We are delighted to announce that we have secured a strong direct allocation from a domaine that we have admired these last few vintages. Indeed, the 2014s from Domaine Perrot-Minot would rank among our front-runners for the vintage; the quality of the wines are only just starting to draw the attention that they wholeheartedly deserve. Talking with Christophe Perrot-Minot on our recent trip to Burgundy revealed his incredible drive to quality; the efforts to which they go to ensure the condition of the fruit is nothing short of fanatical with 22 people constantly employed in the vineyard and cellars of a domaine that exploits just 12 hectares.
Production is small and several wines produced are quantities of less than 50 cases. Old vines are the norm; every wine – with the exception of the Morey St. Denis, Rue de Vergy and the Gevrey-Chambertin – is produced from vines of at least 45 years of age. For the wines given the moniker ‘Cuvée Ultra,’ the vines are 70 to 110 years old! What strikes most is the overriding quality of the wines up and down the scale, from the villages Morey St. Denis to the stunning Nuits St. Georges, 1er Cru La Richemone to the sublime Clos de Bèze. Taking the Chambolle-Musigny, La Combe d’Orveaux as a case in point, Christophe divides his holding; the fruit from the best-situated old vines is retained in the Cuvée Ultra and the fruit from the rest of this Premier Cru vineyard heads into the straight Chambolle-Musigny Villages.
The winemaking here is sensitive, highlighting both purity of fruit and the natural expression of the terroir. These are silky, fine-tuned wines; there is a precision here as well as a density, yet never do the wines seem cumbersome or aggressive – elegance comes first. Christophe has a clear philosophy as to what he wants to achieve and follows it to the letter, though he maintains the skill of winemaker is the ability to adapt, commentingthat ‘ the only rule is there are no rules!’ That said, new oak is approximately 20% on most cuvées rising to 40 to 50% for the leading Premier Cru and Grand Cru. Some whole bunch fermentation is employed on the leading Premier Cru and Grand Cru depending on the ripeness of stems achieved.
The holdings here are largely split between ‘Domaine’ and long-term leased vineyards, each of which is approached with the same philosophy and attention to detail. You will perhaps note the similarity to Domaine Taupenot-Merme across some of these holdings. This is explained by the fact that Christophe is the cousin of Romain Taupenot; the grandfather of each was a Merme.
Fellow MW, Tim Atkin commented during a tasting of the 2013 vintage that Perrot-Minot was ‘ a domaine that belongs among Burgundy’s elite.’ We fully concur and think the consistently high quality of this domaine is now starting to be recognised. While acknowledging that Christophe’s style has refined further in recent years, backing off from focusing on concentration to emphasise texture and volume, Antonio Galloni noted that ‘At their best, the Perrot-Minot wines are totally thrilling.’ Jancis Robinson MW, whilst writing her preamble to the 2014 notes, commented on increasing finesse across leading domaines adding that both Taupenot-Merme and Christophe Perrot-Minot have made good progress with the latter increasing the subtlety of his wines. This is just a handful of the plaudits that this domaine continues to receive.
Perrot-Minot, Morey-Saint-Denis La Rue de Vergy 2014
En la Rue de Vergy is single vineyard that lies just above the famous Grand Cru of Clos de Tart, in the South of the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis. 20% of this wine is aged in new French oak barrels, which lend structural support and allow the natural tannins to mesh with the wine, without dominating the flavours. This, allied to rigorous sorting of the crop to ensure only the best grapes contribute to the final wine, results in a Morey-Saint-Denis that punches well above its proverbial weight. Fine, scented aromas on the 2014 and a dark cherry colour pre-empt a palate that is silky-textured and well-balanced, with pure black fruit flavours. The acidity is fresh but not excessive and the typical spice of Morey-Saint-Denis lingers on the finish. Drink 2017 to 2022.
