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Posts Tagged ‘Georges Roumier’

Musigny is a Grand Cru vineyard and appellation situated in the commune of Chambolle-Musigny in the Côte de Nuits sector of  Burgundy.  The vineyard lies to the south of the village itself, and borders the Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot in the southeast,  the Grand Cru Échezeaux in the south, and  the Premier Cru Les Amoureuses in the northeast.  The vineyard aggregates a modest 10.86 hectares and lies on a  slope ranging from an 8% to a 14% grade, with  elevations between 260 meters and 280 meters.  The shallow brown topsoil, which averages only 20cm-30cm in depth, is comprised of limestone pebbles and red clay over a limestone base. Similar to Les Bonnes Mares, Musigny is bifurcated by a path into a northern section, Grand Musigny, and a southern section, Les Petits Musignys, which is a monopole of the Domaine Georges de Vogüé. Grand Musigny, which faces southeast, is mostly limestone with some clay. The southern section, Les Petits Musignys,  faces south and is comprised of a higher proportion of clay. Musigny produces exclusively Pinot Noir-based red Burgundy, except for a tiny parcel of  Les Petits Musignys from which Vogüé produces a precious white wine from Chardonnay, the only one in the Côte de Nuits entitled to be labelled as Grand Cru.

It is beyond dispute that Le Musigny is one of the greatest vineyards in the world. The name derives from a Gallo-Roman settlement, Musinus, which was itself likely named after a once important but now forgotten Roman. The climat was cultivated at least by the 8th century. Certainly, by the time that the Abbey of Cîteaux founded the Clos de Vougeot in 1110, the vineyard was already producing legendary wine.

Clive Coates has written that Musigny produces red wine that “can be quite simply the most delicious to be found in Burgundy…. With … its incomparable breed, depth, originality and purity on the finish, a great Musigny is heaven in a glass.”  Perhaps more poetically, the Burgundian Gaston Roupnel wrote that “Le Musigny à l’odeur d’un jardin sous la rosée, … de la rose et de la violette à aurore.”  [“Musigny has the scent of a garden in the morning dew of the rose and violet dawn.”]

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé owns 7.12 hectares of Musigny, almost 65.6%, including the entirety of Les Petits Musignys. The Vogüé wines set the standard of excellence, although Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier (with 1.13 hectares) produces equally-inspired and distinctive Musigny. Equally superb examples of Musigny,  each with its own hallmark, come from tiny parcels owned by Domaine de la Vougeraie (.21 hectares), Domaine Leroy (.27 hectares), and Domaine Georges Roumier (.10 hectares).

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Bonnes Mares is a 15-hectare Grand Cru climat that straddles the border of Chambolle-Musigny (where 13.5 ha are located ) and Morey-St-Denis (the remaining 1.5 ha). The vineyard is situated north of the village of Chambolle-Musigny, and borders the Route des Grands Crus in the east and Clos de Tart in the north. The east-facing vineyard lies on a very gentle slope that varies only between 265 and 300 meters in elevation. Bonnes Mares is bifurcated geologically, with the northern half (the Morey side) – called terres rouges — comprised of heavier soil with a larger component of clay; and the southern half – called terres blanches — comprised of lighter soil, with a greater concentration of rocks and limestone, and containing an abundance of fossilized seashells. The wines coming from the two sections differ considerably, with terres rouges producing more robust and sturdy wines, while the terres blanches wines more delicate  and elegant.  In either case, as Clive Coates has written, the wines are hardly Chambolle-Musigny. Instead Bonnes-Mares is sui generis: wine that is fully-textured, deep, tannic and rich.

The name Bonnes-Mares likely derives from a cloistered order of Cistercian nuns (the good mothers) that lived nearby. A more charming etymology suggests that the name derives from a now-lost bas relief unearthed that portrayed a trinity of Roman goddesses of the harvest whose images protected the vineyard.

Distinguished proprietors of the vineyard include Comte Georges de Vogüé, J-F. Mugnier, Vougeraie, and Georges Roumier.

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