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UK wine merchant, Corney & Barrow, hosted a selection of wines from the Burgundy Grand Cru monopole vineyard, Clos de Tart, last week. Beverley Blanning MW was there...
‘[Clos de Tart has a] sense of history and permanence – it is intrinsically great,’ said Corney & Barrow’s managing director, Adam Brett-Smith, of the 7.5-hectare clos, ‘but for many years was an under-achiever.’
Situated in the heart of the Côte de Nuits village of Morey-St Denis, the vineyard was first developed by Cistercian nuns of Notre Dame de Tart, in 1141. It remained in the ownership of the church until the Revolution and has been owned by the Mommessin family – only the third owner of this land since 1141 – since 1932.
Since the arrival of Sylvain Pitiot as general manager in 1996, the family has invested heavily in all aspects of the business to bring the quality of Clos de Tart back to its status as one of the historic grands crus of the Côte d’Or.
Pitiot led the tasters through a range of recent vintages dating back to his first, 1996. Speaking of the latest vintage, he concluded that the 2007 wine has ‘the elegance of 2000 and the power of 2001.’
Clos de Tart 2007 (cask sample)
Bright, silky and fresh, with lovely red fruit character. Ripe and elegant. Very good. 5-15 years. (16.5 points out of 20)
Clos de Tart 2005
Mid-purple colour. Hugely fragrant. Some spicy oak showing, but most of all, floral, beautifully scented fruit in abundance. Powerful, silkily textured palate. Fresh and full-flavoured, ripe, juicy, succulent. Full-bodied, but fully in balance and extremely long. Very good indeed. 5-12+ years. (18 points)
Clos de Tart 2003
Deeply coloured, with and intense, spicy, slightly raisined nose. Very rich in flavour, with low acidity. Totally atypical, but very good. Alcohol of over 15% doesn’t show, due to the richness and weight of the fruit. Now-10 years. (16 points)
Clos de Tart 2002
Mid-ruby, transparent colour. Fresh, ripe cherry-scented and floral nose. Palate has full, rich flavour, with crunchy, fresh fruit and some meaty evolution. Crisp but smooth tannins. Long and slightly raisined finish. Delicious. ‘A gourmandise,’ says Slylvain Pitiot. 5-12 years (17.5 points)
Clos de Tart 2001
Fairly pale ruby. Fragrant, fruity and diffuse nose, more red fruits than anything. Smooth and fresh palate, with less obvious ripeness than the 02 or 05. Fairly high alcohol evident compared with the 02 or 05, and less concentration. Elegant, lighter, less generous style. Now to 5 years. (16 points)
Clos de Tart 2000
Pale, transparent ruby. Light and delicate nose, with some slightly underripe aromas that carry through to the palate. Soft, red fruits on the palate, but seems fairly closed at present, with less length than other vintages. The perfume evolves in the glass, but remains relatively simple compared to other vintages. Now-5 years (15.5 points)
Clos de Tart 1999
Evolving, sousbois aromas lead into a tannic, firm palate with plenty of substance. Palate still very youthful and oak-dominant. Good. 3-10 years (16 points)
Clos de Tart 1996
Meaty, developing, wet earth, leathery, aromas. Wonderful complexity on the palate, with chocolatey richness and lots of class. Very long finish. Now-10 years (17 points)
Beverley Blanning MW
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