There were no weak spots in this tasting and at least one wine is 'probably indestructible', reports Stephen Brook, after trying Anne Gros Burgundy wines - including Richebourg, Clos Vougeot and Echézeaux - spanning several vintages. Ratings and tasting notes are available exclusively to Decanter Premium members...
Anne Gros is approaching her thirtieth vintage in Burgundy. She initially worked with her father François, but in 1995 ill health forced his retirement and thereafter the property was known simply as Domaine Anne Gros.
Today she is assisted by two of her children: Julie and Paul. It’s a small property, but has grown from three hectares in 1988 to 6.5 today.
Her most important holdings are in three Grands Crus, which were recently the focus of a lavish dinner at 67 Pall Mall in London:
- Clos Vougeot, from 0.9 hectares in the sector called ‘Grand Maupertui’ towards the top of the slope near Grands Echézeaux.
- Echézeaux, a small plot acquired in 2007.
- Richebourg, from 0.6 hectares with an average vine age of 70 years.
The oldest vines of all are in Clos Vougeot, having been planted in 1904.
Go straight to Stephen’s tasting notes and ratings
Scroll down to continue reading this article below the wines.
How the wines were served
The dinner featured classic dishes such as stuffed mushrooms with herbs; pigeon Wellington with – to Anne Gros’s mock-horror, a sauce bordelaise; a huge serving of roasted duck breast and confit duck leg. The sommeliers wisely poured the wines in flights of two or three well before each course was served, allowing the guests to sniff and savour the wines without distracting food aromas. Then of course the wines could be enjoyed alongside the dishes. The Echézeaux was served with the cheese, as was the only village wine in the line-up, a Chambolle-Musigny ‘Combe d’Orveau’.
About Anne Gros Burgundy wines
Her winemaking is classic. Although not an organic farmer, Anne Gros uses no herbicides and minimises treatments, but likes to have some flexibility. She and her team decided when to pick simply by tasting some bunches.The fruit is all destemmed, and after fermentation the wine spends fourteen months in oak, of which half is new.
Older vintages saw up to 80 percent new oak, but she has cut back, as she is keen to retain as much fruit as possible, which is also why she bottles unusually early, shortly before Christmas.
There were no weak spots in the tasting, and even the 1996 Clos Vougeot was still going strong, but there was some lively discussion among the guests about were their preferred wines in each flight. Anne Gros looked on serenely if with some bemusement as guests, mobiles trembling, competed with each other to secure the last bottles of certain wines from merchants’ lists. Many remarked on how the grands crus, even the notoriously uneven Clos Vougeot, magically combined richness, delicacy, and finesse.
But Anne Gros wasn’t going to let any of this go to her head, remarking: ‘I don’t like to dwell too much on the vintages of the past. For me the best wines still lie in the future.’
After this superb range of wines, it was easy to understand why great Burgundy attracts such slavish devotion from aficionados.