£180 per six bottles in bond
Domaine Perrot-Minot, Gevrey-Chambertin 2014
The domaine’s 1.50 hectares of Gevrey-Chambertin are located across the road from Grand Cru Mazoyères-Chambertin, all within in a specific vineyard named ‘Les Seuvrées’. The colour is slightly less intense than the Morey-Saint-Denis, which belies the very aromatic bouquet, brimming with red berry fruits compared to the darker fruits of the former. The palate is almost opulent in texture, with supple tannins and plenty of flavour, but it never appears heavy. Typical of Christophe’s Village wines, this will only a need a year or so to drink well, but it has the depth and class to age easily for 9 or 10 years. Drink 2017 to 2023.
£195 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes 2014*
The Vieilles Vignes is one of two AOC Vosne-Romanée wines from Christophe Perrot-Minot (the other being Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix). The fruit for this wine is taken from two separate parcels of vines (Aux Ormes and Les Chalandins) towards the bottom of the vineyard slope, which gives a lighter, more accessible style of wine compared to Les Champs Perdrix. From a surface area of just 0.45 hectare of vines, a tiny amount, this typifies Christophe’s attention to detail and approach to small production and vineyard selection. The 2014 has an attractive purple core to the colour and fragrant red berry and cherry fruit on the nose. The palate is smooth in texture with modest but supporting tannins and juicy strawberry and raspberry character that is typical of fine, youthful Vosne-Romanée. A wine for drinking early or for mid-term ageing. Drink 2017 to 2022.
£195 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix Vieilles Vignes 2014
Literally meaning ‘Partridge Field’, Les Champs Perdrix is located just above the Grand Cru of La Romanée. It has a fine perfume and aroma alongside the lush feel on the palate that accompanies the best wines from this area, and compared to Christophe Perrot Minot’s other Villages Vosne-Romanée has addition concentration of flavour and structure to ensure longevity. Christophe makes just 95 cases of this wine from a tiny area of 0.35 hectare. It was one of the stars of our 2014 tasting, amongst some exalted company; it has a deep ruby colour with notes of cranberry, strawberry and blackcurrant on the nose and a delicately-woven palate with fine tannin, refreshing acidity and a very long finish that hints of the potential to come. Drink 2018 to 2025.
£290 per six bottles in bond
Domaine Perrot-Minot, Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru La Riotte Vieilles Vignes 2014
Premier Cru La Riotte is a small vineyard just below the Village of Morey-Saint-Denis itself. It is fascinating to taste Christophe’s 1er Cru Riotte compared with that of his cousin, Romain Taupenot-Merme. Both display the spice and compact palate of good Morey-Saint-Denis, but Christophe’s wine has gentle hints of smoke and blackberry that distinguishes it from the peppery complexity of Romain’s wine. 20% of the 2014 is aged in new French oak which adds a very subtle hint of toast to the flavours, but overall plays a supporting role for the supple, fruit-driven palate. This is full with classic flavours of spice and structure of firm tannin, without compromising the elegance of great Premier Cru Burgundy. This has a noticeably long finish which suggests several more years ageing than Christophe’s En la Rue de Vergy. Drink 2019 to 2026.
£340 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes Vieilles Vignes 2014*
Along with Les Amoureuses, Les Charmes (which lies just to the north) is one of the two most championed Premier Crus of Chambolle-Musigny. Both Crus tend to give ripe, full-bodied wines from their well-sited, warm vineyard areas, but importantly they maintain the very fine texture and aroma of the great wines from this appellation. Christophe vinifies his wine from a tiny parcel in the middle of Les Charmes vineyard, making under 100 cases in total. The colour of his 2014 is typically reddish purple with hints of blackberry, cherry and some red berries on the nose. It demonstrates the potential for both finesse and power that this Premier Cru can attain, with intriguing elegant scent on the nose and richness on the palate, ably supported by French oak ageing and naturally compact tannins for long-ageing. Drink 2019 to 2027.
