2006 Aux Malconsorts – The leader now has one competitor

Aux Malconsorts is the premier cru vineyard in one of the most holy of places in Burgundy for wine lovers; Vosne-Romanée. The vineyard borders La Tâche in the north and has seen a true rise in quality especially due to the exceptional handcraft by Sylvain Cathiard in more than a decade. However, since 2005 they are up for competition here as Domaine de Montille and Dujac bought and split the owning of Thomas-Molliard’s sellout. We have been very impressed with de Montille’s wines before, especially the Volnay Tallepieds.

This tasting may not be truly fair, since the Malconsorts from Domaine de Montille this time is their very special cuvée from a mystic part of this vineyard that appears to be cut straight out of La Tâche really. However, as Étienne de Montille clearly has stated, it has never been part of La Tâche, but he thinks it is special enough for making a special bottling named after his mother.

Cathiard is an obvious opponent or better put, our reference since up till this tasting, they have been our first choice in this vineyard period after tasting several of the other producers here. Sébastien Cathiard has taken over from the 2011 vintage after his father Sylvain and their section is more up hill in the middle. You can read more about the vineyard and inspect their different sections here in Steen Öhman’s article.

 
 

2006 1er cru Malconsorts, Sylvain Cathiard

This was reviewed about a year ago here, but primarily for providing a benchmark as well as supplying a fresh note now a second review is done here a year later.

Sir Galahad:

Colour is translucent, but dark red-purple-orange with light-orange edges.

After more than three hours of decanting, the nose emerges with distinct wood glue, orange-peel, underbrush, some Asian spices and somewhat burnt herbs. And after hours of additional airing, finally the typical x-mas spices arrives to scene together with a very delicate and reticent, but fresh inner-perfume of fresh flowers.

The palate offers very small, pure and sweet mix of blue- and red berries, white pepper, clove, notes of dry fennel, pastry as well as distinct delicate and crystalline minerals. It has very silky texture from tannins that still spurs the tongue a little and its body is not as slim and light-weighted as the nose suggested as last time, rather somewhat meaty and generously mouth filling at least compared to its opponent this time.

Cathiard’s Malconsorts offers remarkably pure aromas and great balance and as a year ago, the only tiny remark is the somewhat lack of structure in this less favourable vintage for tannins, which is not improved by removing stems as they always do in accordance with the principles setup by Henri Jayer.

93+p/100

 

Andreas:

Initially the nose is quite soft, creamy and with concentrated red fruit. After some more time the nose shows herbal notes, wood glue, blueberries and other dark berries. The nose is quite deep and dense. After 2-3 hours the nose closed down and never returned to the initial levels.

On the palate the acidity takes initiative and is very present and direct, while the fruit is more careful but aligned with the nose. The wine is quite mineral and spicy in the taste. Tannins are soft but a bit sandy. The finish is long and has a slight hint of bitterness.

As expected with Cathiard this is a fantastic wine that is quite masculine and has a dense and complex nose.

93-94p/100

 

2006 1er cru Aux Malconsorts “Christiane”, Domaine de Montille

Sir Galahad:

Colour is translucent, almost transparently blood red but still red purple with light-orange edges. They add stems, so the colour is lighter than the Cathiard.

After some hours of decanting, the nose is still reticent and emerges with glue, exotic spices, new baked brioche, bright floral notes and then after a lot of swirling in the glass; a subtle very complex perfume as well as some deep, fresh minerals appears in all its fragrant grace.

On the palate there is orange-peel, delicate sea shell minerals, clove and deep fruit as well as hints of blood orange and cherries. Texture is silky and creamy with really good tannins. Acidity is crisp and vivid but pleasantly settled. Concentration is great and it has just enough structure to reach to a little bitter but persistent and pure finish.

Even though this wine is reticent and analytic, it is very deep and balanced with a remarkable precision but also generous, fresh and really elegant.

95p/100

Andreas:

The nose starts quite careful and with bright red fruit where raspberries dominate. There are also quite floral notes, soft and fresh spices and mineral tones. Very elegant and pleasant nose with layers of fruit. The nose evolved during the hours we had the wine in a decanter.

Mouthwatering fresh raspberries, clear notes of mineral and again some fresh spices. Very energetic palate. Tannins are extremely silky but definitely present.

This wine is well balanced with an energetic acidity, fresh fruit and nice tannins. Very elegant and with good potential.

95p/100

Summary

Clearly, in the 2006 vintage that lacks ripe and authoritative tannins for structure and grip, both wines are somewhat analytic still, but the Christiane wins today by offering just a little more depth and precision. You should most likely forget them both for another 15 years is my guess. It will be very interesting to follow these two champions from now on in the Malconsorts. As always, competition pushes quality further.

 

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