Behind the old dried-stone walls

Despite being enclosed by a centuries-old wall of dried stones, one could spend hours exploring the grounds of the Clos des Lambrays … The Clos des Lambrays is one of the 33 Grands Crus of Bourgogne, located in one of the region’s most precious so-called “Climats”.

We invite you to discover and tour the heart of the village of Morey-Saint-Denis to connect you to its history and legacy. Take the time to walk on the limestone paths along the walls. Further down the hillside, close to the village well, a milestone commemorates the founding of the Clos in 1365. Up at the top of the hill, an iconic arched stone gate leads way to 202 “ouvrées”, or plots of land (8.66 hectares) owned by the Domaine. On a clear day, the Alps cut a sharp silhouette in the background.

Contemplate the undulations of the nearby rolling hills, covered by vines growing from a topsoil composed of limestone and rich, red clay. Year after year, the vines produce, according to the nuances of the vintage, an elegant Pinot noir that will age over decades.

 

Côte de Nuits high-place

In between Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny, the village of Morey-Saint-Denis quietly produces many Grands Crus: Clos des Lambrays, Bonnes-Mares, Clos Saint-Denis, Clos de la Roche, Clos de Tart. Among the Côte de Nuits, Morey-Saint-Denis is the village with the largest concentration of vines ranked as Grands Crus.

The Clos des Lambrays benefits from an especially unique location. This Cru is a “haut-lieu”, an emblematic point within Côte de Nuits. The smooth slopes of the hillside are subjected to different and complex sun exposures where the vines have been planted and grown for 30, 50, 60 years, or even longer. The size, width and amplitude and the topographical diversity of these slopes give the Pinot noir an optimal and varied terroir.

The Lambrays “Climat”

In Bourgogne “climat” and “lieux-dit” are not the same thing. The Clos des Lambrays encapsulates the essence of Bourgogne vine philosophy. What better way to dive into a special and alluring culture, with its own language and own code, than to taste it? Within the Clos, one “climat” - a traditional terroir linked to a specific wine – provides the foundation for three vineyard areas: Les Larrets, Les Bouchots & Le Meix-Rentier.

On a steep slope with shallow topsoil, Les Larrets brings elegance and finesse to the Clos des Lambrays. Le Meix-Rentier is at the bottom of the hill, composed of a deeper bed of soil. It is the backbone of the wine. Les Bouchots is on the northernmost section of the vineyard, at the exit of the Morey Combe, and its fruit is usually picked at the end of harvest. All three components enrich the final wine with subtlety and several distinct facets. Whoever the winemaker, whatever the style of winemaking, the character of the wine is irreplaceable.

 

Since 1365

The very first reference to « Clos des Lambrays » traces back to the fourteenth century. Archives of the Abbey of Cîteaux reveal its founding around 1365. An engraved milestone, still in its original location, commemorates the founding. After the French Revolution, the Clos became extremely fragmented. Based on the archives and maps of the vines owned by the Domaine, the survival and recomposition of the fragments of the Clos des Lambrays was due in large part to the strong vision and willpower of its different owners during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In 1936, when the first appellations d’origine are issued, the Clos des Lambrays was listed as a Premier Cru However, this proved to be a misnomer as the wine was always considered to be a Grand Cru by experts.

The modern consecration

During the 1930s through the 1980s, the Rodier family’s determination helped the Clos des Lambrays recover its official Grand Cru status, a status it had always held de facto. And a status which wine lovers had always recognized. Finally, in 1981, it received official status after the French National Institute in charge of Appellations d’Origine to decree the Clos des Lambrays as the 33rd Grands Crus of Bourgogne

Since 1979, the Clos des Lambrays has been blessed with both a succession of passionate vinticulters and good fortune. First Mr Louis and Fabien Saier along with Mr Rolland Pelletier de Chambure and then the Freunds, since 1996, have kept the property in pristine condition. In 2014, the property, identified as one of the jewels of Bourgogne, was acquired by the LVMH Group.

Anthology - First half of the XXth Century


Anthology - 1960-1980 Today