The Sleeper Grand Cru - Lowest Price: 2011 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays

Posted by Ian McFadden

The Sleeper Grand Cru
2011 Domaine des Lambrays
Clos des Lambrays
Lowest Price in the Nation

Somehow, Clos des Lambrays' golden moment is still going strong.

Not that we're complaining. For the past decade or so, Domaine des Lambrays' eponymous Grand Cru has been one of the great secrets in red Burgundy, and I'm happy to keep it under wraps as long as possible.

Especially since it means I can offer the 2011 Clos des Lambrays for just $144.95 a bottle.

Since about 1999, the wines emerging from this historic estate call to mind the legendary wines of the domaine's distant past - the 1949 Clos des Lambrays is near-mythical in its renown. True, Domaine des Lambrays went through a rough patch. And frankly, there's a silver lining, because the wines have made a definite comeback, and they're still ridiculously undervalued.

Morey-Saint-Denis puts the muscle of Gevrey together with Chambolle's finesse, and Clos des Lambrays is a gorgeous iteration of this blend. It is a powerful wine, but still carries itself with pedigree, grace. In the monograph he penned on the Clos des Lambrays site, French wine writer Charles Quintesson described it as "iron hands in velvet gloves."

In 2011 especially, the velvet elegance comes through. The wine is suave and seductive, a harmonious balance of fruit and earth. The 2011 vintage allowed for beautiful transparency of terroir, and here, the meaty minerality that is characteristic of Lambrays' limestone-dominated soil really shines.

We have to agree with John Gilman when he writes, "This is going to be a lovely, soil-driven middleweight at its apogee, with excellent complexity and breed."

The longstanding pedigree of the site aside, the 2011 Clos des Lambrays is a downright delicious wine. The Grand Crus of Morey-Saint-Denis are made for visceral enjoyment. Forgive me for assigning such an unassuming descriptor to a wine with this breeding, but Clos des Lambrays is the comforting Grand Cru.

Clos des Lambrays will age just as well as most any Grand Cru in Burgundy, but it is one of the first to come into its own. In a young vintage like 2011, expect it to reach its peak as early as ten years in, and remain in its prime for ten more.

As these wines age and the quality makes itself known, price will invariably shoot up. Availability, in turn, will only go down. At the moment, the buyer is in a seriously advantageous position with this wine, but I can't foresee it lasting much longer.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

John Gilman: "The 2011 Clos des Lambrays is a very red fruity and transparent young vintage for this wine. The pure and classy bouquet offers up a mélange of cherries, blood orange, mustard seed, coffee, a complex signature of its underlying terroir, smoke and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very young, with lovely soil signature, a fine core and a fair bit of chewy tannins perking up the focused and long and tangy finish. This is going to be a lovely, soil-driven middleweight at its apogee, with excellent complexity and breed."