Comte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of the Chateau de Vosne-Romanée is now helping to make wine in Pommard, having entered an agreement with the owners of Pommard’s Clos de la Commaraine to assist making the wine from this historic 3.75-ha monopole vineyard.
Tasting the 2018s at Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, I had my first chance to taste the 2018 Pommard Clos de la Commaraine, as Louis-Michel kindly brought a sample from the Pommard estate.
Clos de la Commaraine estate and vineyards
Clos de la Commaraine is a Pommard 1er cru located just outside the center of the village. It is a prominent estate by any standard, with a beautiful chateau located in the southern part of the vineyard adjacent to the village.
The estate has been owned since 2017 by Harvard professor Denise Dupré and Mark Nunnelly, ex-managing director of the Boston-based Bain Capital investment fund.
Clos de la Commaraine is a true clos if there ever was one, with walls enclosing the 3.75-ha monopole and its chateau.
The vineyard is located just to the north of Pommard, with the chateau on the northern edge of the village and the enclosed vineyard extending to the north (see map below).
The vineyard encompasses one large cadastre plot (000 BE 28) with an area of 3.7450 ha. This includes the park in front of the chateau and the gardens located on the southern side of the estate.
Interesting and varied geology
The geology of Clos de la Commaraine is interesting, as the vineyard is on the border of the combe (valley) running through Pommard.
The geology changes within the clos, hence there is some variation in the different sectors’ expression of terroir (see map below).
Pommard Clos de la Commaraine – the wine
I was very excited to taste the new wine, as I have not tasted this 1er cru before, and especially not from Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, who one would expect to make a more delicate interpretation of the wine than earlier attempts.
Domaine Pommard Clos de la Commaraine 2018
The Pommard Clos de la Commaraine 2018 is showing very well – a fine combination of Cote de Beaune fruit with Liger-Belair vinification (cold soaking and modest, careful extraction, with 60% new oak as opposed to the 100% normally used for his Cote de Nuit wines). The Commaraine is beatifully perfumed with spicy minerality, blue fruit and a stony, almost fully limestone impression. It is an elegant wine with a delicate balance between the refined vinification and the interesting terroir. It does lack a bit of depth, energy and effortlessness that will presumably come with additional years of biodynamic viticulture. The potential is there however; this is a very enjoyable first attempt, so let’s see what this terroir reveals. It seems like the limestone soil in the northern part of the vineyard in particular produces an interesting mineral canvas for this wine.
(Drink from 2030) – Fine+ – (92 – 93p) – Tasted 12/11/2019 – cask sample
References & Sources:
- Jules Lavalle, Histoire et Statistique de la Vignes et Des Grands Vins de la Côte d’Or (1855)
- Batault-Morot, E. Plan statistique des vignobles produisant les grands vins de Bourgogne. (1861)
- M.R. Danguy et M. Ch. Aubertin, Les Grands Vins de Bourgogne (1892)
- Camille Rodier, Le Vin de Bourgogne (1920)
- Décret du 11 septembre 1936 concernant la définition de l’appellation contrôlée “Nuits” ou “Nuits-Saint-Georges”
- Clive Coates, Cote D’Or (1997)