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2009 Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru Domaine Lamarche
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Domaine Lamarche produces 14 different wines, including la Grande Rue, a monopole of the estate and one of the rare grands crus of Vosne-Romanée. The vineyards lie half way between Dijon, between the Clos de Vougeot and Nuits Saint Georges, Vosne-Romanée.
From a 'geological' point of view, the grands crus lie on oolite in ferruginous limestone soils - with stony, rocky or clay-marl subsoil - which give full-bodied, well-structured wines, deep in colour and with greater ageing capacity. The Vosne-Romanée AOC vineyards are planted on deeper, clay-limestone soils and produce lighter wines, with more subtle aromas, and which develop more quickly.
Domaine Lamarche, which now covers a total surface area of nearly 28 acres, is a family firm, whose origin goes back several generations. Ancestors of the Lamarche family were already established in the village of Vosne-Romanée in around 1740. Since the end of the 19th century (for five generations), the estate has grown bigger over the years: Henri Lamarche founded the estate at the beginning of the 20th century. Their son, Henri Lamarche, born in 1903, took over the estate. He inherited la Grande Rue in 1933, the year of his marriage to Aline Demur (la Grande Rue would become a grand cru in 1992).
The Domaine has been evolving with the arrival of the new generation of cousins Nathalie and Nicole, taking over from François Lamarche, aided by wife Marie-Blanche and sister Geneviève.François is the grandson of the original Henri Lamarche and son of the second Henri Lamarche who received La Grande Rue as a wedding present.
As well as more meticulous work in the vineyards, better barrel selection and a new cuverie (since 2000) have combined to make this a more consistent domaine. I have had spectacular bottles from Lamarche, but there have certainly been some failures too. Perhaps the new generation will confirm a regular place for Domaine Lamarche at the top table.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Most of the wine produced in this small village comes from a single, walled Grand Cru vineyard, the famous Clos de Vougeot. The vineyard in its present form dates from 1336 (when it was first planted by monks of Cîteaux), although it was not until the following century that it was entirely enclosed by stone walls.Clos de Vougeot is both the smallest commune and the largest Clos in the Cote d’Or. It consists of 50 hectares of vineyards shared among 82 owners, with six soil types. There is quite a difference in quality between the upper (best) and lower (least fine) parts of the vineyard, though in medieval times a blend from all sectors was considered optimum.
Le Domaine de la Vougeraie makes a very fine white wine from Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot, first picked out by the monks of Cîteaux as being suitable ground for white grapes in the year 1110.
- Five hectares of village Vougeot
- 12 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (four in all): Les Cras, Les Petits-Vougeots, Clos de la Perrière and Clos Blanc de Vougeot
- 51 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard – Clos de Vougeot
- Recommended producers: Domaine de la Vougeraie, Domaine Bertagna, Engel, Anne Gros, Grivot, Liger-Belair, Meo-Camuzet.