Wednesday Cellar Pick: 2008 Mommessin, Clos De Tart

Wednesday Cellar Pick: 2008 Mommessin, Clos De Tart

Posted on Mar, 16. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

A member (thanks Brad) pointed out to me recently that one of the finer reasons for being in the Wine Guild was to use our pricing structure and rare standing in the market to obtain some of the great wines of the world. As much sense as this makes, it still struck me a bit that I have not offered out these gems as often as I would like. In light of this, we are beginning a new weekly third e-mail that I am calling the ‘Wednesday Cellar Pick.’ These will be top wines, with good ratings, that we usually will not have a chance to taste, but wines we are familiar with and believe in the quality proposition they represent.

So without further murmuring on the subject I would like to begin with an epic Burgundy that has found an epic space in time:

2008 Mommessin, Clos De Tart
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $265.00 • Premier Cru: $275.00 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $375.00
Buy Now!

Not every Cellar Pick will be in the $300 price range but for what this wine is and what it represents this is actually a very reasonable price. What more do you want for one of the great wines of all time? Those of you who took a look at the DRC offering at prices well over $2500.00 per bottle might find this a relative value. I for one am collecting great wines in the 2008 vintage for the birth year of my wonderful son (Take note Dad) and will be getting one of these babies to go next to the Vosne Romanee from DRC I bought from that offering. If you do not read all of the information text below at least read the bolded highlights. Specifically that this is a Burghound 96 point wine which, for his conservative approach to this rating system, is like a Parker 110. If you don’t know Burghound he is considered by many to be the authority on great Burgundy and it is worthy to note that on this great wine, “not a single prior vintage earned a higher rating than this 2008”

There are a handful of truly unique, wonderful, and historical wines that every wine fan should experience at least once in their lifetime. In fact, an excellent book was written about these great and important wines called “1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die” by Neil Beckett. One such wine is Clos de Tart, the great red Burgundy that combines power and elegance like no other wine in the world.

The wine Clos de Tart is named for the Grand Cru monopole vineyard in the southern end of the Morey Saint Denis zone just to the north of Chambolle Musigny’s greatest vineyard “Les Bonnes Mares Grand Cru”.

Burgundy expert, Allen Meadows of Burghound.com, wrote: “Clos de Tart is unique; indeed it is arguably the most original terroir in all of Morey. It can produce complete wines of surpassing grace, richness, power and class and which, like all the very greatest terroirs, want for nothing.” Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, January 2010.

The Clos de Tart Grand Cru vineyard, which comprises its own eponymous appellation, has been the crown-jewel in the Mommessin family’s vineyard holdings since 1932, when they became only the third proprietor of this historic Domaine since it was founded in 1141 by Cistercian nuns.

It is located on a perfectly situated slope in Morey-Saint-Denis. Each vintage, depending on conditions, either one or two wines are produced. The estate’s flagship wine is the legendary Clos de Tart Grand Cru, made from immensely concentrated, stunningly balanced grapes from low-yielding, hand-harvested, old vines. In some vintages, La Forge de Tart Premier Cru is also produced from the historic property’s younger vines, those under 25 years of age.

About the 2008 vintage:

Allen Meadows has tasted more Clos de Tart than most people. His Burghound.com website lists 84 different tasting notes on wines from the Clos de Tart vineyard (and I think it’s safe to say he’s tasted Clos de Tart on many other occasions without writing an official Burghound tasting note). Though his notes include vintages going back to 1887, not a single prior vintage earned a higher rating than this 2008 and only one previous vintage earned the same 96 point rating. It is hard to compare wines from across decades (or, in this case, centuries), but it is clear that the incredible 2008, with stunning purity, great depth, impressive concentration and power, and an indescribable sense of grace and elegance, will join some of the finest Clos de Tart wines ever made such as 1978, 1962, 1961, and 1955.

For Meadows, a highly critical and strict reviewer, a score of 95 points or higher is reserved for a wine that is “Truly incomparable and emotionally thrilling. A wine so rated is as good as Burgundy gets. By definition, it is reference standard for its appellation.”

In 2008, La Forge de Tart 1er Cru was also produced. It comes from the same Grand Cru vineyard, but is made with the vineyard’s younger vines (those under 25 years old are mature, but do not produce grapes of the depth and concentration as the older vines). La Forge de Tart shows much of the same complex flavor profile and balance as the Clos de Tart, but it will be ready to drink earlier and does not have quite the same power and concentration.

Here is the review from Allen Meadows’ Burghound.com:

“Mild but not invisible wood frames very ripe yet cool and airy dark fruit aromas that speak of earth, violets, underbrush and a hint of menthol that leads to reserved, intense and tautly muscular broad-shouldered flavors that are textured, naturally sweet, sappy and concentrated while being supported by a notably firm but not aggressive tannic spine and excellent length on the balanced and palate staining finish. This should require between 15 to 20 years to arrive at its apogee as it’s noticeably more structured but unlike some less successful ’08s, the phenolics here are quite ripe as the low yields and late picking date are clearly in evidence. This resembles the great 2001 more than a little yet there is even more overall depth of material. In short, this should be truly great in time. 96 points. Drink: 2028+” Allen Meadows’ Burghound.com, Jan. 1, 2011.

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