Out of the Shadows
2008 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays
Grand Cru History at the Right Moment
If Clos des Lambrays' eponymous Grand Cru site, the Clos des Lambrays, has been overlooked, lost in the shadow of its famous neighbor the Clos de la Roche, things are changing.
The Clos des Lambrays has a famous, famous past - the 1949 is one of the legends of the Côte d'Or. While the estate has no doubt faltered with this Grand Cru site any number of times throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, there have been very real, very recent triumphs - the 1999 is a superb wine, the 2005 exceptional.
As Clive Coates has written, "Success, in the sense of the fabulous Clos des Lambrays of the past, will surely come."
Our sense is that not only are the successes here, but the Clos des Lambrays is in a unique position right now. The wines are gaining serious momentum yet, at the moment, the pricing remains stuck in the past.
At La Paulée just about three weeks ago, the estate presented a vertical of their Grand Cru Lambrays, from 2005 to 2008. Every wine was absolutely superb, with 2005 and 2008 the clear standouts. In a room with Rousseau, Roumier, Lafon, Leflaive and Roulot, these wines still had people talking.
Today we present a parcel of the 2008 which really has to be one of the most impressive vintages of Clos des Lambrays to come out in the last 50 years, on par with the 1999 and 2005.
So what does the Clos des Lambrays taste like? If Morey-St-Denis is commonly considered a hybrid, stylistically, of the brawn of Gevrey and the elegance of Chambolle, the 2008 Lambrays shows off perhaps a bit more of its father's traits. There is a commanding structure, a tense grip on the palate, a certain muscle and tannic backbone - yet with the humor of Chambolle, a seductively fruited and floral expression.
The older vines in the Clos des Lambrays (two-thirds of the blend are from vines now 45 years old, while the remainder are over 20 years old) have given the wine much more raw material, a more grand depth and more palate-weight. The 2008 is sturdy, dense, dark-fruited wine, with dusty tannins and a palate-coating texture adjoined to the mouthwatering acidity and the incredible, pure fruit of the 2008 vintage.
This is a Grand Cru that will only get better in the next 10 years and beyond - so if you have the space and we still have the wine, consider going a bit longer. There are few sure bets in the wine world, but it seems inconceivable that in the next decade this wine will be available for anywhere near $100.
As we saw last week when the Corton Bressandes flew out of here at twice the rate we guessed it would, when Grand Cru red Burgundy comes in under $100, your best advice is to place your order quickly.
To do so, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
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