Clos de Tart: a vertical tasting of one of Burgundy's most celebrated winese

jacques devauges and sylvain pitiot

 

Clos de Tart needs little introduction for most wine lovers. It’s Burgundy’s largest Grand Cru monopole (where the whole vineyard is owned by one producer) and for the last 20 years it has been under the safe stewardship of the fabulous map-making Sylvain Pitiot (above right). Now Sylvain has retired and handed over to Jacques Devauges (above left), formerly of Domaine D’Arlot, so UK agents Corney & Barrow put on a retrospective of Sylvain’s work. It was thrilling to be able to taste from his first vintage, 1996, to the 2013.

clos du tart

These wines are just lovely, and this is reflected in the high scores. The two anomalies are the 2004 (which had a problem with ladybirds) and the 2003 (which was just too hot). My favourites were 1999, 2002, 2005, 2010 and 2013.

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Clos de Tart 2013 Burgundy, France
Finely aromatic with red cherry fruit. Beautiful, pure and perfumed. The palate is supple, fine and detailed. It’s ripe but perfectly poised with sweet red cherries and hints of spice. This is so pure, elegant, fresh and detailed with some structure, and even a hint of pepper. Thrilling. 96/100

Clos de Tart 2012 Burgundy, France
Fine spicy framing to the nose which shows red cherries and plums. Structured palate is a bit chalky with firmness and some grip. Quite savoury and taut but not lacking finesse. An angular, structured wine. 93/100

Clos de Tart 2011 Burgundy, France
An aromatic nose: finely detailed with hints of herbs and spice complementing the sweet red cherries. The palate is peppery with supple, structured cherry and plum fruit. Nice definition with lovely sweet pure fruit. 94/100

Clos de Tart 2010 Burgundy, France
There’s a fine sappy and herbal undergrowth note to the sweet cherry fruit nose. Fine palate with beautiful finesse: good structure, fine-grained and textural, showing red cherries, spice and plums. Beautiful balance here. Youthful and beginning to develop a savoury side. 96/100

Clos de Tart 2009 Burgundy, France
Warm, slightly spicy nose with a faint hint of soy. Beautiful sappy red cherry notes. The palate is supple, pure and detailed with ripeness but also some elegance. Good structure to the red fruits, with real finesse and balance evident. 95/100

Clos de Tart 2008 Burgundy, France
This is distinctive. Fresh, floral perfume on the nose, which shows pure red fruits and a hint of pepper. The palate is vivid and fresh with a lightness and focus, as well as good acidity and grippy tannins. It feels firm and angular in the mouth, and really youthful with a peppery finish. I don’t know how it will age. 95/100

Clos de Tart 2007 Burgundy, France
Warm, spicy, slightly herbal nose with notes of earth and tar. There are some sweet berry fruits here, too. The palate is warm and a bit earthy with a sweet and savoury character, and fine spicy notes. This seems quite evolved and a tiny bit mushy, but it’s still delicious. 93/100

Clos de Tart 2006 Burgundy, France
Sweet, warm and complex on the nose with hints of earth and herbs. The palate has nice poise with sweet cherry and plum fruit. Textured and rounded with a bit of fine-grained tannic structure. Finishes a little dry, but it still has plenty of life in it. 93/100

Clos de Tart 2005 Burgundy, France (from magnum)
Warmly aromatic fresh floral red cherry nose, with some plumminess and refined spicy notes. The palate is quite beautiful, showing sweet, well defined cherry fruit. Very pure but still has lots of structure. The sweetness of the fruit and the precise, chalky, mineral structure and working in perfect harmony here. Beginning to show a bit of evolution, but also with a long life ahead of it. 97/100

Clos de Tart 2004 Burgundy, France
Distinctive fresh red fruits nose with some green hints, and a faint touch of medicine. Very distinctive. Fresh, supple palate with attractive red cherry fruit but a slightly angular greenness that’s rather off-putting. 88/100

Clos de Tart 2003 Burgundy, France
Such an atypical wine from the famously hot vintage. Rich, sweet berry fruits nose with a bit of spiciness. Warm with some tarry richness. The palate has a minty edge to the ripe, sweet, structured berry fruits. Dense, sweet and atypical, finishing minty. It has appeal, I guess, but so unusual for Clos de Tart. 92/100

Clos de Tart 2002 Burgundy, France
There’s some warmth to the nose, with sweet, slightly fudgy cherry and berry fruits. The palate is sweet and focused with generous ripe cherry and plum fruit, and good structure under the fruit, which demonstrates ripeness and concentration. Quite thrilling in a riper style. 96/100

Clos de Tart 2001 Burgundy, France
Very fine well defined nose showing lovely cherry fruit and appealing spiciness, as well as a hint of earthy evolution. Silky texture here: real elegance and also good freshness. Fine grained yet firm tannins and pretty cherry and raspberry fruit. Nice focus on the finish. 95/100

Clos de Tart 2000 Burgundy, France
Warm, spicy and fudgy nose with some herbal notes of tea and autumn leaves, alongside sweet red cherry fruit. The palate shows freshness and a bit of earthy, undergrowth character, as well as grainy structure. Warm, silky and delicious – and drinking very well now. 95/100

Clos de Tart 1999 Burgundy, France
Sweet, slightly tarry, spicy nose with fine herb notes, and mint and earth hints. Smooth, ripe, fresh palate driven by sweet berries and cherries, together with good structure and depth. There’s lovely ripness to his wine but it’s accompanied by superb definition. It still feels quite youthful, and there’s a fresh finish. Massive potential here for further development. 96/100

Clos de Tart 1997 Burgundy, France
Sweet, floral, aromatic nose with herbs, tea and leather. Very pretty in an evolved style. Superbly elegant on the palate with mature characters of iodine and earth, as well as sweet-tasting cherry and strawberry fruit. 94/100

Clos de Tart 1996 Burgundy, France
Warm, spicy and a bit herbal with some earthy hints. Supple palate is mature but shows fresh red cherries, some spice and a touch of undergrowth. Nicely structured with fresh acidity the key. 94/100

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