Profile: Maison Terres d’Arômes, Claire Forestier (Nuits)

Update 26.4.2010(27.3.2009)billn

Dear friends,
My collaboration with the group Cottin Frères has ended, due to a major restructuring of the group. It is a collective redundancy.

The mark TERRES d’ARÔMES was born with the year 2007, it developed thanks to your interest and thanks to your support. I took great pleasure to introduce this range of wines from Côte d’Or, to bring my personal touch and to share with you my passion for Burgundy. However, I do not know what will become the brand TERRES d’ARÒMES, whose name belongs to Laboure-Roi.

For my part, I will keep you informed of my new professional direction. I still own my name and I filed at the INPI FORESTIER CLAIRE as a trademark. I hope in the near future, be able to associate my new signature to great wines.

Thank you for the confidence and energy that you sent me since 2007.

Claire Forestier

terre d'aromes - claire forestier nuits st.georges
Although her scouting started a little earlier, Claire Forestier officially started Terres d’Arômes in July 2007 – it is amazing (to me) then, that in her inaugural 2007 vintage, she has produced 45,000 bottles – that’s about the ‘end’ target for many start-ups! Claire is well-known to readers of Burgundy Report as the former winemaker at Domaine Bertagna, and at the time of writing (Feb.2009) held the prize for the nicest bottle of wine consumed by your author in 2009.

After leaving Bertagna in 2006, Claire spent a little time helping out at Domaine Denis Mortet before launching this new label. Claire works from the same large house in Nuits St.Georges that serves as the headquarters of Maison Nicolas Potel. Claire and Nicolas are also linked by Maison Labouré-Roi, who helped both to finance Terres d’Arômes and provided the much needed liquidity for Maison Potel back in 2004. Labouré-Roi effectively make all the ‘back-office’ work for the Terre d’Arôme and Claire manages the rest. Her hardest job – naturally – was to find quality-minded growers with decent age vines who would sell to her. Most of her suppliers keep grapes back to make wine for themselves, so that was a good starting point.

The Wines

With the exception of the highly impressive Clos de Vougeot, everything here was bottled either in September 2008, or about 2 weeks before my February 2009 visit. The style of the wines is transparent and not unlike those of her house neighbour Nicolas Potel, so I asked Claire if she could outline the differences between them in the cuverie. Claire said that there were not too many differences, but she does completely de-stem, whereas Nicolas is using more and more whole clusters, also she said with a smile ‘Nicolas also likes his pigeage!’ Also for 2007 Claire also made a warm post-fermentation maceration to extract a little more colour and structure and also used very little new wood; given that she was making wine from many new appellations, she did not know how all of them may take the new wood and she reckoned that if her first vintage was received as ‘oaky’ she would be stuck with that label…

Frankly the wines rate between good and very, very good, and given that this first delivery of grapes allowed no intervention by Claire that’s a highly impressive result. For the 2008 vintage Claire managed to convince some of her suppliers to reduce the number of bunches per vine, so proportionally we may see an even better result for this vintage.

Claire has some distribuition in place already, but is still looking for merchants in a number of markets.

2007 Terres d’Arômes, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanctry to find this wine...
The grapes are from a south-east exposed slope. Squeeky-clean aromas jump from the glass. The palate is fresh and ripe with an understated padding of fat. Full of flavour, slightly exotic but with perfect freshness. Lots of excitement in the glass.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Monthélie Blanctry to find this wine...
The nose is very fresh yet with more ripe-fruit aromas than the Savigny. The fruit flavours are also quite ripe in the mouth, but not at the expense of freshness as the acidity bubbles through nicely.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Bourgogne ‘Cave 18’try to find this wine...
The name is a little fun – the stocks of Claire’s wines are held in ‘area 18’ in the cellars at Laboure-Roi, but Claire also thought the name was quite nice, in the manner of ‘Bin 28’ – I must remember to bring her a bottle next time! The old (a mix of 50 and 80 years-old) vines, despite being sited in an old vineyard in the area of Beaune are only classed as ‘regional’, that said, they ripen very early and in 2007 were some of the cleanest fruit the team worked with. Good colour. The nose starts in a pronounced floral way, slowly changing in the glass to offer more ‘straight-forward’ red fruits and eventually a nice, soft caramel aspect. A slightly soft entry with interesting fruit and a nice balance. Interesting and worthy bourgogne if well priced.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Monthélietry to find this wine...
Again starts with a floral perfume, though darker-skinned fruit aromas start to take-over, eventually it takes on a slightly more savoury aspect and maybe with a hint of reduction(?) at any rate, there are numerous darker elements. This is not quite so ripe as the ‘Cave 18’, but appears more taught and together. The tannins are a little grainy and the nice freshness brings a good lift in the mid-palate – certainly more depth than the bourgogne. A nice wine.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Monthélie 1er Les Riottestry to find this wine...
Aromatically tighter, again with some perfumed notes. Much finer tannin here, this is really well put together, it’s fresh and shows a good burst of interest in the mid-palate with flavours that slowly fade in the finish. This is super for the village.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Narbantonstry to find this wine...
In bottle just for 2 weeks. A little more depth to the colour. The nose is more fruit-driven and nicely transparent – violets push through too. Fills the mouth, but also shows a nice mineral ‘tension’. The tannins are more forward but will fade in the bottle. Nice finish here. This is fresh and very engaging.

