2018 Domaine Bruno Clair Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode (750ml)15 4 0 0
90-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound
A riper and spicier nose is also more deeply pitched with its blend of liqueur-like dark raspberry, poached plum and plenty of humus-inflected earth. There is even better volume to the concentrated middle weight flavors as well as equally good delineation to the stony, sappy and lingering finish that also flashes a touch of youthful austerity. Moreover, the structure is notably firmer and this should amply reward 12 to 15 years of patience yet be approachable after only 5 to 7.
Bruno Clair and winemaker Philippe Brun told me that in 2018 "the biggest challenge was getting the picking dates just right for each vineyard because they don't all ripen in the same way at the same time. It's important to remember that the growing season was particularly hot and dry and thus it was possible to have wide discrepancies between how the vines reacted to the hydric stress. This was especially true for young vines or vineyards that do not have good water retention properties. For example, we picked a portion of Bonnes Mares on the 22nd of August as the fruit showed signs of wilting yet we didn't attack the other vineyards until the 27th. This enabled us to avoid any over ripeness despite the fact that maturities were really starting to rise at the end. We really wanted to avoid the problem of having the first vines picked be a little under ripe and the last vines picked be somewhat over ripe. So it was necessary to hire extra pickers and do a tour of your vines at the end of each day to be completely on top of the maturities in each specific parcel. We used on average 40% whole clusters for the vinifications and there were no particular problems getting them to finish properly. As to the wines, they are deeply colored with good flesh and silky tannins. While it's true that analytically the acidities are on the lower side, from a tasting perspective you really do not have that impression at all as they possess plenty of energy." Sharp-eyed readers will note the presence of several new wines. These are not the result of new vineyard acquisitions but rather a decision to vinify some of the smaller parcels that were previously combined into other cuvées. Note that the 2017s reviewed below were bottled in May 2019. (11/2019)