This evening we compare two grands crus from Morey-St.-Denis: Clos des Lambrays and Clos de Tart. They have much in common, and much in contrast too. What better way to understand them both than to compare them side by side in matched vintage pairs, with a good span of maturity?
Indeed, this evening’s line up will help us understand two distinct inputs into the final wine. First, the terroir is different – Clos de Tart is warmer, and Clos des Lambrays is cooler, stretching higher up slope and more affected by the cool air from the vale above. Both were led during the period of tonight’s focus by two of the top vignerons of Burgundy – Thierry Brouin made wine at Clos des Lambrays for four decades and emphasised the vineyard’s natural finesse. Winemaking saw whole-bunch fermentation. Meanwhile Sylvain Pitiot made his winemaking reputation at Clos de Tart, with the vintages 1996 through 2015. He emphasised perhaps the vineyard’s natural generosity, with a later-picked and fully de-stemmed winemaking style. Clos de Tart is a monopole of Domaine Clos de Tart, while all but a tennis court’s worth of Clos des Lambrays is made by the Domaine des Lambrays. In a further parallel, both estates were sold within a couple of years of one another to two rival French billionaires – Clos des Lambrays to LVMH Group’s Bernard Arnaud in 2014, and Clos de Tart to Artemis Group’s François Pinault in 2017. We can be sure that both new owners will make changes in the style of these two estates, and it will be fascinating to follow this in the coming years.
So, this evening also creates for us a marker for what we might come to describe as the ‘classic’ style of the two wines. We will taste through 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2011 of both wines side by side to understand the style of the two vineyards clearly and that of Messrs Brouin and Pitiot.
Wines to be served:
1996 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
1996 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
1998 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
1998 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
2002 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
2002 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
2005 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
2005 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
2009 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
2009 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
2011 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
2011 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru