2015 Vincent de Saint-Denis Morey Saint Denis Premier Cru Clos des Ormes
(Label pictured is the premier cru Les Millandes. The Clos des Ormes is nearly identical, except for that part of the name and, of course, the vintage)
For you Burgundy Insiders, here is a real treat that will probably immediately elicit two questions.
First, why is the price so reduced?
And second, who or what is Vincent de Saint Denis?
I’ll take the latter first, which explains the former. Vincent de Saint Denis is the second label of the much-sought-after Domaine des Beaumont. Domaine de Beaumont is a 5.5-hectare estate comprised of 28 plots across Morey Saint Denis, Chambolle and Gevrey. The two seventh-generation winemaking brothers are Thierry and Vincent.
So why a second label? For business reasons.
Some of you may remember the importer Robert Kacher and his eponymously named company. Kacher sold (or merged) his company with another company approximately two years ago – Domaine Select. To my understanding—and this is hearsay—since then, things have become dicey with Domaine Select, especially in terms of payments to wineries. Robert Kacher’s 20-year employee Craig Baker has since founded his own import company and gone around to all his old contacts, asking to renew the relationship. Many are still locked in contracts with Kacher. But not being paid is a pain. And so the easy solution is to take the same wine, make a different label (and company) and sell it to someone who is paying.
Let’s be clear – this is not a “second label” like you might experience in Bordeaux. It is the same wine that for contractual reasons is being sold under a different label.
Which leads to the price break. Kacher’s wines came through a traditional supply chain which doubles the cost at each stop. Craig’s come through a clearinghouse, chopping out most of the hands in the supply chain. For us, it means we get great wine at a heck of a price.
Clos de Ormes was initially founded by monks. It touches Les Mochamps, one of the eight climats of Grand Cru Clos de la Roche. In 1962-3 there was heavy soil erosion in Clos de Ormes, leading the upper and lower parts to be split, with the lower becoming village and the upper retaining its Premier Cru status. This wine is all Premier Cru. With the soil erosion complete, replanting occurred in 1963 with cover crops and humus to stop future erosion. Thus making Clos de Ormes not only right next to a Grand Cru, but also some of the oldest vines in Morey Saint Denis.
This extreme pedigree shows in the depth of this great wine. Expressive notes of red currant, Bing cherry, light touches of black and green pepper, and a plush note of strawberry followed by truffle. The palate delivers a load of spice and is tightly woven right now (it is from the 2015 vintage) and is velvety with ripe tannins. It delivers enough fruit weight to be enjoyable now, but is not ponderous. Because it is the 2015 vintage and a Premier Cru, I would recommend aging this beauty for an additional five years or give it a good two-hour decant. With that, the finish has a beautiful direct line of tension, spice, and minerality. Truly a great representation of old-vine, premier-cru, Morey Saint Denis.
We snatched up the importer’s remaining 2015s and as such, we didn’t get a large quantity. Secure your share ASAP of this treasure.