Of all the villages of the Côte de Nuits, Morey-Saint-Denis is one of the most fruitful in terms of the number of its Grands Crus. The Clos de Tart, which remains a solely-held entity, was founded by the Cistercians of Tart in 1141. Since that date, it has been owned by only three families. The Clos Saint-Denis came on the scene in the 11th century, thanks to the fortress of Vergy. The Clos de la Roche and Clos des Lambrays are both semi-monopoles and both have long histories which have involved some adjustment of boundaries between Climats. The Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint-Denis were awarded their Grand Cru appellations on 8 December 1936, Clos de Tart on 4 January 1939, and Clos des Lambrays 27 April 1981.
Facing east or slightly south of east at around 250 metres above sea-level, these Climats may be seen as a southerly extension of the Grands Crus of Gevrey-Chambertin. First comes the Clos de la Roche, then Clos Saint-Denis followed by Clos des Lambrays, and finally Clos de Tart leading to Bonnes-Mares.
Limestone dominates in the Clos de la Roche where the soil is barely 30 cm deep with few pebbles but with large boulders which give the climat its name. In the Clos de Tart, scree-derived soils 40-120 cm thick cover the underlying limestone. The Upper part of the Clos des Lambrays is marly with claylimestone soil further down. The Clos Saint-Denis at the foot of the slope has pebble-free brown limestone soils which contain phosphorus (like Chambertin) and clay (like Musigny).
Diversity is to be expected as each Grand Cru has its own personality. To the eye, this wine is plain ruby, sometimes a bit darker. Veiled in strawberry and violet, the Clos de Tart offers both robustness and charm. Quite tannic when young, it softens with age while gaining in complexity. The Clos des Lambrays is a true aristocrat, fully rounded in youth and with added depth and gravity as the years go by. The Clos Saint-Denis impresses by its finely–tuned nuances – this wine is the Mozart of the Côte de Nuits. The Clos de la Roche is firmer, deeper and more serious, closely akin to Chambertin. Aromas of humus and truffle are often precursors to notes of small red or black fruits. A small part of the BONNES-MARES appellation lies in this commune, but the greater part is in Chambolle-Musigny. (See Fact-sheet No. 5).
Intense and full-bodied when fully mature, these wines have a densely tannic texture and an aromatic richness which makes them a fitting - and equal - partner for feathered game. They are perfect, too, with a rib steak and, for lovers of Asian cuisine, adapt well to the aromatic intensity of glazed poultry. Their supple but virile tannins go well with veal (braised or in sauce) and with roast or braised lamb. One must also not forget their invaluable affinity for strong-flavoured soft-centred cheeses.
Serving temperatures : 12 to 13 °C for young wines, 15 to 16 °C for older wines.
In short, 2005 promises to be a great year for aging, as generous in quantity as in quality.
The period of vegetative rest which extends from October to February was marked by a winter slightly more rigorous and longer than the previous years, with normal rainfall and overdrawn sunning except in January.The pruning took place from November to March and there was no winter treatment. ‘Débourrement’ was around April 20th.
The renewal of activity of the vine occurred towards the end of March and the beginning of April, and the relatively fresh and disturbed climatic conditions were rather unfavorable to its development.At the end of April, a radical change in time provoked an explosion of vegetation and the delay in maturity compared to 2004 was entirely filled.
The dryness, which started at the beginning of June, was accentuated during all August.Flowering, engaged quickly, found its apogee from the 6th. to 10th. June. From mid-June to the end of month, the bays grew bigger very quickly because of the hot weather, and the ‘veraison’ began the first days of August.
The harvest, begun on the 14th of september, proceeded under excellent conditions, with the weather as with the quality of the extremely healthy, beautiful bunches and in sufficient quantity. All these ideal conditions gave a very beautiful harvest. Consequently, wine making was done in good conditions and lasted from 15 to 18 days. After a light cooling of the tanks at the beginning of ‘cuvaison’ (until a temperature of 15°C), alcoholic fermentation started naturally.
The maximum temperatures were relatively moderate (28°C to 33°C according to the tanks) and did not require any intervention to control the parameters. The extraction was done in a very soft way, with a little less intervention (pigeages and remontages) than usual. Malo-lactic fermentation, which started quickly, finished in AprilMay. The sugar level was high with a better acidity compared to the previous years, giving a very good balance. The first racking was carried out in September 2006.