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Burgundy 2012 Vintage Report

Burgundy 2014 - Domaine Humbert Frères

Domaine Humbert Frères

Manou Humbert was on typically bullish form when we visited in November. He rates his 2014s as slightly higher in quality than his 2009s, which is praise indeed. Certainly the 2014sshow the striking combination of finesse and richness that this domaine’s Premier Crus can achieve it will be fascinating to watch as the wines develop in bottle.

Manou and his brother Frederic are the fourth generation of vignerons in the family and, like their cousins the Dugat family of Domaine Dugat-Py, are very much part of the Gevrey-Chambertin establishment. A considerable advantage that the brothers enjoy is the extent of Grand and Premier Cru vineyard which make up their overall holding. The Grand Cru of Charmes-Chambertin is the pinnacle of the estate, and they possess holdings in several excellent Premier Crus vineyards all sharing a similar altitude to the west of the Village. The quality here is reliably fine, a consequence of gentle handling of the fruit in the vineyards, intelligent selection of harvest date and, meticulous sorting of grapes. There is always a fine sense of poise and finesse to Manou’s wines.

Domaine Humbert, Fixin, Vieilles Vignes 2014
We often remark that this wine can easily be mistaken for Gevrey-Chambertin (Fixin’s northerly neighbour) when tasted blind. The 2014 is no exception, aided by increasingly old vines (now 56 years of age). It is a particularly bright, perfumed style of wine with a fragrance of blackberry, cassis and freshly picked herbs. The colour is never that deep, reflecting the medium-bodied palate. A fresh, elegant style of wine with rounded tannins that drinks well in youth and the mid-term.  Drink 2017-2020

£100 per six bottles in bond

Domaine Humbert, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Poissenots 2014
To have a measure of the domaine’s success of the vintage, the Humbert brothers’ Premier Cru Poissenots is the best guide. A small, south-facing vineyard with distinctively stony soils, it is nonetheless the most important holding they own, and displays their trademark style of red fruit and power, but not heaviness or extreme tannins. The 2014 is for slightly longer drinking than the 2013, with a touch more fruit intensity on the mid-palate and a more compact feel to the structure. But otherwise, this has typical depth of red and black fruits, and the classic sense of spice that often accompanies this wine. Finely-textured, full in body with a long, succulent finish and the fine poise. . Drink 2018-2027

£255 per six bottles in bond

Domaine Humbert, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Craipillot 2014

A small vineyard of just under three hectares, Premier Cru Craipillot makes wines that Manou Humbert describes as ‘feminine’ in style, especially compared to the power and weight of Estournelles St. Jacques. The 65 year old vines lie just above Gevrey-Chambertin itself. A mid-weight palate here provides elegant red and black fruits and gentle spice on the nose, and delicate cassis, raspberry and strawberry flavours on the palate. Oak is extremely well-managed in order to allow the fruit to come to the fore; the pretty berry character will mellow into typical gaminess of Pinot Noir, ably supported by the vintage’s freshness on the finish. An understated wine that will suit those eager to begin drinking it earlier than some of the other wines from this domaine. Drink 2017-2026

£330 per six bottles in bond

Domaine Humbert, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, La Petite Chapelle 2014
A four hectare vineyard, La Petite Chapelle is located – as the name might suggest – directly beneath the Grand Cru of Chapelle-Chambertin (and Chambertin Clos de Bèze). The wine typically shows the mix of the small red fruits of the Poissenots and the sometimes darker fruit of Craipillot, overlaid with charm and grace from fine tannins and freshness. The 2014 vintage initially reveals blackcurrant aromas, with clove and hazelnut. The palate is silky in texture (a character which we always note on tasting La Petite Chapelle), with finely-grained tannins offset by supple fruit. This will age a year or two longer than the 2013 vintage taking its time to mellow and unfurl before showing fascinating complexity. We have noted a real step up in quality in La Petite Chapelle in recent years. Drink 2018-2026

£330 per six bottles in bond

 Domaine Humbert, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Estournelles St. Jacques 2014*
The two hectare vineyard of Estournelles St. Jacques is by far the firmest in structure and most powerful in fruit intensity, demanding greater ageing in new oak barrels and longer time to age in the cellar. Despite its intensity, it also shows remarkable finesse. The 60 year old vineyard lies just beneath Poissenots on the Côte St. Jacques. Consequently it has a deeper, darker fruit profile than Poissenots however, with an even denser tannic quality to the wine. Liquorice, spice, black pepper, blackberry aromas pre-empt a full, long palate with impressive power and intensity of flavour that never sacrifices finesse. A wine that will need considerable patience and time, but holds impressive potential.  Drink 2020-2028

£380 per six bottles in bond

Domaine Humbert, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014*
The jewel in the Humbert crown. It is taken from 50 year old vines that abut Chambertin itself; the Humberts have a large holding of this Grand Cru so our allocations over the last few years, despite low yields, have been stable. After a slightly lighter 2013 vintage, the 2014 has all the intensity and depth befitting a great red Burgundy vineyard, allied to an attractive freshness. An imposing wine with striking richness of berry fruit, savoury complexity that hints at long-ageing, and excellent balance of firm tannin, underlying acidity and concentration. This is for the long-term and is set to rival the best vintages made at this domaine. Drink 2018-2028

£430 per six bottles in bond

As always with Burgundy releases, we are unable to sell leading Grand Cru and Premier Cru or wines from particularly sought-after domaines in isolation – we cannot buy them from the domaines that way ourselves and we are aware that demand is sure to outstrip supply. However, instead of running a complex system of allocations, we do aim to confirm requests as soon as we are able to do so or to highlight where we are unable to assist. To request a specific wine, please contact any member of the sales team on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299. You can also reach Simon Larkin MWRichard O'Mahony, and Laura Hollingsworth by email.

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Atlas Fine Wines Ltd. 

Atlas House, 1 King Street
London, EC2V 8AU
T: +44 (0) 20 3017 2299
F: +44 (0) 20 3017 2290