Spotlight on Red Burgundy: A.F. Gros Vosne Romanée Clos de la Fontaine Monopole 2009
Deciphering the Gros family can be almost as challenging as unravelling Burgundy’s appellations and vineyards. A.F. Gros is married to Francois Parent, with the domaine located in Pommard but also having holdings in Vosne Romanée. Anne Francois is not to be confused with Anne Gros, her cousin, one of the leading Vosne domaines or Michel Gros, her brother, and another leading Vosne domaine. Thus are consumers left hopeless and unguided even when choosing Burgundy domaines, let alone terroirs.
While the domaines of Anne Gros and Michel Gros have the greatest reputation amongst the family, A.F. Gros is no slouch either. Making wines in perhaps more of a modernist bent, winemaker Francois Parent will use between 30-100% new oak, full de-stemming and cold maceration.
But Vosne calls out loud and clear.
The Voice of Vosne
In my experience, the red Burgundies of Vosne Romanée have perhaps the most world’s most distinctive voice in wine. These are easily distinguished from their Burgundy compatriots by the infinite layering of salt, mineral, and earth in the mid-palate and finish. The combined effect is one of ‘light’ umami quite distinct from the umami I’ve experienced in other wines and far more structured and delineated. Each layer of a top Vosne is perceptible. There is also an austerity to the top wines that can make them feel uncompromising as much as pleasurable from their abundantly rich fruit.
Thus in the best domaines, despite variations in viticulture and vinification and despite style preferences, the voice of Vosne nearly always speaks individualistically not just to its Burgundy brethren but also to all other wine regions. This is why Vosne is so special, and so loved by some of the most seasoned wine drinkers and experts.
As for this monopole held by the domaine? Clos de la Fontaine is a village level single vineyard located in the south of Vosne that produces a more sumptuous forward style of Vosne, but still with its unique umami and requisite layering. The 2009 vintage helps the wine’s early drinking with its soft, tangy red fruits that are both elegant and lush. The finish is extremely long for a village level wine and the wine is quite balanced for 2009, which is not always the case. Not at the level of the Laurent Les Suchots, this wine nonetheless has the same earthy power within a lithe, elegant form.
$100 at liberty