Tasted in Marsannay with Pierre Bart, 25 April 2019.
23 Rue Moreau
Tel: +33 3 80 51 49 76
Domaine Andre Bart began life in modest fashion, and for many years had little more than 6 hectares of vines. In the early 1980s, the domaine’s exploitation was emphatically augmented, it became, if you like, one of the children of the division of the famous Domaine Clair-Daü estate.
Martin and Odile Bart, son and daughter of André Bart, have been responsible for the winery since 1982. Martin’s focus is set predominantly to that of the vines, whilst it is Pierre Bart, his nephew, who looks after the cuverie. Odile remains chief of administration – no small task in France!
The domaine’s coverage extends to 22 hectares of vines, but it’s a diverse selection, such as 1 hectare of Santenay and 1 hectare of Bonnes-Mares. “It’s almost more fun to make the Marsannays,” says Pierre, “As work is involved. I have almost nothing to do with the grand terroirs – it’s exactly because of that, that they are grand terroirs – they do almost everything themselves!” Pierre certainly gets the opportunity for some fun though, because 17 of the domaine’s 22 hectares are Marsannay; potentially, 9 different Marsannay labels amongst them.
The domaine’s Bonnes Mares and Clos de Bèze – largely planted in 1934 – plus the large volume of Marsannay seem to be the very mirror image of Domaine Bruno Clair – “It’s not an accident,” smiles Pierre, “Bruno’s sister is my grandmother!”
About 30% of the domaine’s production is exported, 30% ‘general’ France and the rest is direct sales from the domaine – “That’s very important for us!”
Pierre on 2018:
“The quantity is fine in 2018 – it’s a nice harvest, but not the easiest vintage I’ve vinified. I’ve done this for 15 years, together with Martin, but this was one of the most complicated. It was very dry, in fact probably too dry in the second part of the year. Of course, I’m happy, but some parts of Marsannay had drying grapes and a loss of volume (juice) from this dehydration, we could certainly have appreciated more juice in some places! Practically no triage needed was needed, so that was good – but I chose to acidity two cuvées – I haven’t needed to do that before.
“The vinifications actually passed well, but they were long – mainly because we did practically no pigeage – the extraction was anyway so easy and I didn’t want ‘robust’ tannins. A couple of cuvées had grape-skins that were a little harder, so didn’t break open during fermentation, because of that after pressing I had more sugar! We had to follow the wines very closely to avoid issues with brett due to our malos finishing before the sugars. So we have concentrated wines with modest acidity. The structures are like 2009, but with some wines that possibly resemble 2003 in terms of their possible profiles for maturing.”
Pierre on 2017:
“Again, I’m very happy – very much so after 2016! The wines are more typical burgundy than the 2018s because there’s a good acidity. We did some green harvesting to reduce dilution – it could have been easily well over 50 hl/ha without that. Fresh, tasty wines that I think will satisfy, and currently, I have more confidence in them than the 2018s – maybe I will say something different in a year! The skins were not so thick, we had good phenolics but not too much – maybe a little like in 2014.”
Here is a domaine that I waited a long time to visit. Ten years ago I found the young wines from here very toasty in style – which I didn’t like – but the wines seemed fine after 3-4 years in the cellar. I asked Pierre what had changed – because overt toast aromas are a rarity now; “We are using plenty of demi-muids today that’s the main difference vs 10 years ago but more extra-fine grained barrels too – that said, we also use a bit more new oak now, than we did then.”
All I can really tell you is that today this is a great source of Marsannay – amongst others – and there are no overt barrel aromas.
2017 Marsannay Finotte
This is a 2-hectare monopole of the domaine. A triangle of vines between Longeroies and Echezots that produced only 2 hl/ha in 2016! Sandy and quite deep soil, fully destemmed, 10% new oak – about 20% tank elevage too here – assembled and left in tank without filtration for 2-3 months before bottling…
A nice colour – good depth. A pretty red fruit, tight at first, slowly growing, Those pretty red fruits slowly adding some more complexity Ooh, supple, nice energy, a minerality and line. Slowly melting with flavour over the palate. Becoming more and more interesting in the mouth as you approach the finish. Airy, lite but delicious, wine but very persistent…
2017 Marsannay Ouzeloy
A fairly large area of vines in Ouzeloy, but not that many producers use this label – mainly it’s here and Roty. Quite young vines, all barrel elevage, destemmed, 20% new oak.