£430 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles Vignes 2014*
Premier Cru Les Beaux Monts lies right at the top of the Vosne-Romanée commune, overlooking the vineyard of Aux Brulées, and Grand Cru Echézeaux. Again, under 100 cases are made from this tiny parcel of vines, but the style for this (as with Christophe’s Ultra and Grand Cru wines) is slightly different to the Villages and Premier Cru wines, because he ferments 80% of the grapes as ‘whole bunch’ (where the grape stems are not removed before fermentation). This confers extra complexity and floral notes from the stems, and a freshness to the wines that, while not absent in the Villages wines, seems to give a further dimension of lift in this and other wines made in the same way, from this producer. Aromas of white pepper, lavender and spice are followed by a refreshing, cranberry-scented palate, with fine-grained tannins, the underlying richness of Vosne-Romanée and a silky long finish. Drink 2019 to 2028.
£450 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru La Combe d'Orveau 'Cuvée Ultra' Vieilles Vignes 2014*
La Combe d’Orveau is a fascinating Chambolle-Musigny vineyard that in reality encompasses Villages, Premier Cru and Grand Cru quality (the latter is bottled as Grand Cru Musigny). It is therefore surprising to note how small it is in size with only 2.38 hectares, which sit on the border with Vosne-Romanée. The same quantity is made of both Christophe Perrot-Minot’s Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru La Combe d’Orveau ‘Cuvée Ultra’ and the Richemone ‘Cuvée Ultra’, i.e. 48 cases on average, and the vines are considerably older (at least 70 years in age) than average for Burgundy. At first, the 2014 has elegant spice and herb aromas which perhaps belie the intensely fragrant nature of the palate. This has richness and good weight with a touch of white pepper from whole bunch fermentation, but the overall first sensation is of finesse and vigour. The extra concentration and firm structure from old vines appear on second taste, and will stand this in good stead for long ageing. Drink 2020 to 2030.
£720 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru La Richemone 'Cuvée Ultra' Vieilles Vignes 2014
The term ‘Cuvée Ultra’ refers to the very old vines that were used to make this wine. The Richemone vineyard lies very close to border with Vosne-Romanée, and was planted over 110 years ago, meaning some of the oldest vines in Burgundy which, while they tend to be less productive than younger vines, tend to give a more concentrated, powerful style of wine that stand the test of time. Just 48 cases of Christophe Perrot-Minot’s La Richemone ‘Cuvée Ultra’ are made on average. The 2014 was aged in the same percentage of new French oak (20%) as the other Premier Crus so what really comes to the fore here is the sheer depth and flavour of fruit, with a mineral, smoky complexity that will grow even more fascinating with age. The palate has the same refreshment from whole bunch fermentation that Christophe’s Vosne-Romanée Beaux Monts benefits from, but there is also a rich, blackcurrant and red berry core that drives the lifted, finely-textured finish. This is a wine that sits right at the top of the Nuits-Saint-Georges hierarchy, and accordingly is a wine for cellaring and long-ageing rather than being accessible at this stage. Drink 2020 to 2032.
£720 per six bottles in bond
Domaine Perrot-Minot, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2014*
Along with Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, Charmes-Chambertin is the largest of the Grand Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin. With approximately 12 hectares (plus a further 18.50 hectares that can be bottled under the name Mazoyères-Chambertin), the myriad soil types and aspects make generalisations difficult, and so the styles of individual producers are more important here. Christophe Perrot-Minot has approximately 1 hectare in size from which he makes approximately 300 cases. His 2014 has a deep red and purple colour with fine perfume of spice and red and black fruits. The palate is deceptive in its weight and structure, as the body and tannins appears moderate at the start. But, ultimately the very long finish and succulent berry fruit flavour suggest the development of intriguing complexity over the years. It is the depth and breadth of flavour rather than overpowering tannins that are really striking here. A wine that, simply within the context of the enduring Grand Crus from Perrot-Minot, is for mid- to long-term ageing. Drink 2020 to 2032.
