“The Pearl of the Côte”: 2016 Excellence in Vosne

Posted on: 09/20/18 12:00 PM

AF Gros

The Gros family seems to have a tentacle in nearly every hectare of Vosne-Romanée. After all, there are so many of them – Anne-Françoise Gros (i.e. Domaine A.-F. Gros) – Michel Gros, Anne Gros, and Gros Frères et Soeurs. With deep roots in the appellation and an extensive history with the vines, the family has amassed some impressive holdings – Richebourg, Echézeaux, Grands Echézeaux, important parcels in Clos Vougeot, including Le Grand Maupertui and en Musigni, Vosne 1ers Chaumes, aux Brûlées and the monopole Clos de la Fontaine, parcels of Aux Réas and Les Barreaux … well, you get the idea.

The complex history of the family and its extensive holdings has confused many, and I think, kept some from the wines. Even today, as Collette of Gros Frères et Soeurs divides her estate among her nieces and nephews, parcels are being divvied up, traded and incorporated into the other Domaines. It’s a lot to keep track of, frankly.

That said, there are some stunningly good wines here. Domaine A.-F. Gros has really been making long strides on the quality front, and the quality here was always very good. Having dialed back the oak starting in the mid-2000s, the wines have a greater freshness and purity that has been very exciting to follow.

Vosne is an appellation hard to shop in, with a lot of, frankly, overpriced and mediocre wines. Not so chez A.-F. Gros. The wines here are rich and sumptuous, with plenty of finesse and grace to complement the opulence of the fruit. The classic Vosne spice haunts the flavor profile throughout the range. In short the wines are tres, tres Vosne.

I have secured a nice allocation of 3 of the Domaine’s most attractive wines, two of which are among of the most famous and profound Vosne lieux-dits – Aux Réas and Clos de la Fontaine – and the third of which speaks for itself – Richebourg.

Yes, the wines are expensive, but they are also “worth it.” These are unique, special experiences. Don’t let them slip you by.

2016 A.-F. Gros Vosne-Romanée Aux Réas

Burghound: “Slightly more evident wood serves as the backdrop for the even spicier aromas that include notes of Asian-style tea, violet, plum and both red and dark raspberry. The rich, generously proportioned and succulent flavors coat the palate with sappy dry extract while offering lovely depth and length on the balanced finale. This is a lovely villages and the natural class of Vosne is evident.”

2016 A.-F. Gros Vosne-Romanée Clos de la Fontaine

Burghound: “Restrained aromas that blend notes of both red and dark currant with those of spice, floral and a hint of tea slide gracefully into seductively textured, delicious and caressing medium-bodied flavors that offer solid length.”

2016 A.-F. Gros Vosne-Romanée Richebourg

Burghound: “Here too a moderate wood influence frames the ripe, pure and cool aromas of plum, violets and spicy Asian-style tea. The equally pure broad-shouldered flavors ooze a fine minerality on the energetic and powerful finish that does a slow build from the mid-palate to the explosive finale. I very much like the underlying sense of tension and this is a classically styled Richebourg that is built-to-age yet not quite so structured as to preclude opening a bottle after only 6 to 8 years.”

Posted in Burgundy List By Ian Halbert