No new barrels were used for the elevage of the previous wines – a little creeps into the following list – usually at about 20% new.

2007 Terres d’Arômes, Volnay ‘Cave des Ducs’try to find this wine...
This is actually from the village lieu-dit of ‘Clos des Cave des Ducs’, sat high on the hillside on thin chalky soils – marnes blanches to the locals. Good colour. Tight on the nose, subtle fruit aromas. High quality in the mouth, clean yet very nicely textured with understated but mouthwatering acidity. Very pretty.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Volnay 1er Mitanstry to find this wine...
Aromatically broader and deeper. A clear extra mid-palate dimension, a reasonable amount of velvet tannin too. More depth and longer lasting in the finish. A good premier cru.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Nuits St.Georges Les Charmottestry to find this wine...
A nice, ripe, slightly caramel nose which slowly deepens – a darker fruit character than the Volnays. Good width, plenty of structure but intense too. Certainly more ‘masculine’ than the ‘Mitans’ that preceded it.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Chaboeufstry to find this wine...
One of three premier cru Nuits in the range. The nose starts a little tight and indistinct, very slowly building a clear red note. The palate is wide and energetic and shows plenty of structure. It’s a fun ride
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Gevrey-Chambertintry to find this wine...
A blend of Brochon and Gevrey fruit. Vibrant colour – did I say how much I love the colours? An understatedly perfumed nose. There’s plenty of intensity here, decent structure and a mouthwatering finish.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Champeauxtry to find this wine...
A little more depth of colour with an edge of purple. Warm, faintly spiced over darker fruits. Good density, structure as necessary, dark red fruit and perfect acidity. This lingers very well with sweet fruits. I’m rather taken with this – lovely.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Corton Perrièrestry to find this wine...
High-toned, some herbs and an undercurrent of ripe fruit. Fills the mouth, bathing your tongue with ripe tannin. There’s plenty of dimension though the impression is that the flavour narrows quickly from the mid-palate but then holds on very well. Nice wine.
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Clos de Vougeottry to find this wine...
50% new oak and the only one of these wines not yet bottled – it waits in the tank. Forward aromatics of deep and complex fruit. Structured, intense, it really holds its flavour well – a super finish after a super burst of fresh energy. Bravo! I understand Clos de Vougeot is not an easy sell these days, but perhaps that’s because most are much lower quality than this!
2007 Terres d’Arômes, Mazoyères-Chambertintry to find this wine...
The only wine with 100% new oak – only 2 barrels from two different coopers. The nose starts a little diffuse but slowly opens up a nice fruit compote. Very silky – the tannins are largely burried. The flavour goes long, long. Much more executive and ‘tailored’ than the Clos de Vougeot but less energy – probably because that wine is not yet bottled.

Terres d’Arômes
Rue Lavoisier
F-21700 Nuits St Georges
email :

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

There is one response to “Profile: Maison Terres d’Arômes, Claire Forestier (Nuits)”

  1. Phiippe Sauriat2nd March 2010 at 6:42 pmPermalinkReply

    Chère Claire,
    Bonjour et merci pour tous ces magnifiques vins que vous avez partager jusqu’ici.
    Je suis Sommelier a New York pour Alain Ducasses (Adour) et je travaille aussi 2 a 3 jours par semaine pour Burgundy wine Company.
    Je voulais savoir qui s’occupe de vos vins pour l’exportation et la distribution sur New York.
    Je vous connais principalement par le biais de vos vins de la période Domaine Bertagna, très peu après. (j’ai goûté quelques villages de la période Laboure-Roi.
    Il y a une telle élégance dans tous vos vins, j’ai hâte de découvrir la suite.
    Sincèrement ,

    • billn2nd March 2010 at 8:28 pmPermalinkReply

      Thanks for your note Philippe,
      Perhaps Claire will reply, but in the meantime, I suggest that you re-read the first paragraph of this page…
      Cheers, Bill

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