wine-searcher.com / Clos des Lambrays Wine
Clos des Lambrays is one of four Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy’s Morey-Saint-Denis appellation. The 21-acre (8ha) site produces some of the world’s most prized Pinot Noir wines, rivaled only by their Grand Cru counterparts along the Cote d’Or. Clos des Lambrays wines are noted for their rich, lush palate and elegant structure – less muscular than their northern neighbors in Gevrey-Chambertin.
The vineyard occupies a significant portion of the Cote d’Or mid-slope immediately south and west of Morey-Saint-Denis village. The Clos de Tart Grand Cru vineyard is on the southern border of Clos des Lambrays, and the houses and roads of the village itself are on the slope below. Clos des Lambrays reaches higher up the Cote d’Or than any of the other Grand Cru vineyards in the appellation.
(© BIVB / Ibanez A.)
Like many Burgundy vineyards (Clos de Vougeot is a prime example), the Clos des Lambrays has had many owners over the years, as the result of France’s Napoleonic inheritance laws. Immediately after the French Revolution the site had more than 70 owners. The site was reunified in 1868.
The promotion of the Clos des Lambrays to Grand Cru status in 1981 came shortly after the majority of the land was acquired by two brothers, Fabien and Louis Saier. Then a Premier Cru, the land had lain almost unused for 40 years, but the brothers lobbied for its promotion on the basis of its geological and topographical properties. Following the promotion, the vineyard underwent significant replanting and restoration work. The vines now average around 40 years old, although the youngest are not qualified to be included in the Grand Cru wines and are sold instead as Les Loups Premier Cru.
The Clos des Lambrays vineyard is now almost a monopole of the Domaine des Lambrays. However, a small plot in the lower section of the site, less than one acre in total, is still owned today by Domaine Taupenot-Merme.
The Clos des Lambrays is divided into three sub-climats: Meix Rentier in the eastern, lower corner, Les Larrets in the higher western corner and Les Bouchots in the north. The size differences between these plots are only small, but the terroir of the vineyard varies measurably. The lower portion has a much higher limestone content, while the upper part is dominated more by marl. The wines which result from the two sections are noticeably different in style, with the former being lighter and more delicate than the latter.