Clos de Tart
Clos de Tart is the only monopole in Morey-St-Denis, owned completely by Mommessin, and competes with Clos des Lambrays, which is effectively a monopole. At 18.6 acres it is slightly smaller than Clos des Lambrays, but there is little difference in the production--it produces a proportionately equal annual tally of about 2,500 cases.
Clos de Tart is roughly equal to Clos des Lambrays in pedigree, perhaps even ahead of it, but the prices are often significantly higher, sometimes thrice as much as those of Clos des Lambrays. However, for those who love the style this Burgundy is irreplaceable--indeed, its perfume of silky black pepper, meat and thick jam is often compared to completely different appellations, and is impossible to find anywhere else in Burgundy. Though there have been some problems in the past, in good vintages the Clos de Tart really succeeds with the aura of exclusivity it attempts to portray, and at prices far below the aesthetically similar Vosne-Romanée monopoles. As usual, competition between this and the other Morey Grands Crus has been beneficial.
As with the other Morey Grands Crus, Clos de Tart was originally founded by religious figures, but unlike the others, it has always been a true monopole. The original owners were nuns known as the Order of Tart. Of course, during the French Revolution the property was taken away, but even then ownership was not divided up.
The Marey-Monge family then bought out the vineyard, and around this time the wine was considered by far the best in Morey-St-Denis. But it had its ups and downs, and in 1932 the vineyard was sold to its current owners, Mommessin. By then the vineyard's walls had fallen into disrepair, and the wines were no longer as good as they once were. As a result, promotion to Grand Cru was delayed until 1939, in comparison with 1936 for Clos de la Roche and Clos St-Denis. But in recent vintages Mommessin has revived Clos de Tart's top pedigree, and the ancient vineyard looks to have a good future ahead of it.
Climate and Viticulture
In this vineyard the perfect weather conditions combine with great soil to make top wine. Some parts of the vineyard are sloped, but much of it ambles down at an almost unnoticeable angle toward the village of Morey-St-Denis. Also, the soil is browner and contains fewer stones than Clos de la Roche or even Clos St-Denis. But there are still a lot in comparison with other Côte de Nuits villages. Clay and limestone combine here to make wine of great character, and the process of blending grapes from different portions of the vineyard makes sure that the wine is not too monolithic in style.
- Pinot Noir: Learn more about these wines, which are 100% Pinot Noir, in the below producer description.
- Mommessin: Mommessin has been owner of this vineyard since 1932. The fabulous monopole Grand Cru cuvée competes strongly in an exclusive field. Easily recognizable by Mommessin's distinctive green-on-yellow label, the wine is an incredible concoction of unusual flavors, which have been compared to those of completely different wines from across the world and yet are entirely unique to this vineyard. Fruit flavors of blueberry, black cherry and black raspberry are typical to Pinot, but often are accompanied by more distinctive notes such as blackcurrant and plum. Ripe, rich, almost liqueurish in heaviness, it is lightened up by notes of pepper and mineral but is still quite a weighty wine. As for aging, it's important to remember that the wine will always be powerful, but with age it will become richer and more accessible. Aging of up to 25 years is possible, but it's likely that it will be pristine after 15-20. The 2005, even more of a blockbuster, might last 30. As for prices, they vary greatly from vintage to vintage, but tend to range from $250-$500 with the 2005 costing more like $950.
Due to the huge variance in terroir, this cuvée is sourced from several different parcels of the vineyard, but since they don't appear on the label they are largely irrelevant. In fact, at least since the 1980s the wine has been unmistakable for its distinctive green and black lettering on a yellow background, above which lies an enormous, grandiose green seal.