Based in Marsannay-la-Côte, Domaine Bruno Clair is a highly regarded Burgundy producer beloved by collectors, industry folk, and wine novices alike. Now spearheaded by the family’s 7th generation of winemakers, the domaine’s original plots were rooted in Marsannay, Fixin, Morey-Saint-Denis, and Savigny-lès-Beaune, however, a number of prestigious appellations were added from Domaine Clair-DaÜ, the original domaine of Joseph and Bernard Clair.
These holdings include vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée, as well as the grands crus of Bonnes-Mares, Clos de Bèze, Corton-Charlemagne (leased since 1993), the prestigious premier cru of Clos Saint Jacques, and more. Although added to the Bruno-Clair estate in 1986, they were acquired by the family during the 1950s..
Today, the Clairs farm 26 hectares of vines using organic principles, though the property is not certified. Overall, chemicals and herbicides are mostly eschewed, though the flexibility to use them during harsh years remains. Herbicides are completely forbidden at the domaine, and ample use of cover crops is implemented, so as to regenerate the estate’s soils.
While the majority of production is dedicated to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a good amount of Marsannay Rosé (crafted from Pinot Noir) and small amounts of Aligoté are also vinified. Most impressive, however, is the domaine’s average vine age. About ⅔ of the Clos de Bèze vineyard was planted in 1912, and the overall average vine age at the estate is 50 years.
During harvest, all fruit at Bruno Clair is hand harvested, so as to ensure that only top-quality grapes make the cut. Up to 50% of whole clusters are used during vinification, and all fermentations are done with native yeasts.
Restrained new oak use is implemented during elevage, and no more than 50% is ever used on the grands crus wines.
In 2010, Bruno’s eldest son, Edouard, joined his father at the domaine. Eight years later, his siblings, Arthur and Margaux, followed. While Edouard oversees most aspects of viticulture and vinification, Arthur manages the cellar and also takes part in the vinification. Margaux handles all aspects of shipping, while also partaking in much of the vineyard work.
This humble family estate’s wines are known for their fruit purity, liveliness, and length, as well as their long cellaring potential.