The Clos this year is a powerfully tannic wine - Dense ripe ripe fruit, very much in the whole bunch profile of structure and spice. Great intensity and lovely driven length. Thoroughly impressive.L&S(Nov 2019)
75cl bottles (wood case of 6)
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(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 80% whole clusters and 50% new wood). Once again the nose is completely reduced and about all that can be said is that the underlying fruit appears to be quite ripe. On the palate there is good freshness and vivacity as the succulent and rounded middle weight plus flavors also possess a beguiling texture before culminating in a powerful, sappy, firm and somewhat raspy finish. It’s hard to discern how much of the raspy feel of the tannins displayed by all three wines is due to the vintage or due to Boris Champy perhaps changing the vinification style somewhat compared to that of Thierry Brouin. Drinking range: 2023 - Rating: 91-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Jan 2020)
The 2018 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru is showing very well, exhibiting notes of cassis, ripe wild berries, dark chocolate, black truffles, grilled squab and rich soil tones. On the palate, it's full-bodied, multidimensional and elegant, with refined structuring tannins, lively acids and good concentration. This is a deep and complete Clos des Lambrays that was vinified with 80% whole cluster and matured in 50% new oak. At 13.6% alcohol, it's very nicely balanced, and seems set to rank as the finest rendition of this quasi-monopole since at least 2015. Rating: 93-95+ William Kelley, The Wine Advocate(Jan 2020)
The 2018 Clos des Lambrays is 80% whole bunch this year and aged in 50% new oak. Jacques Desvauges took the sample from two barrels in proportion with the wood. It has a floral bouquet with scents of wilted rose petals and incense, hints of cedar filtering through the red berry fruit. The stems are much better integrated than in the Les Loups. The elegant palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, peppery but harmonious and sustained, and plenty of energy toward the finish. This is the only vintage vinified by Boris Champy, and he did a fine job. Drinking range: 2023 - 2042 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Jan 2020)
60 m difference in height between the top and the bottom of the Clos. 80% whole bunch and 50% new barrels. Barrel sample. Deeply coloured. Perfumed and dark and rocky on the nose. A hint of pepper but the most elegant, restrained dark-red fruit. Just a touch of oak spice. Savoury spice not sweet spice. Incredibly tender tannins. They did three punchdowns a day but did not push down to the bottom of the tank. There’s power in the mid palate but it is delicate on the finish, such tannic finesse that you almost miss the power of the vintage. Darkness to the fruit shows the ripeness. Very very long and so elegant already. Oak eaten by the fruit. A definite mineral/pepper layer adds to the freshness. Mouth-watering even if the acidity is only moderate (pH 3.65). Well balanced at 13.7%. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 18 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Dec 2019)
Domaine des Lambrays
The 'Clos' consists of 8.66 hectares of land enclosed by a wall in which there is the original milestone marking its founding in 1365, confirmed in the records of the Abbaye de Citeaux (those monks knew where to place a vineyard). The Clos owes much of its current fame to the nineteenth and twentieth century proprietors who reconstituted it after the fragmentation of ownership which followed the French revolution. Despite always having been considered a Grand Cru site, the Clos was in fact classified Premier Cru in the original 1936 appellations contrôlées.
The Rodier family which owned it from the 1930s fought to regain its Grand cru status, with eventual success only in 1981, when it became the last of the thirty-three Grands Crus of Burgundy, although by then it had passed to the Saier family. Recently under the benign ownership of the Günther Freund and his family, who gave a very free hand to régisseur Thierry Brouin, who had been employed by their predecessor Rolland Pelletier de Chambure, the quality of the wines here has pushed up again. In 2014 it was bought by the LVMH group.
It has been all rather quick change here as Jacques Devauge has taken over here after a short interregnum under Boris Champy. The legacy of Thierry Brouin can still be felt, Jacques decribing him as having been 'clairvoyant' in his approach to the domaine, which has set it up well to deal with challenges of warmer vintages. Jacques seems set to take this estate onward - 'every domaine has to challenge itself to do better', he says. 2018 marks the first year being fully organic - if all goes well they will be certified after three.
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