Ultra-Rare Red Burgundy Monopole
Burgundy’s 2012 vintage, highly rated by Wine Spectator, was a brilliant, low-yielding year. The elegant 2012 Domaine Pierre Damoy’s “Clos Tamisot” Gevrey-Chambertin from this 65- and 90-year-old vine monopole plot eked out under a half-ton per acre of deeply aromatic Pinot Noir that had Burghound’s Allen Meadows praising its “excellent richness, volume and mid-palate concentration.” The 2013 and 2014 vintages sell for $190 to $200, but due to a change in importer, I secured the remaining inventory of the superior 2012 vintage — just 156 bottles to offer at a mere $75.
Pierre Damoy is a Côte de Nuits superstar whose domain holdings include large swaths of Gevrey-Chambertin’s most sacred Grand Cru plots. But the land closest to his heart is the monopole village vineyard just behind his house, planted in the 1920s by his great-great-grandfather, Julien: Clos Tamisot. Often referred to as Pierre’s jardin, it is a Premier Cru vineyard in all but name. The well-draining clay and limestone soil of the 3.5-acre plot enrich the fruit of nearly century-old vines with terrific complexity. Yields in 2012 were miniscule and at Domaine Pierre Damoy demand massively outweighed supply. Thanks only to my relationship with Damoy’s previous importer, I was able to shave off 12 cases of this superb red Burgundy to share with Wine Access clients.
Pierre is a fifth-generation winemaker, inheriting the family business from his uncle in 1992. The family legacy included some of the most priceless holdings in Gevrey-Chambertin, including the largest portion (35 percent) of the legendary Grand Cru Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, 40 percent of the Grand Cru Chapelle-Chambertin, and 2.5 acres of Grand Cru Chambertin.
Pierre immediately set about reforming farming and vinification practices, putting into place a careful hands-on approach. Instead of using herbicides, he plows the soil and employs rich, organic humus rather than artificial fertilizers. Grapes are harvested by hand and as late as possible to achieve exceptional ripeness. Small blocks are fermented separately to maintain their unique expression.
Though tiny in volume, the 2012s were magnificent, earning a 95 rating from Wine Spectator. In his vintage report, Vinous’s Antonio Galloni directed readers to Gevrey-Chambertin, “where I encountered the greatest number of truly phenomenal wines.” Among those were the 2012 efforts of Pierre Damoy, which Galloni called “terrific” and “big, structured Burgundies…clearly built for the cellar.”
Adding to the critical consensus, Burgundy expert Allen Meadows of Burghound called the 2012 Clos Tamisot “exceptionally ripe for the vintage” with “excellent richness, volume and mid-palate concentration” adding: “This is very Gevrey in personality.” As it is, these bottles of Côte de Nuits brilliance will vanish quickly.