Important, grand cru, changes are underway today in Morey St.Denis.
It has been known, for a little while, that Jacques Devauges will be leaving Clos de Tart – after (in my opinion) too short a tenure. I believe that Jacques liberated the wine of Clos de Tart – so oft a wine that was constrained by its oak. I wholeheartedly believe that it’s one of Burgundy’s great wines but that the oak really meant that performance was highly variable – you shouldn’t drink it for at least 20 years has been my experience – the 96-98 are great now but not the 99 and younger – at least not consistently.
Jacques officially leaves Clos de Tart today, February 26th. His successor, Alessandro Noli, is well-known as the previous winemaker at Château Grillet – also part of the Latour, Eugénie, Clos de Tart group. The Clos de Tart was a family operation when Jacques joined – but that changed relatively quickly – Jacques, however, with a nice touch, describes his successor Alessandro as “A great man!”
Jacques’ next move is, officially, unknown, but there is speculation that he already has a new, grand cru, berth in Morey St.Denis – speculation that I first found to be outlandish – but it seems that there could be more than a kernel of truth. I won’t commit the speculation to paper – the parties at both locations are retaining their discretion – but the rumours seem to be true. So watch this space…