1972 Domaine Jean Grivot, Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru, Red Burgundy, France.
What an amazing surprise, this lovely and super delicate aged Burgundy way over performed for expectations with remarkably sweet fruit for a vintage that was not supposed to be one of merit, it shows each bottle and especially particular vineyards can do magically things if conditions are right. This 1972 Jean Grivot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru was made from vines at the time were planted pre 1919 and probably were much older than that, which might help explain why this bottle held on so well and was so delicious. This wine, the better part of fifty years old, opened up with strawberries and cream, leading to a light palate of cherry fruit, dried rose petals, autumn leaves, a hint of bacon, minty herbs and mushrooms. The color began with a glowing ruby hue, and while brown edges showed up quickly in the glass the Grivot Clos de Vougeot held on for close to an hour before fading into stewy sous bois and collapsing, though not before giving otherworldly smiles and drinking pleasure only an old Pinot can give. Made using classic methods with all de-stemmed grapes and a percentage of new oak, Jean’s 1972 Clos de Vougeot overcame a very mediocre year to deliver a lot of joy, though fragile in nature, some of its life taken away by decanting to remove the heavy sediment.
The Domaine Jean Grivot is among the most notable names in Burgundy, with its modern history being stellar with Étienne Grivot’s wines being some of the greatest of his generation. He and his wife Marielle took the helm here from Étienne’s father Jean Grivot in 1987 and put this winery on the map, but certainly they were given some outstanding vineyard sites to work with and some fine efforts in the cellar. These prime sites include parcels in Clos de Vougeot, Echézeaux, and Richebourg Grand Crus, plus some fabulous Chambolle-Musigny, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Vosne-Romanee acreage, that are of exceptional pedigree, like Les Beaux Monts and Suchots and maybe the signature wines now. The Grivot family has just moved into new generation with Étienne and Marielle’s daughter, Mathilde taking over in 2017 and has given this historic label a fresh approach, though remaining faithful to traditions here. Grivot’s Clos de Vougeot rows were acquired by Étienne’s grandfather, Gaston Grivot and located in the middle band and continues to the lower wall, that is between Musigny and Grands Echezeaux. It’s not often someone pulls out an old beauty like this on a Tuesday night just for kicks, so a big thank you to Jacques Melac for a memorable night!
($125 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive