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Domaine Bruno Clair, Marsannay Les Grasses Têtes 2017

Red Wine from France - Burgundy
Marsannay is an increasingly smart option for good-value fine red Burgundy, as evidenced by this wine’s fantastic showing and comfortable victory in our 2021 Wine Champions blind tasting. Our panel loved its inviting red-fruit perfume, while the red clay soils of Les Grasses Têtes lend considerable power to the palate, yet the tannins are sweet.
Price: £36.00 Bottle
Price: £216.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: BU71351

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Pinot Noir
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2025
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Côte de Nuits

Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile...
Taking its name from the town at its heart, Nuits-St-Georges, the Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Côte d’Or, the escarpment upon which lie the greatest of Burgundy’s vineyards. Though there are a number of very fine white wines made it is the reds for which the Côte de Nuits is truly famous. Compared with the red wines of the Côte de Beaune the reds from Nuits have more sophisticated tannins, extra body and a more sumptuous texture than their southern counterparts.

The soils of the area are predominantly limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The finest have a happy conjunction of silt and scree over marl with protected and sunny aspects in some of the side-valleys that cut into the escarpment from west to east. These cuts provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as the various aspects. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle.

The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy that mean more variation than in any other fine wine region.

The appellations that sit above the generic regional ACs in the hierarchy are Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Echézaux and Nuits-St-George. Côte de Nuits –Villages is made from grapes grown at either end of the Côte, where the soils and sites are less impressive. Gevrey-Chambertin is a complete and balanced wine, full and harmonious. Wines from Nuits-St-Georges are the most tannic and, like Pommards, need long maturation. For many Vosne-Romanée is the summit. Its wines have beautiful velvety palates: dense and soft, sensuous and tactile. Chambolle-Musigny is the lightest yet one of the most fragrant wines of the Côte de Nuits. It is perhaps Nuits's equivalent of Volnay; a pretty, fine boned wine with exquisite perfume and a silky palate.
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Domaine Bruno Clair

Bruno Clair began on his own in 1979 when his father's famous Domaine Clair-Dau was fragmented as a result of family disagreements and France’s Napoleonic inheritance laws. Bruno began with plots in Marsannay and Fixin, a small parcel in Savigny-Les-Beaune and a fallow plot that needed replanting in Morey-Saint-Denis, upon which he established an excellent reputation. By 1985 the parts of the old estates which had been retained by his family were in disarray and the various members asked Bruno to take control which he gladly did, adding vines in Clos de Bèze, Cazetiers, Clos-Saint-Jacques, Vosne-Romanée, Clos de Fonteny and Chambolle-Musigny to the portfolio. During the 1990s purchases of land in Corton-Charlemagne, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, and Gevrey-Chambertin Petite Chapelle further enhanced the holdings under his command and brought the total area to 23 hectares.

Not only does Domaine Bruno Clair have a prestigious portfolio but it also has an enviable selection of clones, pioneered by his father and developed by Bruno during careful observation in the vineyards. In his work he is aided by his close friend and valued colleague Philippe Brun, who has been with him from the very beginning.

The viticulture throughout is built on organic principles though without seeking certification in order that any particularly difficult vintages can be treated as a last resort. However, yields are kept low through painstaking work and everything is hand-harvested and sorted in ...
Bruno Clair began on his own in 1979 when his father's famous Domaine Clair-Dau was fragmented as a result of family disagreements and France’s Napoleonic inheritance laws. Bruno began with plots in Marsannay and Fixin, a small parcel in Savigny-Les-Beaune and a fallow plot that needed replanting in Morey-Saint-Denis, upon which he established an excellent reputation. By 1985 the parts of the old estates which had been retained by his family were in disarray and the various members asked Bruno to take control which he gladly did, adding vines in Clos de Bèze, Cazetiers, Clos-Saint-Jacques, Vosne-Romanée, Clos de Fonteny and Chambolle-Musigny to the portfolio. During the 1990s purchases of land in Corton-Charlemagne, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, and Gevrey-Chambertin Petite Chapelle further enhanced the holdings under his command and brought the total area to 23 hectares.

Not only does Domaine Bruno Clair have a prestigious portfolio but it also has an enviable selection of clones, pioneered by his father and developed by Bruno during careful observation in the vineyards. In his work he is aided by his close friend and valued colleague Philippe Brun, who has been with him from the very beginning.

The viticulture throughout is built on organic principles though without seeking certification in order that any particularly difficult vintages can be treated as a last resort. However, yields are kept low through painstaking work and everything is hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyards. Reds are partially destemmed prior to fermentation through the action of natural yeasts in open wooden vats for up to three weeks before seeing time in oak. The amount of new oak each wine sees depend on its designation within the hierarchy.

White grapes are gently pressed and the juice fermented again through the use of natural yeasts in oak barrels with batonnage. Thee whites then spend between 16 and 20 months in 20-50% new oak. The domaine also produces rosé in Marsannay as well as aligoté.
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Burgundy Vintage 2017

Reds: a year that will give enormous pleasure.

2017 produced exuberantly fruity wines with medium structure,
so that the aromas are not suppressed by their tannins. It was
potentially high yielding for pinot noir and the best growers
managed the yield and got ripe yet fresh grapes. The warm year
produced an early harvest which took place between 2nd and
15th September. A variety of red styles were made: the weather was good at vintage so there is a spread of picking dates. Some are fresh and bright, while the later-picked wines are rounder and sweeter.

Both the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits were successful,
making wines that in style and quality surpass 2014, are riper than 2013 yet are lighter than the really concentrated and great 2016s and 2015s.

Whites: aromatic, ripe but fresh

Chablis: bright and fresh

The weather was coolest in Chablis, leading to bright and fresh
wines close to the great 2014s in style and character. In the last
fortnight of April frost ravaged the vineyards, reducing...
Reds: a year that will give enormous pleasure.

2017 produced exuberantly fruity wines with medium structure,
so that the aromas are not suppressed by their tannins. It was
potentially high yielding for pinot noir and the best growers
managed the yield and got ripe yet fresh grapes. The warm year
produced an early harvest which took place between 2nd and
15th September. A variety of red styles were made: the weather was good at vintage so there is a spread of picking dates. Some are fresh and bright, while the later-picked wines are rounder and sweeter.

Both the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits were successful,
making wines that in style and quality surpass 2014, are riper than 2013 yet are lighter than the really concentrated and great 2016s and 2015s.

Whites: aromatic, ripe but fresh

Chablis: bright and fresh

The weather was coolest in Chablis, leading to bright and fresh
wines close to the great 2014s in style and character. In the last
fortnight of April frost ravaged the vineyards, reducing yield but
not affecting quality. Some premiers crus like Montée de Tonnerre and Mont de Milieu produced less than half a crop. The grands crus were partially protected by frost prevention measures.

Côte d’Or: excellent concentration and good structure.

Many vines here are low yielding due to coulure (poor fruit set
which reduces quantity, but not quality) and some heat stress,
which may have conserved acidity. The summer was warm and
so the moderate crop ripened quickly and was picked early at
the end of August or early September.
Mâconnais: very good wines from the best growers
It was warmest here and yields probably were at their highest,
yet the good producers controlled this and picked early to
preserve ripeness, making for very attractive wines.
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2017 vintage reviews

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