Domaine des Lambrays
Clos des Lambrays
Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Tasted: Jan 10, 2019
Note: produced from two large parcels of differing vine ages – one that is approximately two-thirds of the blend and is now 50+ years of age and a second, smaller group of vines that is approximately 25+ years of age; made with 85% whole cluster and 50% new wood
Producer note: As I reported last year, the prospective changing of the guard at this iconic domaine has in fact occurred as long-time régisseur (resident manager) Thierry Brouin, who has held this post since 1980, has retired in favor of Boris Champy. Champy is originally from Champagne and has held positions working for several of the Moueix wineries in Bordeaux and California as well as that of looking after the vineyards of Maison Louis Latour since 2008. Champy told me that in his view the 2017 vintage is a “modern classic as the terroir is very apparent yet the tannins are refined and the wines very balanced, which should enable them to be enjoyed young. The season was relatively easy and the main trick was to control yields, which we did through a green harvest. We picked our chardonnay beginning on the 31st of August and the pinot on the 2nd of September. Because we did not incur much frost damage in Morey in 2016, our yields in 2017 were actually a bit less than the prior year coming in at about 37 hl/ha. I used a varying amount of whole clusters during the vinification, which is to say none of the Morey villages, 50% for the 1er and 90% for the Clos. The wines have filled out a lot during the élevage and I like them quite a bit. Plus I think that they will age better than most people think simply because of how well-balanced they are.” Champy told me that the 2016s reviewed below were bottled in October 2017 and March 2018. He also explained that in 2018 the domaine will have another 1er by the name of Clos Sorbé, which currently is blended into the Morey 1er. He explained that there is a historical precedent for this as the Cosson family, former owners of the domaine, used to issue an example. (Weygandt-Metzler, www.weygandtmetzler.com, PA, USA; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Lea & Sandeman, www.leaandsandeman.co.uk, Flint Wines, www.flintwines.com, Uncorked Ltd, www.uncorked.co.uk and Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, all UK; Altaya Wines, www.altayawines.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: An overtly floral suffused nose offers up ripe aromas of red currant, rose petal, plum and a hint of exotic spice. There is first-rate punch to the bigger and richer yet still well-defined medium weight plus flavors that possess impressive length on the nicely complex and dusty finish. Fine if not remarkable quality.