August 21st 2008
2 weeks in my father and step-mothers magic house in Cogolin in the south of France seems a distant memory as the body readjusts to the cool of Britain. The journey down was legendary, punctuated by a stop in Beaune and a visit to Clos des Lambrays in Morey St Denis to taste with winemaker Thierry.
It has to be one of the most beautiful domaines I have visited, a very impressive house, gardens and 9 ha of vineyard growing principally Pinot Noir with which he makes one of the most delicious and approachable Grand Crus, Clos des Lambrays. We tasted the 07 in barrel which was dense and broody, hints of violet and black cherry on the palate, it will drink relatively early.
I also barrel tasted the Morey 1er Cru Les Loups which is basically “young vine” Clos des Lambrays, both wines are aged in 50% new oak which adds just the right amount of texture without dominating. I preferred the balance and charm of the Morey. Then onto the 06 Clos des Lambrays which is recently bottled and although still very young it was magnificent, the flavour kept on and on, and kindly Thierry thrust the bottle into my hand to take down south. It was extremely hot en route but arriving in Cogolin I fridged it, and as we sat al fresco enjoying our first dinner I had to revisit and see how it had survived the journey. DELICIOUS, beginning to show how it will evolve, rich dark black berry fruit, really fine tannins lovely length and quite superb. Thierry prefers it to his 05 and I have to say I really loved it.
I bought a few bottles of his 2003 and 2004 Morey 1er Cru to compliment the mountain of Domaine de Jale Rose 2007 that I had shipped in, and loved them both, the 04 had more restraint and elegance and the 03 warmth and richness.
Blood is beginning to revert to red after being a definite shade of pale pink for most of the fortnight, and I tried a range of the Provencal roses, most of which are delicious, pale, dry, light and wholly appropriate from dawn till dusk. Jale though, won out, for its purity, minerality, so pale pink colour it is glorious. We do have stock if you feel moved, and for me it is a sure way to remember the great times had.