Gros Frere & Soeur-Richebourg-Grand Cru 2017 (AM93)
Sales price HK$3,980
Note: from a .7 ha parcel that was partially replanted in 1985 and the remainder in 1989 Producer note: As I reported last year, Bernard Gros has ceded the direction of the domaine to his son Vincent, though when I arrived for my annual tasting I found Bernard vigorously helping with the d矇cuvage (devatting) of the 2018s. Also as he did last year, the younger Gros told me that he again chose to vinify without sulfur. His succinct take on the 2017 vintage was that it gave us much better yields than did 2016, which was welcome. We chose to begin picking on the 10th of September and there was essentially no sorting save for under ripe berries. Waiting to pick as long as we did also helped to boost potential alcohols as everything came in with a minimum of 13% and the highest was 13.8%. There was no need to concentrate any of the musts and the vinifications unfolded without incident as again, the fruit was ripe and clean. The wines aren't as dense as the 2016s or as ripe as the 2015s but they have their own charms and in particular for their refreshing energy and lovely transparency. I noted in my comments last year that the wood treatment seems more modulated since Vincent took over. I can confirm that last year was not a one off as it's definitely toned down (with the exception of the Richebourg) in 2017 as well. Lastly, Vincent Gros noted that the 2016s, revisited below, were bottled in March 2018. Tasting note: This is the first wine to display any appreciable wood influence and in this case it's not subtle though it stops short of dominating the markedly spicy red cherry and floral-suffused nose. Once again there is very good intensity to the bigger, richer and more evidently mineral-driven broad-shouldered flavors that possess good muscle, power and finishing drive on the youthfully austere finish. A competent if not truly distinguished example.