2001 Domaine Yvon Clerget Clos Vougeot Grand Cru


I visited Thibaud Clerget at his winery in Pommard during my recent Burgundy marathon. The Clergets trace their roots in Burgundy back to 1268 – 28 generations have farmed the land over several centuries. Clerget worked at Giesen in New Zealand and then for Domaine Drouhin in Oregon before returning to his roots and overseeing his first vintage in 2015. He has rapidly become one of the most exciting names in the Côte de Beaune, with a cluster of enviable holdings in Pommard and Volnay plus a solitary Grand Cru. Following our lengthy tasting of 2018s and 2019s, Clerget opened and served blind three older bottles made by his father, Yvon.

The best was the 2001 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Thibaud’s great-uncle Felix Clerget bought the parcels in 1811, but the fruit was sold to négociants until this maiden release. It has a beautifully defined bouquet featuring crushed strawberry and raspberry, wilted rose petals and fragrant orange blossom. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine-boned tannins, and saline notes in the mouth, revealing tangy marmalade and orange zest toward the piquant finish, which is just beginning to show slight dryness. 92/Drink 2020-2035. Two bottles of Pommard attested that Thibaud has imbued these wines with greater finesse and purity since taking the helm. The 1999 Pommard Les Rugiens 1er Cru has a more complex and even fresher bouquet than the 1996. Kirsch, orange peel, sous-bois and just a touch of chlorophyll feature on the well-defined, vibrant nose. The palate is medium-bodied, with supple tannins, fine acidity, and a little brininess toward the finish, which delivers decent but not extraordinary length. While the 1999 is not tremendously complex, it is correct, fresh and très Pommard. 90/Drink 2020-2028. The 1996 Pommard Les Rugiens 1er Cru has an intriguing bouquet of peppermint- and licorice-infused red fruit, still fresh after 24 years. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, quite saline in the mouth, fully mature but certainly nowhere close to the end of its drinking plateau. Finely balanced, rustic and full of charm, it is a typically rough-edged 1996 red Burgundy that should be consumed in the not-too-distant future. 87/Drink 2020-2023.