Something about Clos de Tart
The history of the legendary Clos de Tart estate, located in the Morey-Saint-Denis appellation of Burgundy, dates back to 1141, when it was first acquired by the Cistercian nuns of the Notre Dame de Tart chapter. Having founded the estate, the nuns took care of the vines before the property was seized by the state during the French Revolution and sold at auction in 1791 to Charles Dumand and the Marey-Monge family. In 1932, Clos de Tart was purchased by the Mommessin family of negociants from the Maconais region. The estate was under their control when, in 1939, it was given its own AOC and declared a Grand Cru, the highest qualitative appellation level of the Burgundy region. Today, the property is owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault and the estate is managed by Jacques Desvauges, who took over from the visionary Sylvain Pitiot in 2015. Clos de Tart is currently the largest Grand Cru monopole in the Burgundy region.
The 7.53-hectare property is surrounded by a 3/4 mile long stone wall, as referenced by the word “clos” in the estate’s name. The vineyard can be divided into 27 individual plots and 6 major sections, each with its own unique microterroir. The soil of the estate is made up of mostly well-drained marl and limestone scree, and the vines are planted north to south to prevent erosion. The vines of Pinot Noir, which are around 60 years old on average, are replanted using cuttings from only the very sturdiest vines of the property, a way of ensuring the best possible breeding. The team at Clos de Tart is usually one of the last in the region to harvest, so that only perfectly ripe fruit may enter the blend. Since 2015, the vineyard has been completely organic, with the plan to convert to biodynamic viticulture within the next few years. In order to limit yields to the desired 23-30 hectolitres per hectare, methods of green pruning and debudding are carried out in the field. The fruit is manually harvested and sorted with great care paid to quality. The winemaking is done on a parcel-by-parcel basis and the wines are blended just before they are bottled, without filtration. The wines of Clos de Tart spend 18-24 months in new oak barrels, with part of the ageing process taking place in the estate’s underground cellar, built in the 19th century.
Clos de Tart produces two beautiful red Burgundy wines: their Clos de Tart Grand Cru Monopole and their second wine, La Forge de Tart Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru from slightly younger vines.
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A very fresh, restrained and attractively ripe nose of spiced plum, earth, violets and rose petal. There is excellent richness and volume to the gorgeously textured, concentrated and mouth coating medium weight plus flavors that display outstanding intensity on the very firm, persistent and beautifully well-balanced finish that displays a touch of youthful asperity. This is also quite firmly structured though it's clear that this is neither as ripe nor as firm as the 2012 version though it is a bit more refined. Drink: 2026+
Tasted at the pre-dinner vertical to mark Sylvain Pitiot's retirement from the domaine, the 2011 Clos de Tart Grand Cru has a distinctly more herbaceous and leafier nose than the 2012. Here we are walking in woodland around mid-October, the damp ground strewn with brown leaves. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly more rustic tannins than the 2012, but there is tremendous depth here and it seems to gain complexity toward the finish that gently fans out. It is another elegant Clos de Tart that will drink over the next 20 years.