About this WINE
Domaine Clos de Tart
The 7.5 hectares monopole Clos de Tart is situated just south of Morey-St-Denis and has remained intact since its creation in the 12th century. It was granted Grand Cru classification in 1939.
When the Mommessins sold their négociant business to Jean-Claude Boisset they retained ownership of the Clos du Tart, which had been bought in 1932 from the Marey-Monge family. After a long period of producing competent but not always inspiring wines, Clos de Tart moved up a significant gear with the arrival of the hyper-meticulous Sylvain Pitiot in 1996.
Nowadays they usually make a Grand Cru from the best plots and older vines, and a Premier Cru from younger vines. Monsieur Pitiot and his team are totally focused on producing sublime wine of thevery highest standard in the magnificent surroundings of this ancient property.The wines are matured in 100% new oak and are bottled unfiltered. They display a seductive perfumed nose and are harmonious, refined and complex on the palate.
The vineyard is run more or less organically but without certification. With the help of Claude Bourguignon the different zones have been carefully mapped out according to soil types, and these are now picked separately and vinified apart in stainless steel tanks in the new cuvérie designed by Sylvain Pitiot in 1999. Yields are maintained well below the permitted maximum by diligent pruning and debudding, with green harvesting if necessary. Typically the harvest here is one of the latest in the region, as Sylvain likes to be sure of full phenolic ripeness.
Until recently the grapes were destalked but not crushed, though there are currently ongoing experiments with various percentages of stems, cutting across the usual separation into cuvées designated by their soil types. Cuvaison usually lasts three weeks including a pre-maceration and further time in tank after fermentation with some cuvees being heated at the end to stabilise the colour and destroy unwelcome lactases. The wine is then run off into new barrels in the first year cellar on the ground floor, using Tronçais and Allier wood from a variety of coopers. After a year the wines move down to the lower cellar, being racked only if necessary. The final blend is only put together just before bottling, with some wine destined for the second label, Morey –St-Denis 1er Cru, La Forge du Tart, in most years.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Morey is sometimes ignored between its two famous neighbours, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, but its wines are of equal class, combining elegance and structure. Morey-St Denis, being that little bit less famous, can often provide excellent value.
The four main Grand Cru vineyards continue in a line from those of Gevrey-Chambertin, with Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche the most widely available. Clos des Lambrays (almost) and Clos de Tart (entirely) are monopolies of the domains which bear the same names.
Domaine Dujac and Domaine Ponsot also make rare white wines in Morey-St Denis.
- 64 hectares of village Morey-St Denis
- 33 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). Best vineyards include Les Charmes, Les Millandes, Clos de la Bussière, Les Monts Luisants
- 40 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard. Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de la Roche, Clos St Denis and a tiny part of Bonnes Mares
- Recommended Producers: Dujac, Ponsot, Clos de Tart, Domaine des Lambrays
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.
David Schildknecht - 22/12/2009
Burghound, Jan 2009