Two Mighty Grand Crus of Chambolle

Chambolle-Musigny is located in the “Cote de Nuits” of Burgundy, France. A small village, it is located behind Morey-Saint-Denis and Vougeot with about 250 inhabitants including 15 winemakers. The appellation is composed of 226 hectares; which translates into an awful lot of vines.

Chambolle-Musigny features every level of appellation including Regional, Village, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru wines. Two of Burgundy’s 32 Grand Cru wines are located in this 226ha; “ Musigny” and “Bonnes Mares”. The wines of Bonnes-Mares are more complex, mirroring moreso the wine style of Morey-Saint-Denis while Musigny are much finer and structured, which can be attributed to many factors.

Both Grand Crus located on the extrimities of the village. Arriving from Dijon, Bonnes Mares is the first on the “Route Des Grands Crus.”  It’s the only Grand Cru which is situated on two villages; Chambolle-Musigny and Morey-Saint-Denis.  This 13.65 ha vineyard is hard to get a handle on, with a multiplicity of producers and a complex terroir. It was recognised with Grand Cru status on 8th December,1936. Bonnes-Mares lies just south of the Clos de Tart, its neighbouring Grand Cru, forming a rectangle between the hollowed hillsides of Morey and Chambolle. More of it lies in the territory of Chambolle-Musigny than that of Morey-Saint-Denis. It has an easterly exposure with an altitude averaging between 250 and 280 metres.

2010 les bonnes mares

The characteristics here are interesting in that it does not taste entirely like a wine from Chambolle-Musigny, in fact it has a touch more in common with Morey-Saint-Denis with a definite wilder streak than most Chambolle. The soil is largely limestone and white marl, which underlies clay-flint on a soft slope. Light and gravelly, the soil in Bonnes Mares is brown or reddish in colour, and has origins dating back to the Jurassic period, like many in the region. The biggest owners are Domaine De Vogue with (2.70ha), Domaine Drouhin-Laroze (1.49ha), and Domaine Roumier (1.39ha).

The second Grand Cru is Musigny, located near Clos Vougeot. The smaller of the two, Musigny is just 10.88ha in total, and is made up of both Les Musigny and Les Petits Musigny. Musigny has a peculiarity, because there are vines planted with a white grape varietal, property of Domaine De Vogue. This is the only white wine to be produced in Musigny. As the grapes are produced under the same regulations as the rest of this appellation, technically it could be classified as a Grand Cru. The trouble with the white Musigny, although technically White Musigny Grand Cru, is that the vines were only planted in 1997 and are still very young. For this reason, De Vogue chooses to sell them as a white bourgogne rather than a grand cru, for fear of lower quality.  That said, he has had to retain a high price point in reflection of his excellent standing reputation. It is a great responsibility on the domaine as Musigny white remains (even technically) the only Grand Cru white in Cote de Nuits. 2015 is the first vintage after 22 years and production is also very low with only 2277 bottles produced in 2017.

The soil between the two Grand Crus is largely similar in that it is heavy in limestone. The gradient here however is quite steep (8-14%). The soil is rich in red clay, while being less limey than its neighbouring Grands Crus. Domaine De Vogue (7.12ha) and Domaine Mugnier (1.13ha) are the biggest owners of Musigny, furthering proof of De Vogue’s dominance in the region.

 

– Pauline Felettig

 

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