Bruno Clair – 2012s


DSC03144Tasted in Marsannay with Philippe Brun, 21 Feb. 2014.

Philippe on 2012: Very happy with the vintage; there’s nice concentration – small grapes so a smaller vintage. The quality is like 2010 but with a 50% reduction of volume.

Philippe on 2012 prices: It will depend on the cru, but 15-30% increases are planned.

The reds:
The wines will most-likely be bottled in May. The first five wines were assembled, the rest tasted from barrel.

2012 Marsannay Les Grasses Têtes
Super dark fruit that’s transparent and lovely. Lithe and concentrated – a lovely first wine of the day! Super balance and fine material here – the flavour offers good width too. Yum.

2012 Marsannay Les Longeroies
“Our most complete cuvée from Marsannay” notes Philippe.
Here the nose is detailed and just a little less forceful – but with similarly dark fruit. Wider and rounder – not necessarily as forceful (again) – but with just a hint more tannin and transparency. Today, I’d certainly drink the Grasses Têtes in preference though.

2012 Chambolle-Musigny Les Veroilles
This will be bottled sooner as it ‘seems ready’.
There’s a more floral lift to the aroma. It’s finely detailed, like the Longeroies. This starts silky then comes a hint of oak tannin, then picture-perfect fruit. Simply beautiful on the palate. Tastes wonderful and has perfect freshness. Not a bit forceful but one of my favourite villages wines of the whole vintage!

2012 Morey St.Denis En la Rue de Vergy
A nose of both height and depth yet narrower – shows a little oak spice too. Just a faint reduction in the flavour. Wide, more masculine flavours, again with a little oak spice, yet, again, nothing forceful despite such apparent concentration. Lovely length. A super wine considering the brilliance of what it followed.

2012 Vosne-Romanée Les Champs Perdrix
Philippe notes “This is well situated, next to Les Petits Monts but it’s a cold place, hence, Villages.”
The nose starts modestly, slowly opening in the glass with a classic Vosne spice. Lithe and impressive across your tongue, the flavour slowly grows. Modest tannin, again with a little from the oak. Finishes very well.

2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Dominode
Only about 1/3 of the original 1902 vines remain today. They delivered only 15 hl/ha in 2012, and not much more in 2013.
Here is a gorgeous depth of dark fruit but there are perfect red berries too. Concentrated, and with some tannin, the fruit flavours slowly leach from your gums and tongue. very clearly a vin de garde, but brilliant!

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos du Fonteny
The nose has wide, high-tones and seems to have quite some power behind it. On the tongue I find a little more muscle, but clarity too after the Dominode. Super concentration and a lingering finish. I prefer the aromatic of the Dominode today, but this is more impressive to taste.

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Petit Chapelle
The nose is rather shy, though you can coax some dark fruit notes from the glass. Like the Fonteny, this is lithe and carries no fat – there’s clearly more complexity too. Really lovely, and there’s a step-up in the finish too. Excellent!

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Cazetiers
The nose is shy but has slowly growing pretty high-toned notes. Wide, seemingly lower acidity and more heft. Beautiful mid-palate flavour – this is lovely. Very long – not so complex today but very more-ish.

2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St.Jacques
The nose isn’t forceful, but it’s beautifully detailed. Across the tongue this is cool, wide and shows very, very fine tannin. There’s a beautiful quality to the lingering fruit. Very, very fine – it’s a beauty.

2012 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
The oldest vines in this plot date from 1912.
Beautiful, dark, transparent, crystallised fruit. There’s more mid-palate depth and length here versus the CSJ. Super-long, super wine!

2012 Bonnes-Mares
From the Morey side of the Grand Cru, near Clos du tart.
The nose is shy but a little spicy. In the mouth there’s a brighter fruit profile and growing concentration – not so obviously intense as the Bèze – but clearly brilliant fruit. This is a completely different animal versus the wines of Gevrey.

The whites:
All the whites will be bottled towards the end of March.

2012 Marsannay
Fresh and forward, this has something of a peachy aspect. Good depth and mid-palate heft from ripe fruit – maybe some pear. Balanced, quite okay. The finish is the best part.

2012 Pernand-Vergelesses
Normally five barrels, but only two in 2012.
The nose is a massive step up in quality (for me) after the Marsannay. Again a little pear fruit, but much more elegance too. Lithe, exciting and intense – I love this.

2012 Morey St.Denis En la Rue de Vergy (Blanc)
there’s plenty of aromatic intensity, interest and energy too. I slightly prefer the PV aromatic but this is fine. The palate is a trace fatter but it’s also concentrated and balanced. Mineral finishing and with density in the finish too. Very good wine.

2012 Corton-Charlemagne
The nose is ripe but fresh – a strong core of fruit too. Lovely width and concentration but just a hint flat (CO2 not yet adjusted). Very pretty flavours. Lingers with modest concentration, but far from modest length.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “Bruno Clair – 2012s”

  1. Marc C22nd April 2014 at 10:52 amPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for this extensive report. I had a full review of the ’11 and ’12 last November (great time with Philippe Brun who is a really nice person). Compared to your comments, I was more impressed by the Champs-Perdrix which appeared to be head and shoulder above the other “village” wines in terms of depth and texture while I found the Petite Chapelle too “thin”.

    Anyway, the domaine wines were cleary among the best wines I had the opportunity to taste during my short stay in Burgundy (the ’12 Clos de Bèze and Clos St Jacques are terrific). Unfortunately, prices have climbed painfully in only three years…

    Best regards


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