Domaine des Lambrays is one of Morey-Saint-Denis’s most famous estates, its history closely tied to the Grand Cru from which it takes its name – Clos des Lambrays.
The site has a long history, with “Cloux des Lambrey” first mentioned in 1365. During the French Revolution, the vineyard was divided amongst over 70 different owners – eventually being painstakingly reassembled by the Rodier family in the late 1890s. The clos had fallen into disrepair by the time Burgundy’s vineyards were classified in the 1930s, meaning it was awarded Premier Cru status. The modern history – and current reputation – of the property, however, starts in 1979, when it was bought by Roland de Chambure along with the Saier brothers. They installed Thierry Brouin as winemaker, together working to restore it to its former glory. Soon after, in 1981, Clos des Lambrays was upgraded to Grand Cru (the last of Burgundy’s 33 Grands Crus to earn its status).
Thierry Brouin was long synonymous with the estate – staying on as winemaker and director for 38 years, under three different owners, including current owners LVMH who purchased the property in 2014. Brouin eventually retired in 2017, handing over to Boris Champy, who stayed only briefly, before being replaced by Jacques Devauges in early 2019 (previously of Clos de Tart and Domaine de l’Arlot).
Clos des Lambrays is often mistaken for a monopole, however the Grand Cru isn’t quite – with one ouvrée (less than 0.2 of the vineyard’s total 8.84 hectares).
The vines are all farmed organically (as of 2019) and in conversion to biodynamics (as of 2020)For Clos des Lambrays, this is a particular challenge. When the site was replanted after phylloxera, the rows were planted perpendicular to the slope – meaning almost all work has to be done by hand, or with specially designed equipment. The vines in Clos des Lambrays are particularly old, with 71% planted between 1898 and 1935, 26% 40 years in age and a mere 3% a comparatively youthful 20 years old.