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Bourgogne L'Origine, Domaine Clair Obscur 2020
Pierre Clair has been working as 'chef de culture' at Domaine Marquis D’Angerville for many years now, a position he previously held at Domaine de Montille – these two iconic domaines have been at the forefront of biodynamic farming in the region, making Pierre an expert in the subject. During his spare time, Pierre runs his own project Clair Obscur alongside his wife Jennifer. Clair Obscur started off with 0.4ha in the village of Corpeau (down the slopes of Chassagne and Puligny) – vines that have been in the Clair family for generations. Back in 2015, Pierre and Jennifer acquired two plots in Maranges: Les Aubuzes and Sur Le Bois Sud, which they immediately converted to biodynamics. And more recently, they've taken over different 'fermages' in Santenay, Beaune, and the Hautes-Côtes (above Volnay).
Pierre tends his vines meticulously, applying all the experience gained over the years, while Jennifer "runs the show in the cellar". And Pierre comments, "she's a way better cook and winemaker than I am, she has that extra sensitivity and intuition; she learnt on the job and quickly displayed amazing skills, so I now happily follow her lead!"
The wines are vinified using whole clusters, the bunches are sealed in vats for a couple of days (kicking off fermentation as semi-carbonic to extract aromatics), the open vats are then punched down daily before pressing, fermentation finishes off in old 'pièces bourguigonnes' followed by ageing without additives. An homeopathic 0.5g of natural sulphur (from volcanic mines) is added per 228ltr barrels a couple of months pre-bottling.
This is the cuvée that started the domaine (see profile); it comes from a parcel in the village of Corpeau, planted in 1963, which Pierre inherited from his grandfather. The soil here is predominantly brown clay which gives a beautiful silky texture to the wine.
This is succulent and quite sensual, the fruit coats the palate, the tannins are very fine and frame it nicely, it’s clear and precise, with cherries, wild berries and touch of smoke and earth. It is rare to find red burgundies that give so much pleasure in their youth while ageing gracefully.
Producer Domaine Clair Obscur of Pierre and Jennifer Clair
Origin Corpeau, Bourgogne (Côte d’Or), France
Grapes 100% Pinot Noir
Style Medium body elegant red
Bottle size 750ml
Winemaking Manual harvested, sorted in the vineyard, whole bunches are loaded into wooden vats for fermentation, gentle extraction with pigeages and remontages during a 10-day cuvaison. The wine is aged in 5-15yo 228ltr barrels for about a year before bottling with minimal sulphur. Undergoes complete malolactic fermentation. Bottled unfiltred, unfined, no S02 added.
Notes Organic, Natural, Biodynamic