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2015 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru

SKU #1328969 96 points John Gilman

 The 2015 Clos des Lambrays includes ninety-five percent whole clusters this year and is a stunning wine in the making. The bouquet is deep, pure and very expressive out of the blocks, soaring from the glass in a blaze of black plums, sweet cassis, espresso, woodsmoke, gamebird, raw cocoa, a great base of dark soil tones and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with laser-like focus, great balance and grip and a very long, fine-grained and vibrant finish. This will take at least a decade to blossom, but it will be a great wine in the fullness of time. 2025-2075+.  (1/2017)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Aromatic, offering hints of lavender, menthol and orange peel, but on the palate this becomes an immutable block, with a kernel of cherry, black currant, licorice and mineral flavors locked within. The tannins have the upper hand now, but this should develop well. (BS)  (2/2018)

94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (produced from two large parcels of differing vine age - one that is approximately two-thirds of the blend and is now 50+ years of age and a second, smaller group of vines that is approximately 25+ years of age; made with 100% whole cluster). Here too the nose is quite ripe yet very fresh with its layered array of spicy and markedly floral-inflected black cherry and plum scents that are trimmed in both discreet wood and menthol nuances. There is impressive size, weight and power to the more mineral-driven and refined medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by a distinctly firm tannic spine on the wonderfully persistent and mildly austere finale. This is first-rate and one serious wine in 2015 and thus be prepared to allow it at least 10 to 12 years first. 2027+  (1/2018)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Clos de Lambrays Grand Cru contains 95% whole cluster fruit, part of the crop with thicker skins deprived of their stems according to winemaker Thierry Brouin. It is being aged in 50% new oak. It has dusky black fruit on the nose, earthier than I was expecting given the growing season, the stem addition lending a subtle undergrowth and moss-like scent. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and offers succinctly judged acidity. It is certainly harmonious in the mouth with a generous dash of black pepper on the finish, a pleasant prickle in the mouth after the wine has departed. Whilst not the purring engine that is Clos de Tart since it is more rough-hewn perhaps, this Clos des Lambrays has a charm of its own. (NM)  (12/2016)

93-95 points Vinous

 (made with 95% whole clusters; Brouin destemmed 5% of the fruit owing to the thick skins of '15): Healthy dark red. Subdued but complex, sexy scents of raspberry, mocha, brown spices and earth: a real essence of this distinctive grand cru. Sappy and wild, conveying terrific intensity and precision to its red berry and spice flavors. Tactile, savory, dense and very long, finishing with lovely energy and peppery lift and a lingering element of salty minerality. Beautifully integrated ripe tannins suggest that this will be an outstanding and long-lived vintage for Clos des Lambrays. The pH here is 3.6, which Brouin described as normal. Brouin added that potential alcohol levels following the sorting were around 12.5% in 2015, and that the finished wines will be between 13% and 13.2%. (ST)  (1/2107)

K&L Notes

Tracing their history back to 1365, Domaine des Lambrays holds nearly all of the famous Clos des Lambrays vineyard. Ownership of the domaine has changed hands many times since the French Revolution. Although the vineyard was given premier cru classification in 1936, the wines have long been hailed as legendary by critics, and the vineyard was promoted to grand cru in 1981. Winery notes: "The Clos des Lambrays is full-bodied, rough and supple, 'a hand of iron in a glove of velvet.' With flavors of black fruits (blackberries and blueberries), it is powerful and elegant with round and noble tannins."


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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Burgundy

- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north.