1933 Domaine René Engel Grands-Echézeaux Grand Cru 


Sometimes you encounter a bottle so old and rare that your immediate reaction is one of knowing that you will never taste it again. This bottle came from a renowned private cellar and was poured blind by a generous friend at Bistro de l’Hôtel.

The 1933 Grands-Echézeaux Grand Cru from Domaine René Engel was crafted by the man whose name adorned the label up until the final vintage in 2004. Nineteen thirty-three is not a well-known or particularly renowned growing season, but it is one that sages regard as being underrated. Crops were reduced by cochylis early in the season, the summer hot and dry, and the harvest undertaken in rather changeable conditions. The resulting fruit was clean with comparatively high alcohol and low acidity, yet yields were tiny. The wine’s appearance is commensurate with its age, with a tawny rim and bricking all the way through to the core. The bouquet unfurls beautifully with red cherries infused with blood orange and potpourri, demonstrating remarkable vitality considering its years. There is a touch of VA, though it is minor and does not detract from the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with remnants of red fruit, supplanted by notes of sage and rosemary that dovetail into an attenuating irony finish. Engel’s 1933 Grands-Echézeaux is undeniably fraying at the edges, but what a piece of Burgundy history it is. 93/Drink 2020-2020.