Robert Parker 92P
Pitch-dark , the 2005 Nuits-St.-Georges Les Vaucrains displays aromas of ripe black fruits, toasted nuts, machine oil, and wet stones. Soy, bitter dark chocolate, roasted portabello and resin on the palate add to the impression of complexity, concentration and darkness conveyed by this very serious wine. The intensity of the finish wrung me out. But fun to drink? Perhaps in another ten years. Amboise characterized this year’s fruit as consisting of “perfect berries, solid and well-structured” from which he concluded it should all be de-stemmed and a cautious approach taken to extraction. But caution is relative. Bertrand Ambroise certainly vinifies with a fanatic dedication to quality, but also with no concessions to the faint of heart, and his formidably tannic 2005s will strike some tasters as hyper-concentrated and flirting with over-extraction. Perhaps a bit more refinement and differentiation might have been achieved with a less robust and woody approach? Ambroise works largely with 400-liter barrels in an effort to preserve fruit by diminishing the surface-to-volume ratio and thus the flavoring effects of new wood, but I cannot claim that I would have recognized that fact in the wines themselves.