Domaine Bruno Clair

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History

Bruno Clair, founded the domaine which bears his name in 1979. The domaine at that time included plots in Marsannay and Fixin, the Dominode vineyard in Savigny-les-Beaune, and a large plot lying fallow in Morey-St.-Denis - "En la Rue de Vergy.

He is the son of Bernard Clair (1920-2005) and the grandson of Joseph Clair (1889-1971), originator of the famous Domaine Clair-Daü which was founded in Marsannay in 1919.

Following Joseph's death, family disagreements led to the dismantling of the Domain Clair-Daü in 1985.

In 1986, Bruno was entrusted with the vineyards of his parents, brothers and sisters which included those of Clos de Bèze, Cazetiers, Clos St-Jacques, Vosne-Romanée, Clos du Fonteny and Chambolle-Musigny.

More vineyards were purchased by the estate in 1993, inlcuding Corton-Charlemagne, Pernand-Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton, and in 1996 Gevrey-Chambertin Petite Chapelle was added to bring the size of the domaine to more than 23 hectares (56.8326 acres).

The Team

Bruno Clair cultivates, harvests and bottles his wines with the assistance of André Geoffroy and Philippe Brun. Domaine Bruno Clair is a member of the Association des Domaines Familiaux de Tradition.

Bernard Clair (1920-2005)

Joseph's son, Bernard joined Domaine Clair-Daü in 1939 and the two formed one of the most prestigious wine estates of Burgundy, with the cultivation of more than 38 ha (93.90008 acres) of vineyards located in the finest named vineyards of the Côte de Nuits: Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Bonnes-Mares, Musigny, Clos St-Jacques, Clos Vougeot, and of a superb old vineyard in Savigny-les-Beaune, la Dominode.

Bernard also made his mark in the selection and cultivation of the finest seedlings of pinot noir and chardonnay - vines of high quality and low yield - which paved the way for the wine growers of today.

Joseph Clair (1889-1971)

Originator of the famous Domaine Clair-Daü which was founded in Marsannay in 1919.

After the First World War, the Burgundian vineyards were in a deplorable state and large areas were abandoned. Joseph Clair encouraged the wine growers of Marsannay to pull up the vines of gamay and white aligoté and to replant the vineyards in pinot noir and chardonnay, nobler types of grape varieties.

He is also responsible for the creation of a rosé wine made from pinot noir, the Rosé de Marsannay, which made it possible for many wine growers to survive, and even to thrive, in those difficult times since the red wines were not selling well and selling at prices which are hardly enough to sustain the growers. Marsannay is the only Burgundian appellation to produce rosé, white and red wines.

Practices & Techniques

Red Wines:

The grapes are partially destemmed before being put into open wood vats. The crushing of the bunches helps to improve the texture of the cap, which forms over the fermenting wine, and to prolong the time of fermentation.

If necessary, the vintage is cooled and alcoholic fermentation starts slowly and uses indigenous yeasts exclusively.

The temperature does not exceed 32 to 34 °C (89.6 to 93.2 °F). According to the intensity of the alcoholic fermentation, punching will take place from two to eight times per day. According to the wine, the time of "cuvaison" (fermentation) takes from 14 to 21 days.

The wines are then put into oak barrels and transferred to the cellar. Malolactic fermentation takes place generally in the spring when the cellars are heated gently by the warming of the weather.

White Wines:

The grapes are delicately pressed with a pneumatic press as soon as they arrive in the fermenting room.

Musts are clarified for 24 hours before being put into barrels for alcoholic fermentation which is done without addition of yeast and at low temperature, maximum 20 °C (68 °F).

The barrels are stirred with a baton several times a week, until the end of fermentation

Rosés Wines:

The rosé wine is exclusively produced from the pinot noir grapes. There is only one cuvée.

One third of the grapes are pressed right after the harvest. The other two thirds are left fermenting for 24 to 72 hours prior to being pressed. This method assures a good structure and brings out the pinot noir aromas.

The two musts are assembled and ferment in a stainless steel vat at low temperature (18 to 20°C) for about 20 to 30 days. Bottling follows eight to twelve months of « élevage » (aging in large volume).

Aging:

After the malolactic fermentation, the wines are racked and their "élevage" continues on the fine lees that we have preserved.

The wines are aged in oak barrels. The percentage of new barrels used varies from 20 to 50 %, according to the vintage.

Bottling is carried out after a period of "élevage" (maturation) which may be from 16 to 22 months.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Bruno Clair maintains a rigorous selection of the best vines of pinot noir and chardonnay, identifying those that produce small grapes with perfect ripeness. This selection also concentrates on finding vines that have a good resistance to diseases and are free from viruses. This work requires much patience and is absolutely essential to obtain a healty vineyard of great quality.

With regard to viticulture, Domaine Bruno Clair believes in the total absence of chemical fertilizers, the exclusive use of compost, and in plowings and harrowing the soil throughout the year. The grapes are hand-harvested, and the selection of the best grapes is carried out primarily in the vineyards

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Address

5 rue du vieux collège 21160 MARSANNAY LA CÔTE -
Marssanay-la-Côte, Côte d’Or
France

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