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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.
The 2008 Clos de Tart is all class and elegance. It boasts fabulous inner perfume and endless layers of fruit. The nuance, purity and sheer breed are breathtaking. The 2008 shut down quickly in the glass, but not before leaving a lasting impression. The tannins possess incredible elegance, but that may not be fully apparent for a number of years. This is a gorgeous wine in every way. Anticipated maturity : 2023-2043. 94+ (Antonio Galloni - Wine Advocate - May 2011)
2008 is known as a late' vintage, harvested at the beginning of October, unlike 2007, an early vintage which had been harvested at the beginning of September.
Indeed, further to a cold and humid summer, the biological cycle of the vine was delayed and we had to wait until September 13th to see the north wind settle down, bringing a bright and dry weather necessary to a full ripeness of the grapes.
These unusual climate conditions led us to apply specific training methods on the whole vineyard.
In order to favour aeration and to give a maximum sunlight to the grapes, we thinned out the leaves twice manually : firstly just after the flowering, and secondly during the green harvest, at the beginning of the véraison ( change of colour of the grape berries).
Moreover, during the green harvest, we have chosen to keep only the small sized grapes made of small berries, that are less susceptible to grey rot fungi attacks (Botrytis).
This stringent work in the vineyard has enabled us to crop perfectly healthy grapes needing very little sorting out in the winery.
Moreover, the vine has naturally produced a lot of grapes millerands' which are very small seedless berries. These millerands' are considered as high quality factors for the wines.
In the past years, some late harvests have been known as great vintages:
1949 harvested on October 3rd
1961 harvested on October 3rd
1964 harvested on October 6th
1969 harvested on October 6th
1978 harvested on October 10th
Main technical characteristics of the Clos de Tart 2008 :
Flowering : June 14th
Complete véraison' : mid-August
Green harvest : beginning of August
Harvest : from October 3rd to October 6th
Yield :29.2 hl/ha = 1.5 tonne /acre
End of malolactic fermentation : September 2009
Average natural alcoholic content: 13°58
Average Ph : 3.51
Aging : 17 months in new casks
The bottling in our cellars is scheduled at the end of March for La Forge de Tart and at the beginning of April for the Clos de Tart. As usual, it will be done without prior fining of the wine, without any filtration, by natural gravity, it will be hand-made bottle by bottle.
We will release on the market 18, 300 bottles of Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2008 and 6, 900 bottles of La Forge de Tart Premier Cru 2008, the Clos de Tart second wine.
Mild but not invisible wood frames very ripe yet cool and airy dark fruit aromas that speak of earth, violets, underbrush and a hint of menthol that leads to reserved, intense and tautly muscular broad-shouldered flavours that are excellent length on the balanced and palate staining finish. This should require between 15 to 20 years to arrive at its apogee as it's noticeably more structured than its '07 counterpart. (Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, January 2010).
An indifferent spring caused uneven flowering and mildew risk. At the end of June the weather changed for the better, continuing into July. Apart from local hail in the Côte de Beaune at the end of July, the summer began well. August arrived fairly cold and variable, but fortunately the last week of the month brought fine, warm weather. The lead-up to harvest saw sunny skies, apart from two days of rain in mid-September. A challenging vintage.
From day one the red wines have had a rich, pure fruit character with fine, silky tannins. The whites offer a good balance between ripe fruit and vibrant acidity. A vintage not to be overlooked because the wines deliver potential and pleasure.