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Heresztyn-Mazzini Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru 2013

Heresztyn-Mazzini Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru 2013

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"The 2013 Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru contains about 40% whole-bunch fruit and matured in close to 50% new wood. It has a perfumed bouquet, floral and refined, with hints of black cherries and dark plum. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp, slightly chalky tannins. There is great purity to this Clos Saint Denis, and a thrilling sense of tension toward the finish that I hope remains in situ once in bottle. Look out for this gem. Drink: 2018-2030. 91-93 points

If you are traveling the main thoroughfare of Gevrey village, avert your eyes opposite the best little retro coffee shop in Burgundy (“La Jeanette” if you need the name), you will see a brand spanking new sign for Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini. I like to think I played my own little part. Upon visiting for the first time last year and asked if I approved on their “snazzy” redesigned label, I answered that I did, but perhaps they ought to consider “snazzy” new signage out front. The one rusting outside was unbefitting a domaine that is successfully reinventing itself. Sure enough, a few weeks later, Florence Heresztyn sent me a message with a picture of the new sign. Returning to the domaine, I was interested to see how both her and her husband Simon Mazzini had coped with what was perhaps a more challenging growing season than 2012…

“We worked a lot more to reduce the quantity of the grapes during the growing season,” she told me. “I wanted to get the concentration because a lot of people were saying the vintage was not good, so we decided we wanted a low yield. The grapes were cool when they came into the reception and we maintained a low fermentation temperature at under 30 degrees, in order to capture the fruit and not tannins. The Harvest began in Chambolle-Musigny on September 26, stopping on the Saturday because of the bad weather and started in Gevrey again on September 28, finishing five days later. Some vintages underwent less pigeage and more remontage and the malolactics finished very late, starting after Christmas and finishing around July.”

Florence and Simon did a good job in 2013, and while their wines do not quite match their 2012s, I suspect that they are in a different league than what would have been produced only a decade ago. Just up the lower end, did I feel that the limitations of the growing season compromised the quality of the wine. But when closer to home, especially within the Gevrey ambit, their efforts paid off with a clutch of pure and harmonious, terroir-expressive wines. Florence's deft use of whole-bunch fruit worked well, lending the wines freshness and perhaps just shaving off a little of the high acidity. I cannot wait to taste their promising 2014s next year."

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (216)