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.
Full colour. Fine, rich, concentrated nose. Lots of depth and quality here. Full body. Very good tannins. Quite masculine in character compared with rest of this flight. But not a bit tough or four-square. A backward wine with very fine depth, concentrated fruit and lots of grip. The best Clos de Tart for a generation. Very fine plus. From 2018. Tasted 2008. (Clive Coates).
The striking feature of the year 2005 was the drought that began in June in Burgundy.
The average annual amount of sunshine registered in la Côte in 2005 was 1,911 hours, 90 hours above the recorded averages in the last 30 years. This factor, in addition to low precipitation throughout the vines' growth cycle, explains why perfectly healthy grapes were harvested throughout Burgundy, with thick skins and highly concentrated must. In the Clos de Tart, flowering was finished by 14 June and veraison appeared starting in the first few days of August. The earliness of both of these important stages in the growth cycle of the vines tends to indicate the production of good grapes. On the morning of Wednesday, September 21st, a sunny day with cool temperatures, 25 pickers entered
the Clos to harvest the grapes. Picking was made easier thanks to two preparatory tasks: deleafing and a green harvest, which had been performed by a team of twenty people in early August. We manually eliminated some of the vines' leaves on the east-facing side of the row (the side that gets the early morning rising sun), on the leaves covering the grapes, in order to improve air circulation and give the grapes increased exposure to the sun. The aim of performing green harvest is to retain only the best bunches of grapes, the number of which is restricted to five per vine in the Clos de Tart in order to limit yields and allow for better ripening of the grapes and greater concentration of the wine.
On Saturday, September 24th, at 11 in the morning, all of the grapes had been picked. We achieved this in record time with just under 3 ½ days of picking. This reduction in time was due to excellent weather conditions during the entire harvesting period. At the winery, the grapes' perfect condition meant that we did not have to table sort them. This had not happened since 1996, when the winery acquired this state-of-the-art piece of equipment. The yield for the 2005 Clos de Tart was 27hl/ha = 1.4 tons per acre. Its average natural alcohol level was 14°.
Thanks to the time saved by not having to sort as well as to the excellent ripeness of the stems, we were able to conduct an interesting experiment in vinification. We traditionally vinify the entire Clos de Tart harvest in 6 different cuvees and blend them after maturation. This year, we split one of these cuvees in two: the first half was vinified as it usually is, with approximately 85% of the harvest de-stemmed, while the other half was not at all de-stemmed. The two wines we obtained were quite different, especially as far as aromas are concerned. However, none of our tasters showed a definite preference for either one or the other. During bottling, we made sure to keep some of each of the two wines separate so that we may compare them at regular intervals in the future.
The 2005 vintage is therefore of a rare, exceptionally high quality because the physiological maturity (sugar and acidity) as well as phenolic maturity (tannins and anthocyans) levels of the grapes all reached their peak at the same time. Following classic vinification techniques, and late, slow malolactic fermentations, the 2005 Clos de Tart has revealed itself to be of superb quality with excellent concentration, elegance, power, smoothness, and charm. It is a noble wine with great class, which has its place among the greatest vintages.