Peter Maude Fine Wines

2018, Domaine Nicolas Perrault, MARANGES, 1er Cru, 'Clos des Rois'

$78

Revisited a year later, the 2018 Maranges 1er Cru Le Clos Des Rois offers up inviting aromas of sweet berries and cherries mingled with loamy soil, smoked meats and spices. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and muscular, it's concentrated and tightly wound, and it will merit more patience than I anticipated in my earlier review. Perrault tells me that he's replanting this parcel—which is high in active limestone—at a density of 15,000 vines per hectare, with higher trellising. 

Nicolas Perrault continues to progress: his vineyards are in organic conversion, and he's experimenting with higher trellising in several parcels. New plantations are going in at high density. And he continues to work with élevages much longer than the vast majority of his neighbors. As I've written before, in the cellar, Perrault aspires to tame the stereotypical rusticity of Santenay and Maranges—a quality that he and I agreed is more owing to vineyard and winemaking choices than anything inherent to the terroirs of those unjustly neglected villages. Perrault observes that Maranges's higher altitude means that it's important to wait for full maturity, and he also takes care to handle his fruit gently, avoiding any unnecessary crushing. The results are very fine indeed, and though his 2018s are shutting down in bottle (readers should plan on exercising a little patience), my enthusiasm for them remains undimmed. When I visited this spring, most of Perrault's 2019s had just been racked, so I'll wait to taste them on a more propitious occasion. 92/100 William Kelley, Wine Advocate.

Drinking Window: 2026 - 2040.

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