"Les Rugiens-Bas" 1er cru de Pommard 2008

Le millésime

La météo fut capricieuse en 2008 avec un hiver assez doux suivi d'un printemps et été pour l'essentiel frais et humides qui ont freiné la maturité des raisins et permis le développement de la pourriture. Aussi, fin août les regards étaient inquiets surtout lorsque l'on regardait la météo qui prévoyait encore une semaine de temps froid et pluvieux. Puis vint le miracle, le 13 septembre, la Bise, ce vent du nord, frais et sec, se leva enfin pour éclaircir le ciel de tout nuage, il souffla pendant trois semaines environ. C'était exactement ce qu'il nous fallait : de la lumière pour achever la maturité, puis des nuits froides pour conserver l'acidité, et enfin un vent sec pour stopper et sécher la pourriture. Il suffisait alors d'attendre... Nous avons commencé les vendanges fin septembre dans la fraîcheur et la luminosité d'un soleil radieux. In fine, même si les quantités sont faibles, 2008 est une très belle surprise, un millésime très bourguignon avec des arômes issus d'une maturation tardive qui ne sont pas sans rappeler ceux de 1978.

Notes de dégustation

-(70% vendange entier Medium red. Smoky, musky, iron-scented nose. Broad, lush and sweet; a step up in volume from the other Pommards but similarly full and easygoing in the style of this group of 2008s. Classical red soil flavors of redcurrant and leather. Finishes lush and long, with lingering sweetness. Etienne de Montille noted that he's the largest owner of Rugiens du Bas (at 1.05 hectares) which features soil totally different from the marne blanche of Rugiens Haut, and that he will print Bas on the 2008 label for the first time. 90 Stephen TANZER

- Fine tannin and textural polish as well as sheer sweet ripeness of diverse red berries distinguish the de Montille 2008 Pommard Les Rugiens from its many Cote de Beaune siblings in the present collection. What's more, smoked meat, leather, and crushed stone add formidable complexity to a long finish. This ought to be worth following for at least a dozen years. De Montille was planning to follow the lead of several other growers and label this "Rugiens-Bas," in an as much as the site is heterogeneous, its upper portions being dominated by Marne chalk rather than the iron-rich chalk and higher proportion of particulate matter that dominate in this instance. Etienne de Montille related having taken great pains in early September, 2008 to stave-off encroaching rot and promote ripeness, and felt that his rigorous leaf-pulling and crop-thinning – not to mention eventual triage – paid off sufficiently that he could vinify a substantial portion of the 2008 crop in his preferred manner, utilizing a high proportion of stems and whole clusters (100% in the case of this year's grand crus and top premier crus). Those wines for which a point spread is indicated were all last tasted shortly before their early spring bottling as finished assemblages in tank – whence they had been racked at the end of 2009 because de Montille did not think their fruit density or lees quality would have supported longer barrel-elevage. (Despite my longstanding predilection for de Montille and his wines, I regret to report that time and circumstance conspired to keep me from tasting his 2007s.) Rating: (91-92) Drink 2010 - 2022
Review by David Schildknecht Wine Advocate # 189 (Jun 2010)

-A deft touch of wood frames stony, pure and highly floral cool red pinot fruit aromas that merge seamlessly into detailed, precise and understated medium-bodied flavors that are supported by very fine tannins and excellent length. I very much like the effortless sense of balance and controlled power.   Allen Meadows