2017 Morey-Saint-Denis 'En la Rue de Vergy', Domaine Bruno Clair
Save £12 per case thanks to The Spectator Magazine
"... a delectable vinous curiosity for fans of fine white Burgundy: the 2017 Domaine Bruno Clair Morey-Saint-Denis ‘En la Rue de Vergy’. Nearly all the wine from M-S-D is red so this is rare as it comes and as tasty too. Mr Wheeler’s Mark Cronshaw reckons it’s best decanted, the better to show off its remarkable complexity, its admirably restrained exotic fruit and its extraordinarily long finish. Wow!"
Jonathan Ray, The Spectator Magazine
A Morey-St-Denis chardonnay is a rare species, as is the expertise of Marsannay's Bruno Clair, one of the most revered red producers in the Côte-de-Nuits. However, white Burgundy aficionados particularly of Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault can safely add the 2017 Domaine Bruno Clair, En la Rue de Vergy, Morey-Saint-Denis Blanc to their collections, and take advantage of todays opportunity to purchase one of the seldom-seen white wines of this celebrated commune. And what a wine it is too
As far as vineyards go, En la Rue de Vergy keeps prestigious company, nestled as it is between the famous Clos de Tart and Clos des Lambrays Grands Crus. Planted (over 40 years ago) on similarly poor, thin, rocky limestone soils that today yields racy, textured, minerally-driven chardonnay. 2017 is a stunning year for whites, and such a terroir-expressive vintage, and one that has since offered superb medium-term cellaring.
As far as this vintage goes, a recent tasting showed En la Rue de Vergy drinking fabulously already. In fact, throughout the two or three days following we found the wine improving - a key indication of true craftsmanship in winemaking and something Clair undoubtedly has. We would recommend decanting the 2017, should you wish to enjoy it now. Otherwise let it be over the next 3 to 5 years to savour the nuances and further complexities it is sure to develop.
As far as prestigious producers go, Bruno Clair (pictured) keeps his own company: since 1979, his eponymous Domaine has been redefining the level of quality that can be expected of Marsannay whilst producing other highly sought-after Côte-de-Nuits cuvées in a total of 9 appellations. These include Clos-St-Jacques, Vosne Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny. Clair's red winemaking expertise clearly translates very well indeed to white wine making - En la Rue de Vergy is fermented and aged in foudres and barriques (20% new) and is produced with minimal intervention.
The resulting cuvée opens on the nose with flourishing citrus and stone fruit aromas accompanied by chalky notes; on the palate it is complex, beautifully balanced, distinctive and moreish.
A highly individual, classy and complex white, Bruno's Morey-St-Denis En la Rue de Vergy opens up with a beguilingly delicate nose of white flowers, hints of grapefruit and blanched almonds. On the palate the texture is particularly noteworthy - clearly Bruno's red winemaking credentials push him to focus on dry extract and this is endowed with a wonderful medium-bodied, pithy mouthfeel and a fabulous saline edge. A little muted on first opening, with a little time it developed a fabulously expressive bouquet, with spice, crushed rocks, citrus, acacia flower and melon intermingling in an increasingly harmonious package. Great length, too... what a wine! And it will only get better with another couple of years in the bottle.
"....En la Rue de Vergy has a perfumed orange blossom and canned apricot bouquet that manages to retain impressive precision and focus. The palate is well balanced, with a lively opening, almost spritzy in the mouth, and features passionfruit and Williams pear on the finish. Very fine."
Neal Martin, vinous.com
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