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93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Richebourg Grand Cru, taken directly from a new Francois Frere barrel, is tightly wound on the nose with black cherries, bay leaf and subtle forest floor scents. This is introspective, more inward looking than say, Etienne Grivot’s at this prenatal stage. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded, succulent tannins enveloping layers of vibrant, shimmering black and red fruit loaded with minerals. The fruit is in synch with the wood and it has a very long sweet tail on the finish. This is a true aristocrat, but not necessarily the start of Anne Gros’s show. (NM)
Burgundy’s most sumptuous wine, and Anne Gros’ most sought-after cru, given both its bottomless complexity and its rarity. Poised, profound, pleasurable: an eternal wine.
Richebourg is a name that evokes richness, even a certain heaviness... which sometimes can be attributed to the confusion some people have.
It is in fact an extraordinary wine in that it combines power with supreme elegance. We often describe it as a peacock's tail. The silky, velvetiness of the tannins is complemented by a minerality which adds powerful depth and makes this grand cru one of the most sensual and complex wines.
Its purple colour reflects like a jewel the purity of Pinot Noir. The aromas are extremely complex and express an entire spectrum.
The exotic aspect by notes of leather and musk... notes of caramel and chocolate bring it all together. It is a wine which with age becomes more and more earthy (humus, wet undergrowth) and wild (animal fur...). The food and wine pairings are many, but a dish must never be over complicated once you decide to open a Richebourg. The simplest mix of flavours gives the best results. The fundamental rule is to avoid suffocating this wine with heavier dishes.
Red meat and roasted game with mushrooms (morels, truffles, ceps...) and onion confit, along with a dash of spice form a magnificent combination. Mild cheeses (compté, reblochon, cîteaux...) are also excellent companions.
2012 was beset by unusual weather that didn’t spare the vines! A mild winter, spring-like March, cool spring with frosts, summer-like May, cooler, wetter June, a variable summer with heatwaves, hail and storms… Because of the cold damp spring, some of the vine flowers didn’t set and form fruit, there was millerandage (where the flowers aren’t fully fertilised and give small berries) and high pressure from mildew and odium. Temperatures went right up during the short periods, over-heating and scorching the berries. This weather caused a significant fall in yields, without, however, impacting on the quality of the grapes, as well spread out bunches with small berries guarantee concentration and intensity.
All in all, the grapes achieved good ripeness in aromas and good sugar to acidity balance. The white wines are characterised by their finesse and concentration. The reds set themselves apart with their lovely colours, ripe and silky tannins and their harmonious mouthfeel