£820 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2014*
One of the most noticeable points of our tasting was that it is very difficult, nigh impossible to distinguish the wines from Christophe’s own vineyards, to those where he purchases fruit from other growers in order to make the wine. The Chapelle-Chambertin is a Grand Cru in the latter category, but it was certainly not possible to tell. The vineyard lies immediately below Chambertin-Clos de Bèze on slightly thinner soils, and as a result it usually appears a touch lighter in body than its neighbour. The 2014 was very low yielding (just 18 hectolitres per hectare) but, alongside the resultant concentration and powerful structure, this wine has noticeable elegance and delicate scent, with almost uniquely red (rather than black) fruit which gives an impression of restraint in youth. Vibrant, pure berry fruits are followed by ripe tannin and a broad, expansive feel to the finish. A stunning wine that is one of the earliest of the Grand Crus to open and express itself but should drink well in the mid- to long-term. Drink 2019 to 2032.
£850 per six bottles in bond
Domaine Perrot-Minot, Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes
Similarly to his cousin, Romain Taupenot-Merme, Christophe Perrot-Minot bottles his Mazoyères-Chambertin separately from Charmes-Chambertin (rather than using the name of the latter on the label). It is a Grand Cru of approximately 18 hectares, which lie towards the south of the Gevrey-Chambertin commune. Like Charmes-Chambertin, the relatively large size of this vineyard means that identifying one singular style seems difficult, but it appears to have a rather square structure in youth, needing time to mesh and mellow on the palate (although the domaine’s policy of 80% whole bunch fermentation for Grand Crus seems to help the wine’s structure integrate with the fruit well). But, with time this wine repays cellaring, showing considerable secondary and tertiary flavour and complexity. Christophe owns 0.75 hectares of Mazoyères-Chambertin, and at present, his 2014 shows impressive black cherry and spice notes, and a heady, rich palate which match the tannic structure well, meaning this is one of the longest-lived wines from the domaine. Drink 2022 to 2033.
£850 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2014*
Having tasted a stunning 2006 Clos de Bèze from Christophe Perrot-Minot a few months ago, which showed delicious secondary aromas of game, spice, compote as well as the underlying fruit core that promised at least another 8 or so years’ ageing, we were eager to taste the 2014. It was not a disappointment. Christophe makes just over 150 cases of Clos de Bèze, from grapes that he purchases from another grower, but on tasting it is impossible to tell from wines that he vinifies from his own vineyards. Indeed, there has been huge critical acclaim for this wine in recent years. The 2014 is no exception with excellent breadth and depth on the palate, but is still fresh and elegant in style. Tannins are ripe but powerful, which frame the black and red fruits and match the refreshing acidity. The fruit aroma was somewhat subdued at the start, pointing to a wine that will, like Christophe’s Chambertin Grand Cru, take approximately ten years to begin to fulfil its promise. Drink 2023 to 2035.
£1,150 per six bottles in bond
Perrot-Minot, Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2014*
The Chambertin Grand Cru is made in similar quantities to Christophe Perrot-Minot’s ‘Ultra’ wines (on average just 48 cases) and is similarly vinified with 80% whole bunch fermentation, adding complexity and freshness to the wines. But, similarly to the Chapelle-Chambertin and the Clos de Bèze, the grapes for this wine were from purchased grapes. The overall vineyard area of Chambertin Grand Cru is approximately 13 hectares, which lie between Latricières-Chambertin and Clos de Bèze. In style it is probably the most powerful of them all, although Christophe’s wine tends to have a particularly crystalline purity to it, which can distract the taster’s attention away from the sheer strength of fruit underlying the palate. Once more, it was not possible to tell, during our tasting, that this wine was vinified from purchased grapes, and unsurprisingly it has also gained a significant critical following over the last few years. The 2014 has a vibrant red colour, with beautifully fine aromas of red fruits and lavender. The vivid, pure feel to the palate gives way to noticeable concentration and depth of flavour, with an extremely long, intensely-scented finish. A wine for the very-long term. Drink 2024 to 2035.
£1,150 per six bottles in bond