Dinners and Tastings

Clos des Lambrays 1998-2016 Grand Cru Dinner. Wednesday 4 March 2020 at Ryne. $595.00 Per Person
04/03/2020 7:30 pm

Ten Vintages of Clos des Lambrays going back over 20 Years


Clos des Lambrays has an illustrious past. It first appears in a property certificate by Cîteaux Abbey in February 1365, named as “Cloux des Lambrey”. The Abbey used to own many vineyards around the villages of Gilly and Vougeot as well as in the rest of the Côtes and their role in designating the terroirs of Burgundy is of immeasurable importance. During the middle ages Citeaux and its Abbey provided the heartbeat of Bourgogne’s influence and prestige.


The origin and the meaning of the name Lambrays is unsure. Some say that archivists have found evidence of the existence of a family named Lambreys as early as the 13th century. Above all, Lambrays is the name of the eponymous plot of vines, located at the heart of the current Clos. The unique name of Lambrays is used for the whole of the property. On an 1879 map, the plot is mentioned as the “Pièce des Lambrays”. The very first labels with the name Lambrays date back to the end of the 19th century. Since 1938 at least, the expression “Clos des Lambrays” has been used permanently.


Following the French Revolution, the Clos des Lambrays as we know it today, started to be divided. In the mid 19th century, there are more than 70 different owners! Over the years the vineyard has been pieced back together and today there are only two owners. The vineyard is 8.84 hectares in size. Of this the Domaine des Lambrays own 8.66 hectares. The tiny remaining parcel of 0.18 hectares parcel belongs to Domaine Taupenot-Merme.


The property was ranked as a “première cuvée” in the 19th century, but when Burgundy’s appellations were created in the 1930s, the vineyard had fallen on hard times and it was not granted Grand Cru status. (Both Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint-Denis in Morey-Saint-Denis obtained Grand Cru status in 1936, with Clos de Tart following in 1939.) When Renée Cosson purchased the Domaine des Lambrays in 1938 from Albert Rodier, the grandson of Albert-Sebastien, the new owner did not seek Grand Cru status since that would have resulted in higher taxes. Subsequently, Cosson—and her son Henri during the 1970s—for the most part neglected the estate during their 40+ years of ownership. Although some outstanding wines were made during Cosson’s ownership, such as the ’37 and the ’45, the vineyard was in disarray by the end of their tenure as many dying vines had not been replanted. Some vintages in the 1970s were not even bottled. By then, the locals commonly referred to the property as Clos Délabré (dilapidated). Never-the-less, in 1981 the vineyard was elevated to Grand Cru status.


I have had the pleasure of drinking some magnificent bottles from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. But for a Grand Cru vineyard (which is almost a monopole) the wines of the 1960’s and 1970’s simply weren't up to scratch. At the end of the 1990's the domaine showed signs of a resurgence which has continued from that time. In the 1980's a program of replanting commenced to replace vineyards were replanted and a huge number of changes were made in the vineyards and winery.


The recent sale of the domaine to the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy group for around 80 million Euros has no doubt seen an injection of capital that will surely see the domaine retain its lofty position of yesteryear. However, considering the amount of Clos des Lambrays produced each year it is a gigantic investment.


Clos des Lambrays is the steepest of the Morey Grand Crus. What many do not know is that the vineyard has three climats, each bringing a different character to the final assemblage. The soil contains many rocks and is rich in iron oxide which explains the elegant, blue fruit and mineral style of the vineyard. Thierry Brouhin, responsible for the rise of the domaine, was engaged for a few years and has produced the outstanding 2014, 2015 and 2016 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru. They are arguably the finest Clos des Lambrays of the last 50 years.


The resurgence of the vineyard, and the fact that for a Grand Cru that is all but a monopole prices are for the moment reasonable, has prompted me to put together a very special dinner.


I have long been a fan of the vineyard and my personal cellar contains a good run of vintages from the start of domaine’s recent rise.  I’ve assembled a lineup of these and combined them with the three most recent vintages to create this Grand Cru event.


The dinner will be at Ryne on Wednesday 4 March, 7.30pm start. There are nine seats including myself so we all enjoy a decent pour of the wines. Needless to say Grand Cru tastings are far from the norm these days and this dinner provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity to taste 10 vintages of Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays spanning 1998 to 2016.


The menu and wine list:


Smoked Trout Rillette, croutons

Champagne on arrival


Grilled Quail, celery, shimeji, bois boudran

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 1998

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 1999

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2000

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2001


Corn Fed Chicken Breast, ballotine, shallot, mushroom, cepe sauce

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2002

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2003

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2005


Milla’s Farm Duck Breast, duck sausage, iberico, fig, chocolate & coffee, spiced jus

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2014

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2015

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 2016


Chocolate Souffle, coffee ice cream

Something sweet


Date: Wednesday 4 March 2020

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Ryne, 203 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North 3065

Cost: $595.00 per person


Click the link below to order your tickets on line.

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