From: Marsannay, Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Notes: "Les Grasses Têtes" translates to 'fat heads' which refers to large outcroppings or bedrock. In French, the top of the bedrock is called the head. Les Grasses-Têtes is the most powerful of the Clair Marsannay lieux-dits, in both fruit and structure.
30% whole-cluster, indigenous yeast fermentation in open wooden tanks, minimal punch-downs and pump-overs (one each per day in general). Aged for 18 months in barrel (0-50% new).
About. Domaine Bruno Clair has indisputably etched its place within Burgundy's top tier with a rich history spanning nearly a century and a transformative journey over the past three decades. This ascension attests to the tireless dedication of Bruno Clair, who meticulously rebuilt the domaine he inherited from his grandparents, Joseph Clair and Marguerite Dau.
Established as Domaine Clair-Dau, the legendary vineyard's roots date back to the early 20th century. Joseph and Marguerite cultivated a legacy from Marguerite's family vineyards, progressively acquiring and rejuvenating some of the finest parcels in the Cote d'Or. By Joseph's death in 1971, they had created one of Burgundy's most revered domaines. Regrettably, family disputes led to its neglect and partition.
Bruno Clair assumed stewardship of approximately half of the original estate, commencing a painstaking era of restoration. His efforts culminated in reclaiming premium parcels as their leases expired, supplemented by strategic acquisitions. His unwavering commitment to quality and long-standing practice of organic viticulture have earned him due recognition and commendation.
Working with winemaker Philippe Brun, Bruno now cultivates an impressive 23-hectare portfolio. Comprising myriad offerings, from grand crus to rosé, and even the white wine grand cru, Corton-Charlemagne, the estate is primarily renowned for its red wines. Additionally, Bruno's vineyards (as well as from Ponsot) contributed many of the cuttings for today's clones at Dijon University, thanks to his father's contributions.
Bruno and Philippe's approach to wine-making is simple yet profoundly effective. They focus on meticulous farming to yield the best grapes, which Philippe then gently coaxes into wines of remarkable purity and terroir expression. This emphasis on delicate fruit extraction coupled with a robust mid-palate structure is the key to their success. In its current form, Domaine Bruno Clair symbolizes a return to prestige and the promise of a future where it could re-emerge as a global luminary. Considering the breadth of the holdings and the immense talent at work here, the estate is well-poised for this journey, resonating with the echoes of its past and the vibrancy of its present.
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