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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.
Soft floral notes add breadth to the notably ripe yet appealingly fresh aromas that are quite pure as they evidence only a trace of wood. The supple broad-shouldered flavors possess good energy and excellent depth on the velvety yet very firm finish that is at once supported and shaped by the solidly structured, indeed even robust finish. This is a very serious wine that was expressly built to age and it should improve for out to 20 years if kept in quality storage conditions. It's possible that this will rival the 2005 and 2008 in time. 93-97 pts / 2027+ (Allen Meadows, Burghound.com Issue 41 - January 2011).
The most important features of year 2009 are as follows:
Favourable climate conditions
The vine benefitted from ideal conditions during the whole growing cycle : early bud burst,fast flowering and rapid véraison ( grapes turning purple) , rains in July , sun and heat in August and September when the grapes started to mature .
In mid-September,the grapes were fully ripened with a beautiful balance between sugar, acidity, tannins and aromas , the perfect sanitary conditions of the bunches being thus maintained until harvest time.
A yield to be controlled
A nice grape output, excellent flowering conditions and rain in July were the three factors favouring a prolific crop that we had to control by carrying out a stringent green harvest.
A mystery that is still unveiled: the 9 ending vintages.
A mystery or just a coincidence?
Indeed the 1919, 1929, 1949, 1959, 1999 vintages are among the best of the 20th century.
This is a phenomenon to think about without trying to explain it though. Nature has its secrets that man is unable to penetrate.
A 2009 vintage as exceptional as 2005
The fine wine connoisseurs for Burgundy like to compare 2005 and 2009.
The success of 2005 vintage was due to exceptional natural factors on which the vine grower didn't have to intervene. The good weather conditions linked with the natural regulation of the yields helped produce healthy and ripe grapes.
For year 2009, the abundant harvest beneath clement skies led the rigorous vine grower to get rid of a part of
the bunches to favour a complete maturing of the left grapes.
This courageous decision enabled us to harvest as perfect grapes as in 2005.
Main technical features for Clos de Tart 2009
- Full flowering on June 4th
- Beginning of the véraison (grapes turning to purple)on July 25th
- Green harvest on July 27th
- Harvesting on September 15th
- Yield : 26.4 hl/ha
- Average natural alcohol content : 13°59
- Average Ph : 3.61
- Early malo-lactic fermentation : over by the end of winter
- Ageing : 17 months in new oak
Bottling is planned for mid-March in our cellars. There will not be any La Forge de Tart 2009 but exclusively Clos de Tart Grand Cru this year. As a matter of fact, the two young vine plots planted with the Domain selected vine plants have yielded rich and well-structured wines that are quite adapted to a blending with the older wine cuvées'. We will put on the market 19,500 bottles of Clos de Tart 2009.