On the Trail

DOMAINE BART

When we talk about Burgundy, we always talk about land. Where was the fruit grown? Where did it come from? How regarded is the vineyard in terms of its terroir?  One of our favorite Marsannay producers is Domaine Bart, a property making simple and straightforward pinot noir wines with plenty of classic Burgundian character, but also with an expression of place. The Domaine Bart Marsannay wines labeled as "Les Echezots" and "Les Longeroies" are from single vineyard plots (known as lieux-dits as they are not classified sites). There are no premier cru or grand cru vineyards in Marsannay, which is part of the reason the Bart wines are so affordable. The region became a village level commune in 1987 and is known for its beautiful rosés and fresh, drinkable reds. We love Marsannay for its classic Burgundian character—lots of cranberry and tart cherry with foresty notes—and its simple charm. The Bart wines, for example, offer tremendous regional character for very reasonable prices. The village of Fixin, which is just south of Marsannay, does have a few premier cru vineyard sites and Bart also has premier cru property there. Bart's "Les Hervelets" holdings actually stem from an older domaine once known as Claire-Daü that was split between Bart and Bruno Clair in 1985. Claire-Daü was once the premier producer in the region and the quality of its wines is much of the reason Marsannay gained village-level status. We like to think of wines like the Bart "Les Hervelets" as great short-term cellar candidates, wines that will improve greatly in the three to five year window as the tannins soften up a bit and the acidity unwinds. "Les Hervelets" is known for producing wines that are a bit softer and more feminine than other vineyards in the region.