows — the Burghound wine commentator famous for his sardonic reviews and pitifully low scores — waxing effusively about Domaine Parent Les Epenots and crowns the wine with what is, for him, a championship score:
“A strikingly fresh and ripe array is composed by notes of various red berries, earth and a pretty floral wisp. The very round, supple and generously proportioned flavors deliver unusually good depth and length on the ever-so-mildly rustic finale. This easily transcends its normal level of quality, indeed to the point that it’s potentially one of the best examples of the vineyard that I have ever had, and I especially like the excellent persistence. 93 points.”
With the power of this Burgundy knowledge, you’ve got keys to a cellar of great drinking at great values. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the rising stars of Domaine Parent.