Bruno Clair – 2020


Arthur Clair 2021 Domaine Bruno ClairTasted in Marsannay with Arthur Clair, Bruno’s youngest son, (Eduard is the other who I didn’t see this year) & for a short time Bruno too, 01 September 2021. Philippe Brun is now retired but Arthur said that he would be back for the harvest!

Domaine Bruno Clair
5 Rue du Vieux Collège
21160 Marsannay-la-Côte
Tel: +33 3 80 52 28 95
More reports for Domaine Bruno Clair

Arthur on 2021:
For some plots we very badly affected – of course, more the whites, for instance, we have lost 90% in Charlemagne – hopefully we can find a barrel to fit. Fortunately, we had fewer problems in the Côte de Nuits but the Côte de Beaune is clearly more affected. 1977 could be a comparably difficult vintage but overall it’s probably closer to 2013 for the combination of weather and the techniques that we now have at our disposal…

Arthur on 2020:
Our 2019s are now all bottled. The 2020s were about 50% less for the whites and 20-40% less in the reds – at least versus the 17 and 18 vintages. I love their balance and acidity and for both colours too! In the vintage, we generally used about 50% whole clusters, except in some appellations that ‘don’t really need them,’ such as in Chambolle.

The wines…

I missed a few wines today but it’s still clearly a super-successful vintage at this domaine – it’s the first time for a few vintages that I’ve rated their Bonnes-Mares as highly as the CSJ and Bèze, too. One of my favourite producers, year-in, year-out…

All the wines are still on their lees, only 3 or 4 have been racked. Bottling is currently planned for April-May or thereabouts next year:

2020 Marsannay Charmes au Pretes
First vintage in 2018 – it was blended before. Can also be called Rosey. The vines are about 40-years-old now. 10 of the domaine’s 25 hectares are in Marsannay
Plenty of colour. Airy concentrated aromas, not so finely defined at this time. Silky, wide, sweetly attractive but the backbone is there. Here’s a very fine Marsannay. The tannin is present but grainless. The finish is rather persistent too – a good one that just needs to develop some aromatic focus.

2020 Marsannay Les Longeroies
A little reductive – this from a large format barrel. A little reductive in the flavour too but also a little more open and precise – the acidity is more visible here. Lovely.

2020 Marsannay Grasses Têtes
‘Always the most tannic…’
Dark fruited purity. Complex, mobile, structural, precise, a little more tannin in this one. But here is a wine that is properly showing all its great facets – bravo!
2020 Chambolle-Musigny Veroilles
Just above Bonnes-Mares, ‘it suffers a lot in the hot vintages.’ Lots of limestone here, similar to En la Route de Vergy.
Such a faint aromatic reduction but wide and airy. Actually, there’s good structure here though it’s less overt than the Grasses Têtes. Airy, open, delicious. Beautiful finishing flavour – that’s a great villages finish.

2020 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
The second vintage for this wine. Bruno knew the owners and they were looking for someone to take care of the vines and luckily, he says, he was chosen.
A much tighter though obviously concentrated nose. Hmm, also a little serious in the mouth but deeper flavoured and a really great finish with some complexity of bitters. Will be excellent.

2020 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Dominode
Hmm, not fully open but there’s a textured, almost spicy, mocha component. Round but still structural, beautifully proportioned, a little creaminess in the middle. Structural in the finish too but still modestly so – but not modestly long – thats a very fine finish. That’s at least excellent and possibly a grand vin!

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin
From multiple parcels: Carougeots mainly plus two other smaller parcels, including a little Belair 1er cru and Petits Fontenys – vines mainly planted in the 50s and 60s
Open, slightly floral, a clear change of aromatic. Round, modestly chewy. Layered – then a burst of finishing energy here thats really something – not the most concentrated but completely absorbing. Thats simply excellent villages…

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Cazetiers
Planted in 1958
A composed depth and width of aroma – less impact. Hmm, there’s plenty of tannin here, but no dryness and almost no grain. A very lovely purity of fruit comes through the structure. Beautiful but for a little more patience. The nose becoming more open and with clarity too.

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St.Jacques
Planted in 1957, with the same plant material as the Cazetiers, planted by Bruno’s father. ‘Unlike the brother this can open and close’
A deep nose, texturally round, faintly reductive, some oak. Very round nicely shaped, very fine tannin with no grain. Wide, and absolutely super finishing – thats a great finish. The wine needs to open a lot more but the finish is already that of grand vin.
2020 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Old vines, 2/3 from 1912
A little line of reduction in this wine again. Ooh, thats beautiful over the palate – a little structure but more airy in style than the CSJ. Another almost haunting finish, faintly tannic – not showing everything again but a great wine in preparation.
2020 Bonnes-Mares
In 2016 Bruno recovered the rest of the family parcel, so here is all the Bonnes-Mares of Morey – well almost – Bruno still sends 2 barrels to Fougeray de Beauclair each year. Vinified the soil colours separately in 17 and thought ‘the white part missed a little structure – of course the red-soiled part more full-bodied and complete.’
Plenty of colour. This is more open, finely complex, growing floral perfume – the first. The first wine where I taste a little of the stems – the perfumed flowers of the stems – structural but never oppressive. Completely open flavour. Thats quite a mineral and floral together. Hmm, bravo!

The whites:

2020 Marsannay Blanc Source des Roches
Blend of different plots from Charmes au Pretres and Vaudenelles – ‘vines only on rocks.’
Big, forward, fresh – though not yet fully formed aromatics. Wide, actually vibrant and faintly tannic and oaky in the length. Super line. of flavour.

2020 Morey St.Denis En la Rue de Vergy Blanc
Above Bonnes-Mares.
A more compact nose to start but for me also more attractive. Ooh, thats gorgeous in the mouth, a waterfall of flavour freshness, modestly citrus. Faintly mineral. Great wine!

2020 Corton-Charlemagne
We’re not the owners but since ’93 this has been our baby – we do everything here.
A different vibration, more mineral than fruit today. More mouth-filling – scale – but not heavy or concentrated. This is so airy and beautiful – it’s well-proportioned, elegant, delicious, wine.

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