Domaine Pierre Damoy is located in Gevrey-Chambertin and has been producing wine from some of the best plots in the region since the 1920s. Passed from successive generations, it is the fifth generation who currently manage the estate under the guidance of Pierre’s grandson, also of the same name.
Taking over the family business in 1992, Pierre brought a new energy and approach to the domaine – a fact that was not lost on Robert Parker when he described tasting the 1993 vintage, “The Chambertin, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and Chapelle-Chambertin are the finest wines made at this estate in more than three decades.” The powerful structure one might expect from the appellation is apparent in the wines, however it is the overlaying of that power with exceptional complexity, intensity and a silky texture that makes these wines highly sought after. Of the 2008 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, Allen Meadows of Burghound writes, “A pure, spicy, layered and classy nose features a mix of cool red and dark berry fruit aromas that are in keeping with the solidly concentrated, focused and powerful broad-shouldered flavours that possess a sophisticated mouth feel and outstanding length on the mineral-suffused finish. This is impressive.”
The legacy of his forefathers offers Pierre access to the largest holdings in the prized Clos de Bèze vineyard, some 5.4 hectares to be exact. Historically much of the fruit was sold on contract but upon Pierre’s arrival the contracts were bought back so that today, only a small amount of fruit is sold. It is this last point that ensures the fruit used for the domaine is the absolute best, having been sorted both in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Damoy resists the bio and lutte raisonnée labels, preferring instead to describe his vineyard management as “durable viticulture”. Working with vines that range in age from 60- to 90-years-old, Damoy ploughs his vineyards regularly for weed control, eschews herbicides and uses copper minimally. In 2002 he completely renovated the winery and installed equipment able to handle the fruit as gently as possible. Preserving the character of each plot is of utmost importance to Damoy and of this he says, “I have the luck to be responsible for a great terroir. I have a responsibility to achieve the maximum from it…”
In the winery, all fruit is destemmed and undergoes a long cold maceration before fermentation. The cellar now possesses sufficient space to ferment fruit from each block separately and the wines are aged for 14-18 months in 70%-100% new oak for the crus and 30%-50% for village and premier cru. The wines are released without fining or filtering.
In addition to Clos de Bèze, Damoy produces wine from Chapelle-Chambertin, Chambertin and the monopole Clos Tamisot, which is located behind the family residence. Fruit is also purchased from vineyards in Couchey and Fixin to produce a Bourgogne. From vines that are at least 70-years-old in Chapelle-Chambertin, Damoy crafts a wine that, in the words of Antonio Galloni when he reviewed the 2009 vintage for Wine Advocate, “… floats across the palate with delicate red berries, flowers and sweet spices. Highly expressive, perfumed aromatics are woven throughout, while silky tannins convey an impression of pure sensuality…” For now, wines from this estate remain a relatively well-kept secret but with descriptors such as brilliant, fabulous and extremely well balanced, it won’t be long before the secret is out.