A great Petite Chapelle; intense, muscular but toned not hard. Brimming with concentrated brambly, mineral-flecked fruit, redder fruit shades of cherry and redcurrant, complex stone and undergrowth touches. Robust but refined, resplendent and lively.
Bruno Clair started his own domaine in 1979 with small holdings in Marsannay, Fixin, Morey and Savigny Dominode. Alongside this sat his family's Clair-Dau estate, one of the great Burgundian domaines, however following the death of his grandfather Joseph Clair family disaggreements sadly lead to its dismantling in 1985. The following year, to add to his own small domaine, Bruno was entrusted with the vineyards of his parents, brothers and sisters which included those of Clos de Bèze, Cazetiers, Clos St-Jacques, Vosne-Romanée, Clos du Fonteny and Chambolle-Musigny.
Bruno Clair’s wings are spread widely over the Côte d’Or covering nine appellations in total. Bruno, first and foremost, is a vigneron and, with the help of winemaker Philippe Brun, produces some of Burgundy’s purest examples, adopting an approach that involves back-breaking vineyard work and minimal intervention winemaking, using a mixture of large old wooden foudres and smaller barriques for the long slow ageing process. New oak, though used, is kept to a minimum - rarely going above 40% even for the Grands Crus. The estate is renowned, in particular, for its excellent value Marsannays, stunning Gevreys and old vines Savigny Cuvées. Though not always a fan of whole bunch, Bruno will, from time to time, use them in certain vintages to aide more gentle extractions. These are high-toned, vivid red Burgundies of great purity.
A town in the Côte de Nuits producing some of Burgundy's most renowned red wines. With 400ha of vineyard area this is the largest wine-producing region in the Côte d'Or. Gevrey-Chambertin's wines are typically some of the sturdiest in the Côte de Nuits, certainly bigger and heavier than those of close neighbours Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny. As such the best examples require a longer bottle-ageing to show at their best, however whilst the best examples rate as highly as those of Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny, being a large commune there are all too many disappointing wines that lack the ripeness structure and power they should have. Fortunately there are a number of top class growers making Gevrey, including Armand Rousseau, Denis Mortet, Bruno Clair, Drouhin-Laroze, Trapet, Rossignol-Trapet, and Denis Bachelet.
Gevrey also boasts eight grands crus, perhaps too many!, the finest of which are Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. Whilst it is questionable whether some of these are worthy of their Grand Cru status, Gevrey also boasts two Premiers Crus, the region's best, considered worthy of elevation to Grand Cru status. These are Les Cazetiers and Clos St-Jacques, a particularly fine bottling of the latter is produced by Domaine Armand Rousseau, who charge more for their Clos St-Jacques than for several of their other Grands Crus.