The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Domaine des Lambrays and…Domaine des Lambrays!

Posted on | December 17, 2014 | Written by David Gwo | No Comments

d gwoBetween the famed Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin in the Côte de Nuits rests the unsung village of Morey-St-Denis. Make no mistake: Morey-St-Denis is a formidable rival to its two marquee neighbors. The appellation has more Grand Cru acreage than Premier Cru, and its wines blend the characteristics of Chambolle and Gevrey, making them more rustic than Chambolle and less tannic than Gevrey. Morey is also much smaller than Gevrey and Chambolle, so its wines are rarer and harder to come by. Today, I want to introduce you to the historic and iconic estate Domaine de Lambrays.

Here’s the first thing you should know: Domaine de Lambrays essentially owns all of the Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, which is composed of three distinct vineyards, Meix Rentier, Les Larrets, and Les Bouchots. In addition to this near-monopole, the domaine also owns a handful of Premier Cru and Village level vineyards. The estate uses organic viticultural techniques, which avoid the use of pesticides and anti-rot chemicals. Technicalities aside, this domaine produces stunning Burgundy, both red and white. I picked a pair of wines that any serious Burgundy enthusiast should have in his or her cellar.

Domaine des Lambrays 2011 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clos du Cailleret $134.99

Although they’re known for their reds, Domaine des Lambrays makes drop-dead gorgeous whites. This comes from the benchmark village of Puligny-Montrachet, one of the greatest appellations for white Burgundy. I had the opportunity to taste this wine a few weeks ago and was floored. As soon as I stuck my nose in the glass and before I even tasted I said to my colleagues, “This is going to be incredible.” The nose exploded with a blend of tropical and stone fruits backed by waves of white flowers, honey, and minerality. These notes carried through to the palate, but the experience was so much more. The mouth-feel was both palate coating and lively, with layers and layers of flavor that unfolded, even after the wine was gone. This is one of the best white Burgundy I’ve tasted to date.

​​Domaine des Lambrays 2011 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru $199.00

This is the domaine’s flagship wine, and it’s one of the best examples of Morey-St-Denis. This wine is fermented with the stems and stalks, and it sees about 50% new oak. This protocol explains the distinct smoky and peppery character that exists in this wine that, in combination with dark fruits and big structure, will allow it to grow immensely in complexity over time. While I have yet to have the privilege to taste a vintage example of this exemplary bottling, this one will surely impress down the road—it just requires a bit of patience.

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