Tasted with Isabelle and Christian Clerget in Vougeot, 16 November 2016.
Domaine Christian Clerget
Tel: +33 3 80 62 87 37
This is a domaine that I’ve had on my wish-list of visits for a very long time. It’s of modest size, 6 hectares, but with vines spread from Vosne-Romanée to Morey St.Denis. It may ‘only’ be 6 hectares, but the parcels are quite large – just 8 appellations are produced. Export is the main market for these wines.
It’s the 4th generation here, but it’s a really old family name in this area, and is maybe the 12th generation that’s been associated with the vines. Daughter Justine is new at the domaine, and was busy elsewhere when I visited, but is already planning bio for 2017.
Triage is both in vines and back at the domaine. Typically everything is destemmed, but occasionally Christian might keep a little whole-clusters for the fermentation – but only if the stems are very ripe. Fermentations are in concrete tanks, the wines all being fed by gravity to barrel cellar, below. The cellar here dates from 1998 – “There are no old deep cellars in Vougeot as the water table is too high,” says Christian.
Christian on 2016:
“The frost in bottom of the hillsides was terrible in Chambolle, it was also bad in the Combe d’Orveaux and Echézeaux – we have 1 hectare of Echézeaux but harvested enough grapes to make only 3 barrels.”
Nothing was racked when I visited, indeed some wines had only recently finished malo. Racking will be in winter and bottling in spring – ‘if it tastes good.‘
Puissant (powerful), classic, direct wines here. And no hard edges. Well done!
From one parcel on the other side of road from the Clos de Vougeot, and one in commune of Vosne-Romanée
Supple deep, dark fruit. Silky, floral fruit, good depth and a very nice croquant fruit character. This is great!
The other side of the road from Magnien’s cuverie. They have replanted a small part to white – the only white of the domaine.
Deep and with a suggestion of malo, but really a fine nose. Lovely in the mouth, mobile, with energy, growing intensity too. I love it – here is a nice tangy, fresh wine. Yum!
The biggest cuvée of the domaine – 2 hectares of vines, made up from 7 different lieu dits mainly in the bottom of Chambolle.
Super colour. Fresh wide, intensely, slowly, adding fine but faint floral notes. Really nice volume, a little structure but very nice fruit indeed. Super depth and with a lovely burst of floral-inflected finishing flavour – this just keeps getting better in the glass.
2015 Vosne-Romanée Les Violettes
Next to the Clos de Vougeot and Echézeaux – planted in 1946.
Ooh, here is some depth – probably aided by a little reduction – but impressive all the same. Bigger, fleshier, more weight of fresh flavour, the structure is also a little smoother. Waves of darker fruited flavour. You would say fairly easily say Vosne blind. Also a floral finish. Very nice indeed!
2015 Vougeot 1er Les Petits Vougeots
Vines that sit just under the Clos de la Perrière
Pretty and high-toned, with an engaging sweetness. More composed but clearly more complex and layered too. Fresh and floral tip notes, and with a nice structure too. Very tasty wine indeed – and just a little more mineral finishing. With a hint of late arriving tannin. These are all so good, it’s hard to find a favourite – so far!
2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
One part of this cuvée is just across from Les Amoureusses, plus 3 other small parcels.
Bigger, but not simple and easy; there’s a vibrancy and mineral aspect here, slowly adding a gorgeous florality too. Faint reduction, extra tannin, but no grain. Really super, then it narrows into a more mineral finale. A long narrow, persistent line of flavour. Delightful…
From Combe d’orveau, just behind the clos vougeot – planted in 1946.
Deep colour. Wide and interesting complexity, almost a hint saline. Glorious in the mouth; weight and waves of textured flavour. Perhaps a hint of extra mid-palate oak, but this is a wonderfully complex wine. Just holding long, long long. Bravo!
2015 Mores St.Denis Les Crais Blanc
Replanted because there are two completely different soils here..
Deep, ripe fruit, balanced with freshness. Wide but weighty, well-balanced. Lots of mid-palate power, with bright and fine notes. Faintly tannic in the finish. But plenty of interest here.