France, Burgundy

Domaine Y. Clerget

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About Domaine Y. Clerget:

The history books will tell you that the Clerget family’s involvement in wine in Burgundy dates back to 1268, although its more relevant history is much more recent with the domaine evolving into its current guise over just the last 70 years.

Following on from the end of the Second World War, Jean Clerget joined the family domaine and was himself joined in the early eighties by his son, Yves. Yves continued to make wine up until 2010, when he then decided to start selling all of his fruit to negotiants rather than bottling it himself. Two years later, his son Thibaud finished his wine exams in Beaune before spending a couple more years honing his winemaking skills in New Zealand and Oregon. He was now primed to return to the family domaine and reinvigorate it, which is exactly what he has done. In 2017 he released his first vintage, the 2015, and has not looked back. Last year, he completed the addition of another five hectares of vineyards and built himself an ultra-smart new tasting room from which he could present his new cuvées.

Over the eight years he has been making wines at the domaine, his style has evolved quite significantly. In the early days the wines were more explosive and demonstrative, as he tried to make an immediate impact, but today they feel more restrained and thoughtful. He himself recognises the change in his approach, which he dates to 2019, when he began to limit yields and adopt a more delicate approach to vinification, stopping pigeage completely. Interestingly, Thibaud has had to learn his craft amid a run of warm vintages, with six of the last seven vintages being hot and only 2021 being what might be considered a more classical vintage. But as Cyprien Arlaud articulately explained, it’s about learning to embrace the new normal, not fight against it.

Thibaud is a follower of whole bunch but is no zealot, with some of his wines having around 50% whole bunch, but others being completely destemmed. He has the same approach to his use of new oak, which varies enormously to the extent that he now makes a special cuvée of Clos Vougeot aged completely in wine globes, the new glass vessel of choice for the cool kids. This willingness to experiment and adapt is exciting, as it reflects a hunger and ambition to become one of the top producers in the Côte d’Or. His rapid progress and evolution suggest that ambition will soon be realised.

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