Text by Anthony Hanson MW, 2 Feb 2021
2015 was the first vintage of the highly talented young wine-maker Thibaud Clerget, who completed his studies at Beaune’s Lycée Viticole in 2012. He then did vintages with Pinot Noir specialists in New Zealand and Oregon, and on the Côte de Nuits. His family has owned vineyards and made wine in and around Pommard and Volnay since 1268. Thibaud is the 28th generation.
If you have rarely encountered bottles from the Domaine, which carries his father’s name, this is because since 2010 Yvon Clerget had been selling his grapes, rather than making and bottling his wines. For the 2015 vintage, Thibaud took on the family responsibilities, and all grapes were vinified at the Domaine. Thibaud made a brilliant success of his first four vintages, and many wines sold out rapidly. We are delighted now to be offering his 5th – these 2019s – which are every bit as enthralling as the first four. “I love this vintage,” says Thibaud, “it’s fresh, with elegant fruit, and ruby colours which are typical of Pinot Noir. It will be more ready to drink soon, compared to the 2018.”
Meursault Les ChevalièresDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This vineyard lies centre-slope along Meursault’s most famous swathe of hillsides, with
First Growths lying on the east-facing sectors and more modestly-priced village level wines when the slope turns to the north. Just 5 barrels were made (of which one was new), from a 45-year-old vineyard, which was picked early, to maximise freshness. Small grapes from old vines have given a wine of pale lemon colour, with refreshingly fragrant, open aromas. The fruitiness is taut, palate is supple with silky texture and a fresh, long finish (for drinking 2021- 2024+).
VolnayDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This comes from two plots – Ez Echards and Petit Gamets – which lie downhill from Les Champans. The wine was 100% de-stemmed, and has seen no new oak, ageing in barrels which are 3-4 years old. There are only 6 of them, when a normal-sized harvest may yield up to 20. Colour is bright, rich ruby-purple, aromas recalling cassis and other red fruits. It has a strong attack which fills the mouth, and lovely fresh follow-through (for drinking 2022-2027+).
were vinified at the Domaine. We were the first to discover and ship his wines to any export market. Showing his wines at our London Burgundy tasting in January 2017 marked the international relaunch of this thrilling Domaine. Today, his wines are available in 28 countries, so he has told us.
Thibaud made a brilliant success of his first four vintages, and many wines sold out rapidly. We are delighted now to be offering his 5th – these 2019s – which are every bit as enthralling as the first four. “I love this vintage,” says Thibaud, “it’s fresh, with elegant fruit, and ruby colours which are typical of Pinot Noir. It will be more ready to drink soon, compared to the 2018.”
Volnay 1er Cru Les SantenotsDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
A part of this vineyard has been up-rooted, so a reduced quantity comes solely from the lower, clay-rich sector of Les Santenots. 30% whole clusters were retained for fermentation, giving just four barrels, of which one was new. This is a powerful wine, but with good acidity, which was bottled in December 2020 (for drinking 2022-2028+).
Volnay 1er Cru Carelle Sous La ChapelleDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This wine comes partly from old vines, aged about 75 years old, and partly from 23-year-old vines, giving a wine of great purity. It was 100% de-stemmed, then aged 20% in new barrels, of which a total of 8 were produced (compared to a normal harvest of a dozen). Colour is bright, ruby-purple, aromas being rich and dense. Palate shows remarkable depth of fruitiness, with lovely tannins and silky texture (for drinking 2022-2030+).
Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Verseuil (Monopole). Domaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This vineyard is a Monopole, meaning it is solely owned by Thibaud’s family. It lies on steeply-sloped land between First Growths Taillepieds and Bousse d’Or, in one of the village’s sweetest, First Growth spots. The vineyard is partly 30 years old, partly 55. Unusually, the rows of vines run from north to south, meaning that grapes are regularly shaded from sun-burn – contributing to its unusually vibrant freshness. It was 100% de- stemmed, then aged 30% in new barrels. Colour is medium-deep, ruby-purple, aromas very fragrant. This is a charming wine of great elegance, but with splendid potential for ageing – quintessential Volnay, one may say (for drinking 2023-2035+).
Volnay 1er Cru Les CailleretsDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This comes from a very old vineyard (averaging more than 85 years of age), often giving only 2-3 bunches of grapes per vine. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed, and just 3 barrels were produced (of which one was new). In colour, this is rich purple, aromas being very fine and fragrant. Palate is a fruit basket of complex elegance, with extraordinary potential to age seductively, and already elegant, extremely long aftertaste, with perfect balance (for drinking 2025-2040+).
Pommard 1er Cru Les RugiensDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This is a Pommard Rugiens of beauty, dense fruitiness and superb length. The grapes came equally from the low and higher section of the vineyard. Power and richness come from the lower section, balance from the higher. 20% whole bunches went into the fermenting vat, bringing spiciness and freshness. The wine then aged 20% in new oak barrels. This is a Rugiens in the style of a Volnay, whose tannins are elegant and fine. Colour is medium-deep, red purple, aromas are densely fruity and lively. Palate has power and structure but without excess, and shows great charm (for drinking 2025-2040+).
Corton le Rognet Grand CruDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
This the first harvest of Thibaud having been able to acquire grapes from a vineyard which he has now secured on a long-lease. We went to find him picking the grapes during the 2019 harvest. The vines lie high on the Corton hill, facing due east to catch the first rays of the sun as it rises. The bunches were immaculately ripe and healthy, and gave 4 barrels (of which one was new), with 40% of the clusters being retained for fermentation. Colour is rich, ruby purple, aromas very fragrant. Palate showed substantial body, with mouth-coating fruitiness, rich tannins, good freshness and splendid length. This is a dramatic wine for drinking from the mid-2020s, then for at least a further decade.
Clos Vougeot Grand CruDomaine Yvon Clerget 2019
These vines lie in the upper part of Clos Vougeot, the Grand Maupertuis section, over the wall from Grands-Echézeaux. Four barrels were made in 2019, of which two were new,
and Thibaud has held on to all of them for Domaine bottling. Half the bunches went into the vat as whole clusters, without de-stemming. This is bright, rich purple, with fragrant, open aromas. Palate is full-bodied and well-structured, with dense fruitiness. This will be a grandiose bottle, with a decades-long future of smooth perfection (for drinking 2025-2045+).
The Fine Wine Experience is very delighted to work with such a talented producer in Mainland China.