A beautiful day in Pommard showing both new initiatives and new people … but with a strong bond to history.
Coming from a view on Domaine de la Commaraine .. vineyard and future hotel … I turn left down the road to the fine old Clerget estate – to see one of my favorite new generation vignerons Thibaud Clerget.
I first visited Thibaud in 2016, tasting the 2015 vintage – so quite a lot of wines have already passed under the bridges of Pommard – and I am pleased to report that Thibaud is still improving – and the 2019s are in my view the best vintage made here by some margin.
The vintage is fabulous … and Thibaud has the talent to transform grapes into magnificent wine that expresses the liveliness of the 2019 vintage … what can I say; Chapeau Mr. Clerget – you do Pommard and Volany honor.
Hot years require experience and practice
While the grapes in hot years are often riper, the vinification is not necessarily easier, as maintaining lightness and the coolness during the harvest and vinification requires experience.
I was therefore slightly surprised to see the fine results from Thibaud Clerget in his first vintage: 2015. Yes, some of the wines were perhaps a bit on the hot side, but in general, the balance was there.
Tasting the 2016s and 2017s revealed, however, quite some improvements compared to the 2015s – and showed the potential of this fine estate, and the talent of Thibaud.
Then we had the 2018s and despite the fact that 2018 was a hotter vintage than 2015, the 2018 wines were more vivid and fresh, showing finer details and energy.
The 2019 have even more to offer … an inherent energy and depth .. a complexity that runs through the wines like a magic source of energy and hedonistic pleasure. Thibaud has cherished this quality and embraced the qualities of 2019s
To the cellar … if we can get past the man at the door!
The 2019s from Domaine Y. Clerget – Tasting on July 8th, 2020
The first thing one notices is the more energetic expression with red and orange fruit to boost the vivacious and generous character of the vintage. It is unlike the previous vintages at this estate … it is unique … like the 2019s in many estates.
Domaine Y. Clerget, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2019
The Bourgogne Pinot Noir is a blast. Only 50% of the normal harvest. Offer tremendous energy, depth, and concentration for the level. Has a lively and effortless expression taking the wines here to another level … this is delightful.
(Drink from 2021) – Very Good (87p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay 2019
The Volnay is equally brilliant: sensual cloudberries and lingonberries are integrated with more regular berries – red and dark and cherries. Very lively and vivacious with a tremendous drinkability and sensuality – the charming energetic notes do take this well beyond a regular Volnay … adorable.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good (89-90p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay Carelle sous la Chapelle 2019
The Volnay Carelle sous la Chapelle is as always a further step up in intensity and energy. This is a vivid and very energetic wine – with the nordic berries stepping up the energy level – with a considerable sexiness and delicacy. Quite a substantial wine yet it’s lightfooted and refined … a hedonistic treat.
(Drink from 2029) – Fine+ (91 – 93p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay Santenots 2019
The Volnay Santenots is vivid and forward with red fruits and very lively although it is 100% destemmed. It is cool for the vintage with a slightly citrus-driven fruit … as often with this vineyard – or is it primarily the cask. Very fine oomph and energy … although perhaps the weakest link in the 2019 portfolio. Regardless it’s a tremendous wine.
(Drink from 2029) – Fine+ (92 – 93p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay Mitan 2019
No new oak and 50% whole cluster is a charmer – especially holding the magnificent 2019s juice. Very lively variations of cherries – red and dark – sweet and sour … and with a bit of cloudberry and lingonberries to intensify the midpalate energy and liveliness. The intense and very vivacious … this is magnificent.
(Drink from 2029) – Fine++ (92 – 93p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay Champans 2019
As is its habit, the Volnay Champans is always a special wine – only one cask – new oak and 50% whole cluster. The 2019 vintage absorbs the oak and integrates the whole cluster very well – and the result is a very lively fruit… This has a very sensual feel … with the nordic fruit taking complexity to new levels. Chapeau!
(Drink from 2029) – Very Fine (93 – 94p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay Clos de Verseuil monopole 2019
This is a rather unknown monopole located just below the village of Volnay and the Domaine Pousse d’Or estate, north of Volnay Taillepieds. The nose is expansive and expressive with delicate variations of cherries – generous yet with a nordic cool not letting the warmish notes of 2019 taking over. Effortless with an airy lightness … this is mighty juice.
(Drink from 2029) – Very Fine (93-94p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Volnay Caillerets 2019
The last of the Volnays is the mighty Caillerets. A wine made from 75-year-old vines – so generous depth and oomph here. This is a wine dominated by millerandage grapes giving it a fine red berry fruit … variation of cherries and the classical pomegranate hint. This year with an exuberant greeting from Lingon and Cloudberries – at the same time giving the wine freshness and a complex and lush generosity.
(Drink from 2031) – Very Fine (93 – 94p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Pommard Rugiens 2019
The Pommard Rugiens is my clear favorite amongst the Pommard vineyards due to its strong mineral stance. Combined with the exuberant and complex fruit of the 2019s it becomes something close to the perfect Pommard. A mineral beast – yes – yet sensual and almost silky This is an otherworldly Rugiens (20% whole-cluster fermentation); delicate and floral, offering fresh red fruit and cloudberries even a perfumed hint of peony. This is truly adorable … one of my favorite Côte de Beaune reds in 2019.
(Drink from 2032) – Very Fine+ (93 – 95p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
Domaine Y. Clerget, Clos de Vougeot 2019
The Clos de Vougeot contains 50% whole bunches as last year and comes from an excellent plot at the top of the vineyard just below Grands Echezeaux. This is a wine that also expresses the greatness of the 2019 vintage and the talent of Thibaud. This wine is very lively … vivant … with the notes of nordic berries … the slight whiff of cloudberries does elevate this bot freshness and complexity wise. This is very vivacious and with a delightful tension and detail. The silky midpalate fruit is sensual and filigree .. a tremendous Clos de Vougeot.
(Drink from 2035) – Outstanding (95p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 –
When I say 2019 … it is a strong recommendation … I would rather collect all the bottles myself … as I find a vivacious greatness in this vintage matching only the legendary years like 1929 … the birth year of Winehog Senior – Alf Öhman
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