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Professional Ratings: 91 Wine Spectator, 91 International Wine Cellar
Region: Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Item no. 83225
Admirably situated on a hill between Pommard and Beaune with a direct Southern exposure, Clos des Mouches is one of the most famous Premier Cru vineyards of Beaune. The name "Clos des Mouches" probably goes back to the beginning of the Middle-Ages (around 1550) because of its slopes facing South/South-East : a very favourable place for keeping bees. The word "Mouches" (Flies) was actually the local name for bees. As bee keepers started to set up their bee-hives, the area became known as "Clos des Mouches" (i.e. the Enclosure of the Honey Bees).
After the destruction of the Burgundy vineyards due to the phylloxera epidemic of 1875-1880, Clos des Mouches was entirely replanted with Pinot Noir. Having fortunately come across some ancient documents which revealed that the vineyard had previously produced an excellent white wine, Maurice Drouhin, in 1921, began replanting with some Chardonnay. The result was of exceptional quality. To-day, there is an almost equal balance between white and red.
The Clos des Mouches red is made from Pinot noir and a small percentage of Pinot Gris ; the vineyard takes full advantage of the sun exposure to the South-East. The hand-picked grapes are brought to the winery in small 50-pound crates. The grapes are then pressed and sometimes the stems are kept. An 18 day-fermentation and maceration takes place with daily pumping over and punching of the cap. The wine is then put in barrels where it matures, smoothes out and looses its acidity. After 15 to 18 months of "élevage" in wood (old and new oak) and frequent tastings, Clos des Mouches is bottled.
It is distinguished by its elegance and finesse : round, velvety, and beautifully balanced. It has complexity and depth in a soft but very intense sort of way. Aromas are very refined with ripe black cherry, spices, earthy and lightly smoked notes with just the right touch of tannin. This wine can be put away 10 years or even 20, depending on the vintage; it can also be enjoyed in its youth, with all its glorious fruitiness.