2016 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Morey-Saint-Denis La Riotte 1er Cru

Year: 2016
Appellation: Cote de Nuits
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 91-93
Vinous Media: 92
Burghound: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"The 2016 Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru La Riotte has an expressive and engaging bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, pressed flowers and bergamot tea, complex and gaining intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very well-judged acidity, maybe a little conservative but very precise with a sense of energy and tension conveyed on the finish. Fortunately there is a good volume of this wine this vintage-try to buy some.

Romain Taupenot has been behind the ascent of Taupenot-Merme in recent years. It is almost as if fashion has caught up with them, traditionally furrowing their own path of slightly leaner, terroir-driven wines that were as much about texture as fruit, now many growers have changed back more to this style. Meanwhile, I think Romain has refined the quality here in recent years, the wines showing better integration of whole bunches (although everything was destemmed in 2016), tweaking the fruit up just a shade, certainly achieving more refinement and sophistication. “We were touched mainly by the frost near the forest and mildew affected the regional and village crus. We lost around 45% of the total production. But we had a nice yield in Mazoyères and not too bad in Charmes, though the upper part was touched. In Nuits Saint-Georges, we are 60% down in Les Pruliers and 80% down in Combe d’Orveau. We had to stop farming organically because the mildew attacked us so early. You had to get the right window to use copper, and it was just impossible because the treatments would get washed out. The 2016 has a volume and even more ripeness than the 2015 based on the analysis before harvest. The stems were brown and the juice darker. We don’t have as much sweetness as 2015 but we have the energy and the acidity. It's a cross between 2014 and 2015, but nothing in common in terms of yield. It was a late harvest. We started on 29 September with the premier crus since less quantity of fruit meant that ripening was faster, and we finished around 8 October with the Bourgogne Aligoté. Unsually, we picked the Corton after the Côte de Nuits. Everything was destemmed in 2016.” Tasting through the range, which incidentally had been sulfated five weeks earlier, there is no avoiding the fact that the frost and mildew did affect the vines and their resulting wines, although only to a minor degree and dependent upon the cru. I waxed lyrical about the 2015s last year, and the 2016s are almost as good, which is remarkable given that many of their vines were so severely affected by frost and mildew. Maybe I was smitten more by the sweetness conveyed by the 2015s last year, yet these 2016s do have a sense of brightness and vivacity that should see them age with style. The Mazoyères this year was a few steps ahead of the Charmes-Chambertin, while the half-barrel of Clos des Lambrays is a delight. While, like many places, the wines were occasionally a little up and down, Taupenot-Merme remains one of the best producers based in Morey-Saint-Denis. If there is one wine that attests to that, it is their splendid Morey-Saint-Denis Village, everything you could want from a village cru, and a bit more." (WA)

"The 2016 Morey-Saint-Denis La Riotte 1er Cru is showing quite a lot of new oak on the nose, but there is the fruit behind to support it. The palate is medium-bodied, quite modern in style with plenty of new oak, but it is in sync with the fruit. There is a gorgeous velvety texture on the persistent finish. Afford it two or three more years in bottle and it should turn out very fine. Tasted blind at the 2016 Burgfest tasting. (DIAM 30 closure) " (VM)

"Soft wood surrounds aromas of dark currant, newly turned earth and the sauvage. The nicely rich and generously proportioned medium weight flavors possess a sleek texture along with good precision that contrasts somewhat with the firm, dusty and slightly austere finale. Lovely and this should drink reasonably well after only 5-ish years yet easily be capable of rewarding extended cellaring." (BH)