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David Duband Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2016

David Duband Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2016

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"(Duband vinified his 2016 grand crus with 90% whole clusters, leaving "a bit of fruit for juiciness"): Good full red. Much tighter on the nose than the Echézeaux, currently dominated by minerality. Densely packed and quite primary, with its dark cherry, brown spice and underbrush flavors framed by harmonious acidity. The wine's crushed rock component contributes to the impression of inner-mouth lift. This penetrating grand cru spreads out subtly to take over the palate, with the finish featuring rather powerful, building tannins and a youthfully medicinal quality. (The Latricières-Chambertin had been racked three days before my visit.) 92-94 points

David Duband told me he doesn’t find obvious differences between the 2016s made from frosted parcels and those from unaffected vines. “There’s not really an excess of concentration in the frosted wines,” he said. “It’s a normal vintage despite the late harvest.” Duband started harvesting on September 26 and made most of his wines without chaptalization. “Even the Hautes-Côtes came in at 11.8% to 12% and this wine will be bottled at 12.3%,” he told me. “But even the millerandé berries were not especially high in alcohol—12.8% to 13% at maximum.” Duband lost an average of 80% of his normal crop in Nuits-Saint-Georges. He vinified his village wines with about 60% whole clusters, and the premier crus with around 75%, noting that "the most important thing [i.e., more important than the ripeness of the stems], is to not break the stems"; to this end, he does his pigeages by foot. All of the ‘16s were moved to cuves in December and were slated to be bottled in February and March.

Duband believes that the 2016s will be vins de garde but that they will also be digestible earlier than the ’15s, which he thinks are in the process of closing down. He described the ‘15s as “a bit much—very powerful wines with strong acidity,” noting that pHs in 2015 are lower than those of 2016. “In comparison, the ‘16s are more seductive and have a more normal acidity.” He added that 2015, like 2005, is a vintage that will age on its richness, and he believes that ripe tannins are more critical to longevity than acidity. Unfortunately, Duband had virtually no ‘15s left at the time of my January visit, but he managed to scrape up a bottle of Chambertin and it was stellar."

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (01/18)