From Olivier Lamy: "In Burgundy, according to writings from the Middle Ages until the appearance of phylloxera (19th century), vines were cultivated at high density, i.e. around 20,000 to 30,000 vines per hectare. This high density was the fruit of the observations and experiences of our ancestors who had noticed a beneficial competition for the root system, the quality of the grapes and the wine.
In 2001, we planted a few rows of vines with higher planting density.
This cuvée comes from a small vineyard planted at high density in the Derrière Chez Edouard climate in Saint Aubin."
94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Deep and electric, the 2019 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Derrière Chez Edouard Haut Densité unwinds in the glass with hints of pear, citrus oil, white flowers, fresh bread and toasted hazelnuts. Full-bodied, multidimensional and strikingly concentrated, it's layered and elegantly muscular, with racy acids and a long, precise finish. As I wrote last year, obtaining even a bottle will require considerable guile and a large disposable income, but what pleasures await the lucky few who will taste this profound white Burgundy. (WK)" (1/2021)
From Burgundy Report: "There’s a Derrière Chez Edouard-ness to the wines, regardless of the vintage or particular cuvée – but more obviously from the flavour and structure perspective. As you can see from my notes – the HD has (almost) universally a more airy and open aromatic character – except in the more recent vintages where the gap between the cuvées has narrowed as the classic cuvée takes on more of the aromatic character of the HD. This is, of course, complicated by the first vintages of the HD being relatively young vines – and likewise the more recent vintages of the classic cuvée containing the young-vine produce of the more recent HD plantings – and let’s not forget, the classic cuvée is made from roughly double the yields of the HD cuvée.
Based on the vine ages it’s no surprise that to start with, the HD cuvée needed a bit of vintage help to produce something of roughly grand cru standard. As the vines began to mature a grand cru style slowly became the norm as less help from the vintage was required. Clearly, the HD takes on some age-related development at a slower rate than the classic cuvée – like any good grand cru!
Impressive, more by the work of Olivier than planting densities, is the consistency of the wines we tasted – not just great 2007s and 2010s – but great 2009s, 2013s and 2015s too – pick any vintage and you will be rewarded. A testament not just to Olivier but the quality of his vines/vineyard (too) is that his slowly changing winemaking approaches – barrels, barrel-sizes, approaches to sulfur use, moving to DIAM seals – amongst many other details, has not changed the essential Derrière Chez Edouard-ness of his wines – merely refined their clarity.
The HD cuvée is now clearly and consistently a wine of grand-cru quality that loses its early youthful fruit after about 3 years. The recent vintages of the classic cuvée are now easily as good as the early vintages of the HD and that’s despite the higher rendement used to make them – and they are still a relative bargain if you can’t quite source, or justify the cost of, the HD cuvée."
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