Domaine Rapet Père et Fils Pernand 1er Cru Sous Frétille 2005

And now we begin on the 1er Cru white Burgundies, albeit those from lesser appellations. We’ve already tasted this maker’s Pernand-Vergelesses village-level wine, which was a tasty, albeit not especially refined, drop. This wine, at $A59, is $A12 more expensive. What does this extra money buy the punter?

A fair degree more refinement, as it turns out, although the character of the wine is broadly in line with the village wine. The nose shows toasty almond, caramel and soft melon fruit, which sounds sloppy but is in fact crisp and well defined. Entry is sufficiently acidic to prop up more flavours of almond paste and caramel butter, with some citrus and stone fruit, and an overall impression of baked things. I like the way the wine is fresh and well structured without being forbidding, a hint of mineral contributing to this sense of vitality. Intensity is notable, and the wine seems intent on finding every corner of the mouth and staying put. The slightly lifted after palate shows good extension through the back of the mouth, and the finish is well shaped and of good length.

All in all, I like this wine’s flavour profile and sense of style. It’s a lot more refined than the village wine, although I still wouldn’t call it the ultimate in sophistication. I should note that the other half took an instant, firm dislike to this wine’s flavours, finding them unpleasantly sharp and perhaps even volatile. I can understand that point of view, as there’s a pungent, perhaps herbal edge to the wine’s flavour profile that may not be to everyone’s taste.

Update: I left half a bottle in the fridge for two days and am consuming the remainder now. It has come together well, with flavours further integrating and becoming less angular, though it’s still an assertive, distinctive wine. Nice wine if you like the style.

Domaine Rapet Père et Fils
Price: $A59
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: May 2008

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