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Ric visits Domaine du Clos des Lambrays

November 26, 2017

There has been quite a significant upheaval in the small commune of Morey-Saint-Denis in recent times where the well-known Domaine du Clos des Lambrays has now come under the LVMH empire while, likewise, neighbouring Domaine du Clos de Tart has changed ownership as well less than a month ago. Nevertheless, it appears to be business as usual when we visited Domaine du Clos des Lambrays on a cold afternoon on 21 November 2017, where we were welcome by its manager M. Boris Champy. This domaine is probably one of the prettiest in the Cote de Nuits, boasting beautiful exteriors with plenty of flora and fauna, including a very well-manicured garden perfect for outdoor parties in summer. Sandwiched between Clos de Tart Grand Cru (to the south) and Clos de la Roche Grand Cru to the north, Domaine du Clos des Lambrays is in an enviable position of owning a majority holding of Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, one of the only four grand crus of Morey-Saint-Denis commune. However, due to the fact that a tiny 400 square metres of this 8.8 hectare AOC appellation is owned by Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Domaine du Clos des Lambrays is unable to stake a monopoly. But no matter.

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Compared with Clos de Tart, the plot of Clos des Lambrays extends much farther up the steep slope to the west well beyond the western boundary of Clos de Tart, where the soils contain much more limestone, which may explain for the more minerally balance of the wines. Notably, the vines here are planted in north-south orientation, only one of six vineyards in Burgundy to do so (the rest are Clos de Tart, La Tache, La Grand Rue, La Romanee and Cros Parantoux). This allows the vines to capture sunlight evenly and to facilitate the movement of tractors along the slopes.

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We proceeded with a tasting of the 2016 wines from barrel. The 2016 Domaine du Clos des Lambrays Morey-Saint-Denis village was notably darker in tone with a heavier tint and forward balance, delivering ripe strawberries, wild berries and dark cherries, rather full with a trace of hardness on the palate from the earthy minerals and high toned acidity, short at its spicy finish. In contrast, the 2016 Domaine du Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru showed a lovely hue of ruby with abundant ripe red fruits, cherries and currants, supple with high-toned acidity and subdued minerals, highly seamless, finishing with good length and spicy earthy tones. Great stuff, considering that the wine has only spent twelve months in barrel and is not yet the final product.

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2016 Domaine du Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru aspirated from barrel.

To round up, a 2013 Domaine du Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru. was poured, showing great colour, really powerful and expressive with a delicious bouquet of ripe red fruits, rose petals, cherries and currants while the palate is open and fleshy with a delightful deftness, utterly seamless between its acidity and understated silky tannins, finishing with superb mouthfeel. Excellent. This short but insightful visit has been made possible by FICOFI and we want to thank M. Boris Champy too for his time.

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