Tasted in Morey St.Denis with Thierry Brouin (waving goodbye), 07 June 2017.
Société du Domaine des Lambrays
31, rue Basse
Tel: +33 3 80 51 84 33
It was joy to visit Thierry Brouin on this perfect early summer day, close to his retirement from many years at the helm in this place. Thierry, born in Marseilles, raised in Nigeria and here at the Clos des Lambrays since 1980, was in great form, and often was answering questions in a fashion that only those without a wary eye on their future position can!
Thierry on 2016:
“2016 is a gifted vintage, it’s not just big, it’s really good too – it’s also the largest vintage here since 1999. Probably we will drink 2016 before 2015, but it’s already dangerously drinkable!”
Thierry on 2015:
“It’s not a hot vintage, and anyway, I like to pick early – it makes virtually no difference if it’s the 8th or 10th of October for picking if you wait that long. I hate too ripe pinot, it’s simply too plump! Now a hot vintage was 2003 – I had to cancel my holiday in Cervinia that year as the grapes were so early!”
Thierry showed us where a wall was built in the cellar to protect (hide) the bottles from the German occupiers in the war, but notes with a smile that, much of what was saved was anyway sold to a German clientelle who were very happy that the 1936s and 1937s had been saved for them. There are even some 1918s on the shelves – I mentioned that he will of-course be opening one next year – ‘why’? was his answer. ‘Because they will be 100 years old – ‘Hmm, I suppose you are right’ said Thierry. I can’t believe he only just thought about that!
France accounts for about 40% of the domaine’s production.
First a look at a couple of 2016s in barrel. The malolactic fermentations are done, and these 2016s will be racked in December for bottling in February or March:
2016 Morey St.Denis
A round, pure, no oak on this nose, just very fine fruit. A little strictness to the acid-led structure, but this wine is lithe, concentrated and shows fine intensity. A bright, fresh florality in the finish too, tenacious finishing.
2016 Morey St.Denis 1er Les Loups
More width and complex aromatic volume. Hmm, a similar young acidity to the villages, but with more fruit padding. Vibrant finishing.
2016 Clos des Lambrays
The Clos uses 50% oak.
Not as large a volume of aroma as Les Loups, but a more vibrant clarity of fruit is on display. Lithe, growing intensity, a widening of the palate, bitters adding complexity in the finish. Simply very tasty – already!
And the 2015:
2015 Clos des Lambrays
Ooh – a big bold bright fruit and flowers nose – super. Layers of intense flavour, flowers and salinity. Nice phenolics in the finish providing a little bitter counterpoint and texture. A great and fresh wine, a tensile wine, really something!
And for the road:
Oohh… sous bois, age, in the mouth this has an earthy profile with fine acidity and some truffle-style flavour. White mushroom, growing fruit. This turns out to be the 1989 Clos des Lambrays. It has an intensity of acidity but with quite enough padding. I wouldn’t go as far as to describe it as delicious, but I’d be very happy to follow a glass (or three) of this over the course of an evening.