The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Comte Armand and…Comte Armand!

Posted on | November 3, 2014 | Written by Garrett Kowalsky | No Comments

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiThe last time you heard from me, I was letting you in on one of Burgundy’s great estates that you may not have heard of. Today I offer a different approach—I offer you one of the most heralded estates in all of the Côte de Beaune. Known by most as Comte Armand, this property is known by another name by Burgophiles: “Domaine des Epeneaux.” This name is owing to the fact that starting in 1828 the Clos des Epeneaux of Pommard vineyard was at the heart of the estate (and the only property it grew on). In fact, Comte Armand didn’t add its property holdings in Volnay and Auxey Duresses wasn’t until the mid 1990’s; still, all of this land still only equates to about 7.5 ha (about 18 acres), a tiny parcel considering the worldwide demand for this domaine’s exquisite offerings. I chose one bottling from Comte Armand’s original holding, as well as something a bit more “new.”

Comte Armand Auxey Duresses Rouge 1er Cru 2011 $66.00

This wine is actually blended from two separate 1er Cru vineyards, which is why it does not contain the title of either. With perfect southeast placement on the slopes, these grapes ripen well and ultimately produce a serious, powerful wine that forces the drinker to reconsider all preconceived notions that they held regarding Auxey Duresses. Drink now to 2025.

Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux 2011 $189.99

Clos des Epeneaux is one of the ten largest monopoles in all of the Côte d’Or, meaning that only this estate has the right to produce wine from this coveted locale. The average age of the vines is 55 years; this age shows itself as mature fruit produces a deep and sensual wine. Like a professional middleweight boxer, this ’11 Epeneaux exhibits strength, yet it’s also incredibly balanced and finessed. Drink 2017-2030.

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