2019 International Wine Challenge The IWC is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously
The harmonious marriage of nature’s intuition with the savoir faire of our signature winemaking technique is a match made in Heaven. Clos Marey-Monge, our acclaimed vineyard, blossomed to prominence in 1795 when Nicolas-Joseph Marey and Émilie Monge, the son and daughter of eminent French nobility, fell madly in love. In a heartbeat, their adoration for each other ignited a passion and purpose that lies at the very heart of Château de Pommard.
The terroir of Clos Marey-Monge – Simone, Chantrerie, Les Paules, Grands Champs, 75 Rangs, Micault and Émilie – are each bestowed with distinct soils and microclimates. Hand-picked, fermented and barrel-aged separately, the fruit from each terroir is kept apart. But then on one magical day, we unite them together in precise proportions, encouraging the seven terroirs to come together to tell one tale, a love story to equal Nicolas-Joseph and Émilie’s. The result is the purest expression of every vintage revealing the personality of each terroir while creating a soul that stands elegantly as one.
Rolling waves of black fruits, fresh rose, humus and graphite welcome Clos Marey-Monge Monopole’s sweet arrival, almost instantly after the cork has been relieved of its duty. A rich, satisfying purple with flashes of deep ruby illuminate the glass. A complex display of grape and spice aromas are on offer, a tell-tale sign that you’re in the presence of greatness. Clos Marey-Monge Monopole’s medium body and high acidity come as standard, this is classic Pommard after all, but the sheer perfection of this wine lies in the details: velvety tannins and a lingering and slightly salty finish, with soft notes of curry spices and white pepper, the result of our signature winemaking technique.
Underneath its purplish red sky, garnet reflections populate the glass, while ripe fragrances of fresh and dried fruits dominate on the nose. Think plum, apple, elderberry, raspberry, almond and peony, scents that evolve into dark grapes and spices on the finish. Clos Marey-Monge 2011 is delicate, savory and starts soft and round in the mouth, before growing in power and flavor. This is a very good 2011, a tricky vintage, with remarkable complexity and super velvety tannins, so forget assumptions. The finish is long with a slightly saline pulse, underscored by hints of graphite and gingerbread. A powerful and solid wine, Clos Marey-Monge 2011 will age for many years – leave it 8 to 10. Be patient. Let it work out the kinks of the vintage.
Like previous years, 2011 blossomed from a dry and warm Spring, opening the door to sunny days and high temperatures in April, resulting in earlier-than-expected bud break. It’s always a relief to see the buds, after months of winter dormancy. The warm temperatures continued in May, allowing for an accelerated, but healthy, growth of the vines, clothing Clos Marey-Monge once again in a glorious ocean of green. Flowering and fruit set came together beautifully on May 20th, precisely one month ahead of nature’s usual schedule, compared to previous years. This difficult vintage began its harvest on August 20th, with the Grand Champs, Les Paules, Émilie and Micault plots of Clos Marey-Monge independently hand-picked when the grapes had ripened to perfection. 2011 is a vintage renowned for the health of the grapes and for the extreme pickiness required on the sorting table.
Clos Marey-Monge 2012 is as acclaimed as it is delicious. Led by a morello cherry complexion with ample support from the generous and delicate scents of peony, poppy, dried rose and a plethora of black fruits dominant at first, with blackberry licquer and blueberry in there too. A remarkable complexity, a gift from its medium body, high acidity, ripe and fat tannins and persistent length. Mouth-watering to say the least. The finish is long with spicy notes. A perfect pair with Burgundy’s traditional dish of the day, Coq au Vin.
This vintage began with an almost devastating start that caused many of us at the Château to have sleepless nights. The earliest days were the most perilous: a Spring frost and a hail storm in June threatened the blossoming of the buds and the safety of the vines. Intense rainfall between April and July, high humidity levels, fungal diseases and mildew were some of the other major challenges the vintage threw our way. The beginning of August, with dry and warm temperatures, saved the vintage, for which we were eternally grateful. The hand-harvesting of the grapes began on September 17th, with a 20 hl/ha total yield delivered from a bruised Clos Marey-Monge. Despite this tiny yield, the glorious weather that concluded the season ultimately produced a vintage that is both super-concentrated, highly-delectable and highly-collectable. The vineyard earned a well-deserved dormancy after a complicated year.
Clos Marey-Monge 2013 continues to be highly rated and reviewed. Little wonder, considering the gifts on display. It’s the waves of fresh roses that come first, evolving into fragrant woody tones, supported second by sweet spices, dark grapes and a subtle pulse of cinnamon. The palate expresses lots of ripe fruit combined with damp earth and walnuts, smells that point to several years of aging. Firm and dense in structure, with velvety tannins shining through the dark ruby glow, Clos Marey-Monge 2013’s medium body and high acidity offer remarkable complexity and an endless, persistent length. Give it a few years to find its time to shine, 2019 will be fine.
After the small yield, but delicious flavors, of the 2012 vintage, 2013 was another year mother earth proved its hegemony over the vignerons and vignobles of Burgundy. The bud break was relatively late, seeping into June, following a cold and rainy Spring. Throughout June, intense rainfall delayed floraison (flowering), introducing an increased risk of blight. Pommard, as well as surrounding appellations Volnay, Beaune and Savigny-lès-Beaune experienced a near-fatal hailstorm, identical to the power that struck in 2012. We lost fifty percent of the harvest, and a lot of sleep, in June. In July and August, the weather turned again, this time for the better. Warmth and sunshine clothed the vines like a large hug, guiding the grapes to ripen perfectly at the end of September. The harvest began on September 23rd, with Clos Marey-Monge bare of all ripe fruit come October 2nd. The year’s unstable conditions struck again with huge storms across the region’s vineyards on October 5th and 6th. Thankfully, just a few days too late to do any more damage to the overall yield.
