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DOMAINE DE LA BONGRAN - CUVEE LEVROUTE (1995)

DOMAINE DE LA BONGRAN - CUVEE LEVROUTE

ROBERT PARKER : I have long been an ardent admirer of Jean Thevenet's Macon Clesse (I was the first wine critic to write about his wines) made from his beloved Domaine de la Bongran. Thevenet is well-known as one of the qualitative leaders in this southern outpost of Burgundy. A perfectionist, Thevenet's recent vintages have all been successful. His wines consistently merit outstanding scores, which is in itself remarkable for a Macon.

BURGHOUND SCORE : 92 DRINK 2007-2015 (Tasted: Oct 01, 2002)           Tasting note: This is much like an Auslese, perhaps even a lighter Beerenauslese with abundant botrytis notes and powerful, dense, full, wonderfully rich flavors that display remarkable power, a touch of alcohol and superb length. This too is still on the way up and though it could be approached now, the complexity that will be developed with age will be something to see.

Producer note: Jean Thévenet directs this 15 ha Domaine that is undoubtedly one of the Mâcon's top two or three estates. To be sure, it's true that the style is not what instantly comes to mind when one thinks of classic Mâconnais wines but the quality of what is produced here is simply mind boggling. Late harvest Chardonnay is a particular animal but when it's right, it can rank with all but the very finest TBA's and Sauternes. Thévenet thumbs his nose at most of the modern developments in wine making, succinctly observing that if growers were to worry more about what was in their vineyards and less about what was in their cuvéries, most of them would make better wine. He harvests very late (November is not uncommon), only by hand, ferments only with natural yeasts and in a mix of barrels and stainless. The élevage lasts from 6 to 18 months, depending on the wine and there is "never" any fining or filtration. Thévenet originally had a financial partner and thus he has two labels as the partner is only involved in the Emilian Gillet side of the house. If your taste runs to late harvest, intensely sweet but wonderfully complex wines, then the Bongran wines are not to be missed as they are nothing short of stunning. (Alain Junguenet, Wines of France, Mountainside, New Jersey).
Note: I use the terms Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, etc to indicate the degree of sweetness and botrytis but these are not necessarily good parallels in terms of alcohol and power. The following wines are decidedly higher in alcohol but otherwise, these German wines are reasonable proxies to give an idea of the style and weight.

Prijs: € 56,10
Volume: 0.75 L