Much more impact – florally intense, lots of volume – now we’re talking! Round again, more depth of flavour and energy, a touch of oak, but it’s modest. Layers of good flavour. Delicious, excellent wine with pronounced floral aspect also in the long finish. Super!
2017 Marsannay Longeroies
A blend of high and low parcels – the vineyard with marne at the base and limestone at the top. 15% wc in this one…
Again a concentrated nose, lovely dark red fruit. More direct, a little more structure, more mineral and juicy – the mid-palate is wonderful – more patience is required here, but this is simply excellent mouthwatering wine. I’ll take a second glass!
2017 Marsannay La Montagne
More delicacy of aroma – complex, open, floral, red fruited – a bold invitation. Fresh, a wine of drive, some creamy oak is more obvious here. Wide, layered, though narrowing in the middle and finish – utterly delicious, but I still prefer the Longeroies.
2017 Marsannay Les Echezots
The domaine’s biggest cuvée with over 2 ha of vines, and in more than one sector, ‘Some parts are easier than others, some parts go into the Bourgogne, sometimes – it works well in a warm vintage though as it’s a cold area and is always last harvested – but has fewer problems with rot because of the breeze that’s always here.’ The stems hardly ripen in this cooler place, so always destemmed.
Less weight of aroma but it’s really fine. More open, more energy, a little structure and slowly melting flavour over the palate. Really broad and juicy finishing. A wine that improves and improves in the mouth – practically the opposite of the last.
2017 Marsannay Clos du Roy
30% whole cluster.
Not a big nose but a fine and complex nose with a rose perfume that recalls the stems. A little more oak, fine depth of flavour – absolutely delicious wine here – again! A wine of contemplation, not overt energy. Long finishing – excellent but shy today…
2017 Marsannay Les Grands Vignes
Under Clos de Jeu, shared with Chateau de Marsannay – marne (marl) with oyster shells in the soil.
A subtle but wide nose, silky and suggesting rather than delivering depth. More mouth-filling volume, lots of freshness – some structure and fine energy. Tasty wine with quite the most delicious finish of all these – persistent and wide.
Each of these wines has something super – I’m missing a wine that has everything in the same glass – but all are completely delicious. Let’s see what comes:
2017 Marsannay Champs Salomon
This and the last have 25% wc and new oak
Ooh – not super large, but a super, super nose of depth, dark, cushioned fruit and modest florals – a great invitation. Full in shape, energy, depth of flavour. Mouth-watering, a creamy touch of barrel. Long. Excellent wine – the pick of the Marsannays today…
2 parcels, les Clos and Champenbots
An extra freshness and redness to the fruit. Ooh – that’s vibrant, intense red – not a wine of fat but one of delicious, red-coloured, energy. I love. Bravo!
Elegant, complex, it’s a classy nose – yes! Ooh – more volume in the mouth, only a little less energy, balanced by more delicious complexity – another great wine here – bravo. Waves of delicious finishing flavour.
Vines next to those of de Vogüé in Chambolle – the largest part originally from Clair-Daü, plus 0.12 hectares via Safer from a cousin – ‘That was the sole sale at a proper price in the last 15 years!’ The terroir is mainly terres rouges and contains some of the oldest vines of the domaine – ‘40% of which are more than 100 years old and are used for the massale selections of the domaine.’
50% wc and 50% new oak.
More airy, fresher and floral – a super aromatic complexity. Here is drive and a growing in intensity of flavour that’s layered, including some oak of-course, but this turns out to be the most open-ended of all the wines in the middle and finishing flavours – it keeps getting wider and is super complex – excellent Bonnes-Mares!
It’s high density planting here – 13-14,000 plants per hectare. ‘For a long time, the soil wasn’t worked. We ploughed for the first time in a long time 20 years ago – it was revelatory – this soil needs to breathe.’
A punch of floral aroma – wide, complex, energetic, more direction not more complexity, but this is easier to assimilate today than the Bonnes-Mares. Ooh, that’s so good – bravo wine! Such an excellent Bèze!
2012 Clos de Bèze
‘Always ready sooner than BM, not the biggest acidity in 2012 but a wine that’s developed well in bottle.’
Really a width and complexity of leaves and spice – ooh that’s so good! The same in the mouth – drive, energy, minerality, leaves. Layers of flavour.