Mommessin   Clos de Tart

1996 Clos de Tart

By Mommessin

1996 Clos de Tart from Mommessin, Grand Cru, Burgundy, France

An outstanding representation of Burgundian mastery, the 1996 Clos de Tart from Mommessin is a testament to the producer's tenacious adherence to quality and tradition. As a seasoned veteran in the delicate dance of assessing fine wines, I have seen vintages come and go, but certain years leave a lasting mark on one's palate—the '96 is one such year.


Quintessential Qualities: A Vintage’s Virtue

It was a season that challenged Burgundy's vignerons in ways that only Mother Nature can. A cool, extended growing season resulted in a later harvest; this protraction allowed for an enviable accumulation of flavours without sacrificing the quintessential backbone of acidity the region is celebrated for. The result was a harmonious balance born from adversity, manifesting in wines destined for longevity—a boon for any wine investor's cellar.


An Embodiment of Elegance

The intricate layers of the 1996 Clos de Tart echo the dynamic narrative of its vintage. One finds an initial austerity that gives way to a subtle richness akin to a tapestry of red fruits laced with earthy undertones and an ethereal minerality. It's these characteristics that have catalysed the elevation of the '96 into the pantheon of exceptional investment-grade wines.

Maturing gracefully, each sip unfolds chapters of complex flavour profiles—the hallmark of sublime terroir and sensitive vinification. The ageing potential remains immense, with tannins that have rounded into silk without losing their defining grip—indicative of a premier specimen from Mommessin's storied plots.

In conclusion, one can say with confidence that the 1996 Clos de Tart appropriately represents its era—a period noted for wines with splendid structure and aging prowess. Equally important in wine investment semantics as it is impressive to the connoisseur, this vintage exemplifies remarkable cellar potential and an intricate palette journey that will continue to unfurl for those patient enough to appreciate its evolution.

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Tasted at the pre-dinner vertical to mark Sylvain Pitiot's retirement from the domaine, the 1996 Clos de Tart Grand Cru - which was Sylvain Pitiot's debut vintage - has a surprisingly rich, licorice-tinged bouquet, although it does not have the charm or the pinoté of the 1997. This just seems a little "forced" compared to others, and it seems to dry a little. The palate is medium-bodied and shows a little more class than the nose, grippy in the mouth with baking powder and white pepper notes, bay leaf and clove. There is a feral aspect to this Clos de Tart, yet there is decent length here. Drink this now and over the next decade. Tasted September 2015.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 29 October 2015

Vintage performance