Marchand-Tawse Morey-Saint-Denis En La Rue De Vergy 2019


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“The 2019 Morey-Saint-Denis En La Rue de Vergy includes 80% whole-bunch fruit. It presents a tightly wound bouquet of black fruit infused with crushed stone and a touch of sea spray. The palate is medium-bodied with very supple tannins, well-judged acidity and a harmonious, quite elegant finish that lingers in the mouth. This is an excellent Morey-Saint-Denis that comes recommended. Drinking window: 2023-2038. 90-92 points

Nowadays I reserve an entire morning to taste through the complete range of Domaine Tawse and their wide range of négociant wines under Marchand-Tawse. That is not only because of the sheer number of wines, but also because discussing the vintage with winemakers Pascal Marchand and Mark Fincham is always an illuminating exercise. “In 2019 we started late, which was different to 2018 and 2020,” Fincham told me. “It was especially late in terms of flowering. It was a cold spring and then we had a hot summer, though not as warm as 2018 or 2003. The growing season developed differently because of the lateness. It was very dry and in summer, some places where people regularly go fishing, had completely dried up and this reduced yields further and enhanced concentration. Fortunately we had small showers just at the right point. What we learned from 2018 was that we had to be very reactive in the vineyard, even though a couple of cuvées like the Longecourt reached 15.0°. But, most of the cuvées reached 13.5° to 14.0°. In 2018 people had more problems with stuck fermentation but in 2019, despite the higher alcohol, the fermentations were smoother. In 2018 the proportion of skin to juice was much higher. In 2019 there was two-thirds juice to one-third solid matter, which is a bigger proportion than normal and this lead to more concentration. In 2018 it was around one-quarter solid to three-quarters juice. We started the picking on 12 September in Beaune and finished with the Musigny on 26 September. In 2018 and 2020 you had to jump around between vineyards whereas in 2019 it was a classic order of picking. We couldn’t give the pickers a break. Since 2018 we have a world full of surprises. We used to be able to read the vintage more easily. Things are less predictable these days, though the surprises are on the good side.”

In recent years I have been consistently impressed with the wines on both the Domaine and négociant side of this ever-expanding enterprise. As is customary, the inward investment of a wealthy entrepreneur, in this case Murray Tawse, upset the Burgundy purists that believe a Burgundy proprietor should been toiling out in their vines from dawn to dusk making sure their hands are as calloused as possible. But in vino veritas – these wines prove themselves time and again where it counts – in the wine glass. Their miniscule holdings in Musigny managed to produce a sublime 2019, whilst both their Clos Saint-Denis and Clos de la Roche are outstanding, the former just edging it at the moment. Also the Charmes-Chambertin is one of the best you will find. Away from the Grand Crus there is plenty to savour, especially in the Gevrey appellation, evidenced by wonderful showing of Lavaux Saint-Jacques and Les Champeaux. I also appreciated strong performances in the Beaune appellation, not least a superb Teurons with lip-smacking salinity.”

Neal Martin, Vinous (12/20)