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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.
Bright ruby-red. Reticent notes offers currant, licorice and spicy new oak. Sweet, supple, broad and lush but not yet complex. Initially seemed less minerally and delineated than the 2007, but aeration brought lovely cut and energy (in fact, the pH here is a bit lower than of the 2007). The flavors of bitter cherry, dark chocolate, minerals and fresh blood are supported by firm underlying structure. Smaller-scaled than the massive 2005, but this conveys more verve and terroir character today and should age slowly and well. 93. (Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, March/April 2009)
The Burgundian author, Colette (1873 - 1954), proposed a lovely definition of « terroir »: Wine is the only example from the plant world that allows Mans to grasp the real flavour of earth.
Summer weather conditions during June brought about rapid, even flowering throughout the vineyard. At Clos de Tart, the vines were in full bloom on 14 June, exactly the same day as for the 2005 vintage. Rapid flowering is an important element for gauging the quality of the harvest as it determines the future homogeneity of the grapes' maturity.
Veraison - the change in colour of the grapes - began in early August, which is normal due to global warming. Though precipitation in July was very low, which is excellent for the vines, August was mostly cloudy. Weather conditions favourable for the ripening of the grapes did not return until September.
An old Burgundian proverb says:
"A sunny September yields marvellous wine"
Principal technical data for the 2006 Clos de Tart:
• Harvest start date : 27 September 2006
• End of harvest : 30 September 2006
• End of vinification : 25 October 2006
• Yield : 26 hl/ha = 1.35 tonnes/acre
• End of malolactic fermentation : 24 July 2007
• Average natural alcohol level : 13.72 %
• Average pH : 3.55
• 100 % aged in new oak
Bottling is set to begin on 7 April 2008. The wine will be neither fined nor filtered, and it will be bottled by hand, using gravity, bottle by bottle.
2006 VINTAGE in Burgundy
The personality of Burgundy wines makes the difference
A charmer. Such is the epithet most frequently employed when Burgundy's newest vintage is evoked. Nearly two months after the grape harvest, and following a year typified by rather fantastical weather, Burgundy is finally catching its breath. The 2006 vintage, a preoccupying one which never allowed an idle moment, both in the vineyards and in the cellars, excels in its whites and surprises with its reds.
"Like the flowering of the vines which was concentrated over only a few days, the grape harvest did not follow its habitual course throughout the vineyards of Burgundy, " confided Michel Baldissini, President of the B.I.V.B.
Indeed, organizing the grape harvest was no simple undertaking, and choosing the optimal dates was particularly challenging as September's sunshine suddenly ripened grapes which had been previously languishing throughout August.
Even though a careful sorting of the harvest was required the result is now promising, particularly thanks to the knowledge and expertise of the winemakers. As such, even more than with other years, the choices made in the vineyard and during the vinification process were primordial for the creation of the wines of 2006.
2006 is a year that has never stopped surprising us, from its metrological conditions through to the wine that has finally been obtained. This wine is still being patiently worked with, and now shows the promise of many pleasant and memorable tastings.
The white wines
With their seductive nature, these wines promise to be excellent. Supple and fresh, they are already proving to be expressive and fruity in the mouth and boast considerable richness. Their aromas conjure up citrus fruits, white fruits and their flowers, with notes of sugared and stewed fruits at the more elevated degrees. Chablis expresses its typical minerality marvellously. We have noticed a very agreeable uniformity of quality from Chablis to Mâcon, as well as respect paid to the specificity of different wine districts.
The red wines
Burgundy globally presents high quality wines with nevertheless more uniformity in the Côte de Nuits and in the Auxerre district.
The wine boasts beautiful, intense colours. Indeed, thanks to analyses performed on the grapes to find out their "anthocyanes" quotient (this is the molecule contained in the grapes' skin which confers its red colour) and their extractability, the winemakers benefited from valuable indications which allowed them to choose the techniques best adapted to revealing the grapes' full potential. Just before the grape harvest, the longevity of the tannins was relatively high, but regular tasting during the maceration period allowed for the adjustment of these tannins so that more balanced wines were produced. The careful sorting of the grapes at harvest time, a determining factor this year, undeniably created the parameters of the red wines' quality.
Some are delicate and elegant, while we have found others to be robust and full-bodied, which indicated a fine capacity for ageing. Their aromas flirt equally with red fruits (raspberry, red currant) as with cherry, spices and cocoa.
As such, we find a concrete recompense for all the efforts made in the name of quality by the entirety of the players in the Burgundian wine industry.