Our 2014 vintage was a gift sent from heaven. Or, as we like to call it, Clos Marey-Monge. With its deep luminous ruby complexion and shining purple tints, it’s a treat for the eyes as much for the tastebuds. An authoritative aroma blooms with fresh black and red fruits, sweet spices, dark grapes and a lick of licorice. Characteristic flavor notes of chocolate, hazelnut and berries are present on the palate. A firm but ribbon-smooth elixir, with silky and finessed tannins that flows superbly into a long and intense finish, Clos Marey-Monge 2014 leaves lips feeling satisfied. For the most authentic taste of the four terroirs blended within, leave the bottle to age for 2–3 years.
This year’s vintage perfectly captured the memory of 2014’s unusual, and unpredictable, weather. At the beginning of the season there was much promise. The three months of Spring were warm and dry, culminating in an early bud break and bloom at the start of June. However, by the end of the month, cooler and wetter weather took control. On June 28th, a hailstorm – similar to the awesome power that struck in 2012 and 2013 – damaged several villages across the Côte de Beaune, including Pommard. Summer was defined by wetter-than-average weather and cool temperatures. A few hot days in July helped the vines recover their ground, but worsening conditions took control again during the first two weeks of August. By mid-August the weather improved, with mostly dry and sunny conditions aiding the grapes to a steady and juicy maturation. In September, the sun remained a constant element and a northerly wind bolstered ideal conditions; the grapes reached optimal maturity come mid-September, when the Grand Champs, Émilie, Chantrerie, Micault and Les Paules plots, used in Clos Marey-Monge Monopole’s final blend, were hand-picked in mid-September under clear blue skies.
What a remarkable vintage! We’ll be talking about 2015 for years to come. In Clos Marey-Monge, the vines seemed to develop very quickly. There was an early bud break, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flower bloom at the beginning of June – the hottest since 2003, followed by a three-week heatwave with temperatures consistently hovering above 40 degrees celsius. The grapes began veraison in mid July. Then in the first half of August, rain showers and cooler, cloudier weather took control, balancing out the earlier heat, which returned in the second half of the month. The clos was ready to be picked on September 2nd, with the tight bunches of pinot noir bustling with thick-skinned and very healthy fruit – perfect maturity. A beautifully sunny harvest with the idea picking conditions, began in Simone on the 2nd, finished in Grand Champ on September 10th. A bright future awaits this vintage.
Clos Marey-Monge Monopole 2015 is a vintage we’re happy to talk about for hours. It’s that remarkable. First a rich, satisfying purple with long flashes of deep ruby, bewitches the eyes. Then, a powerful but delicate Pommard bouquet offers a sensational aromatic expression; intense and jam-packed with notes of ripe red fruits, sweet spices and high juicy acidity. Hiding behind its medium body, lies a ripe, velvety tannic structure. The experience of this vintage plays out with a very long satisfying finish, a chorus of flavors playing perfecting in tune, a sign of a great wine.
Intense and aromatic waves of violets, ripe strawberries, red plums and sweet spices – predominantly cinnamon – offer your nose a fantastic first impression of this complex and elegant wine, a pure expression of its provenance, Pommard’s famed Clos Marey-Monge. This is a well-rounded Pinot Noir, where a velvety palate fuses with freshness and a long and lingering finish. Its dark ruby glow, with deep purple tints, reveal Clos Marey-Monge Monopole 2016 to be a dense, concentrated and beautifully balanced wine, worthy of its place among previous vintages that have enjoyed equal adoration. Its floral and fruity aromas make it a satisfying wine to enjoy today, however, we recommended you save it for a rainy day to ensure you savor it at its peak… as it deserves.
When uniting the six of the seven distinct terroirs of his vineyard to give birth to Clos Marey-Monge Monopole, winemaker Emmanuel Sala uses his signature winemaking technique. First, he begins by building the skeleton of the wine, using the Grand Champs and 75 Rangs parcel, regarded as the backbone of the vineyard. He then adds the flesh, using the well-rounded cuvées from Micault, Émilie and Les Paules parcels. The Chantrerie terroir adds a spiritual touch to the blend, while Simone – a terroir with one of the highest clay densities in Burgundy – embodies the soul of our flagship wine. Each years brings its particular peculiarities: we call it the vintage effect.
2016 was a struggle with the elements. First, the Clos was affected by a bitter frost, dividing the harvest in half, followed by rain and damp allowing the return of powdery mildew. Our skilled team of winemakers and vineyard managers saved the day by saving the best grapes. Champion parcel, Simone, didn’t suffer any loss, nor did the old vines within Les Paules. Throughout the summer, the grapes were given the best care to ensure they enjoyed the stunning sunshine. Once mature, the grapes turned out more plump and concentrated than we could have ever hoped. Once harvested, they were vinified, one terroir at a time. When the right moment came to bring together our six finest terroirs, with the proportion of Simone being higher than it had ever been, we introduced a barrel to Clos Marey-Monge Monopole 2016 to give it an extra touch of soul.
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2019 International Wine Challenge The IWC is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously
Fifteen villages. Two iconic grape varieties. The most honest expression of grape, terroir, and vintage.