4831 CLOS DE TART GRAND CRU 2016 750ml
4831 CLOS DE TART GRAND CRU 2016 750ml

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Code: F04140026AAJ2016



The 2016 Clos de Tart Grand Cru was assessed from a blend of all the component parts (except the young vines) that I previously tasted separately, as I have done over the last decade. The final blend will be 80% new oak, whereas my sample contained 100%, although this was discrete and enmeshed with the fruit. It has a fascinating bouquet, much more nuanced than those from a decade ago, dark fruit, a little earthier, with the stem addition lending it more freshness and even, dare I say, slightly green—and I mean that in a very positive sense. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, a core of slightly candied black cherry and blackcurrant fruit framed by quite “strict” tannin and a fresh, marine-influenced, brine-tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. There is a sense of harmony and completeness here that, even over 20 years tasting at this address, I have rarely encountered. You can just feel the frisson in this wine. One of the finest wines from the Côte d'Or in 2016. It's that simple. (RobertParker.com)


A wonderfully fresh, bright and layered nose reflects notes of cool red and black cherry, plum, violet, lavender, earth and a subtle, but not invisible, touch of wood. There is notably more volume and mid-palate concentration to the relatively supple medium weight plus flavors that tighten up noticeably on the dusty, balanced and exquisitely persistent finish where a hint of bitter cherry pit surfaces. Like the La Forge this is certainly well structured yet it's not so youthfully backward to prevent this from being enjoyed on the younger side. (Burghound)

As readers have undoubtedly heard by now, change continues to occur at Clos de Tart as it has been sold to the François Pinault family. Pinault is obviously involved with Château Latour in Bordeaux as well as Domaine Eugénie in Vosne plus two other iconic wineries in the Rhone and Napa Valley. Frédéric Engerer directs all of these and will do so with Clos de Tart as well and will work with current régisseur Jacques Devauges, who until recently held that position with Domaine l'Arlot. It is too soon to know whether further changes are in store but it would not be surprising that at least some things will be tweaked going forward. With respect to the 2016 growing season, Devauges commented that his predecessor had embarked the domaine on a course of organic farming in 2015 which made for a "number of difficulties in 2016 as we want to be certified as such in 2018. Then I started the domaine on a biodynamic farming approach in 2016 with the goal of being certified as such in 2019. These steps were good ideas and I'm glad that we implemented them but I have to say that 2016 was not exactly the ideal moment. I say this because even though we lost almost nothing to the frost, the mildew pressure was genuinely awful and by the end of June I was beginning to wonder if we would harvest anything at all. Then conditions changed for the better and frankly July saved us as it dried up the mildew and importantly in the context of our plans, we weren't forced to change our farming approach. We chose to begin picking on the 28th of September, which is the same date that we began in 2010. Because the harvest weather was pretty much perfect we picked slowly over 5 days. Yields were relatively generous at 35 hl/ha, which is the most for us since 1999 and notably more than the last 10 year average of 25 hl/ha. The fruit was clean and ripe as potential alcohols in all of our parcels came in between 13.2 and 13.6% so there was no chaptalization. I used about 60% whole clusters in the vinification and also chose to reduce the new wood percentage slightly from 100% to 80%. Perhaps more importantly though the degree of toast was changed as well so that will have some impact on the style of the 2016 relative to prior vintages." While barrel samples are always tricky in terms of judging how much wood will ultimately be present in any given wine, the wood toast difference was noticeable in the 2016. Whether that will be the case when it is ultimately bottled is an open question but I view this as a potentially positive development. The vinification is usually divided into seven different cuvées that may or may not be included in the final blend but in 2016 it was divided into 8. The review below is based on what Devauges believes will be reasonably representative of the '16 Clos de Tart but it is obviously subject to change. Moreover at the time of my November visit Devauges said they would probably bottle the second wine of Clos de Tart which is a Morey St. Denis 1er known as La Forge de Tart in 2016 and a review for this wine is included below (the last declared vintage was 2014 and before that, 2011). Note the 2015 Clos de Tart, also reviewed below, was bottled in March 2017.

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