Complex and distinguished, this opens with an exotic, musky perfume of creamy red fruits. It’s very finely drawn, with lovely purity, fine tannins and quality oak which is a touch present at the moment. Long and concentrated, this may not be a big, brooding Bonnes-Mares, but it’s undeniably a very elegant one (13%).
£175 Berry Bros & Rudd

A cosmopolitan taste-off pitted a quintet of New World Pinots against two from France with one of Burgundy’s most famous locations winning out in the end.

What’s in a name? When it comes to the famous grand cru of Bonnes Mares, it seems that nobody is entirely sure.

According to Domaine de la Vougeraie, it may be a reminder of mother goddesses, a corruption of the French ‘bonnes mères’ or ‘good mothers’ or, most plausibly, derived from the old French and Burgundian word ‘marer’, to cultivate. In which case, Bonnes Mares are, literally, well-kept vines.

In recent years for Vougeraie, that philosophy of good cultivation has meant a gradual embrace of ever more sustainable practices: pest management since 1992, organic farming since 1998, and biodynamic practices since 2001. The vines are earthed up in winter and winemaking is hands-off.

This Trophy winner spent 16 months in oak barrels, 55% of them new. The winemaker responsible, Pierre Vincent, joined Vougeraie’s parent company Boisset La Famille des Grands Vins in 2001, working at Jaffelin prior to moving to his current post. He has also worked or periods at famous Burgundian estates Olivier Leflaive and Antonin Guyon.

This International Trophy follows one for Vougeraie last year, for its 2011 Monopole Le Clos de Blanc de Vougeot.

Vougeraie 7Winemaker Pierre Vincent has continued Domaine de la Vougeraie’s sustainable approach

Tasted against

CedarCreek Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada 2012 • Curly Flat Pinot Noir, Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia 2011 • Daniel Chotard, Chant de l’Archer, Sancerre, Loire, France 2012 • Errázuriz Pinot Noir, Aconcagua Costa, Aconcagua Valley, Chile 2013 • Greystone, The Thomas Brothers’ Reserve Pinot Noir, Waipara, Canterbury, New Zealand 2013 • Kutch McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California, USA 2013.

Vougeraie 3Domaine de la Vougeraie