About this WINE
Domaine Robert Ampeau
Domaine Robert Ampeau has a long and illustrious history in winemaking, with roots dating back to the 18th century. Located in the village of Meursault, in the heart of the Côte de Beaune region, the Domaine is known for producing some of the finest white wines in the world.
Robert Ampeau himself, who passed away in 2008, was a legendary figure in Burgundy and played a significant role in shaping the Domaine's reputation. His son, Michel Ampeau, continues to carry on the family tradition and oversees the winemaking operations today.
Today, they are celebrated for their exceptional production of red and white wines, although they have gained particular acclaim for their red Burgundies made from Pinot Noir grapes. The estate's vineyards cover approximately 10 hectares (25 acres) and are spread across some of Burgundy's most esteemed appellations, including Meursault, Pommard, Volnay, and Auxey-Duresses.
One of the distinctive characteristics of Domaine Robert Ampeau is its commitment to traditional winemaking practices, following strict organic principles and practices of sustainable viticulture. The grapes are hand-harvested and sorted meticulously to ensure that only the highest quality fruit is used in the winemaking process.
The wines undergo a patient and meticulous approach to winemaking in the cellar. They are typically aged for extended periods, often surpassing the legal requirements, to allow them to develop complexity, character, and age-worthy potential. This extended ageing process is a hallmark of the Domaine and contributes to their wines' unique style and personality.
There are more top producers in Meursault than in any other commune of the Côte d’Or. Certainly it is the most famous and popular of the great white appellations. Its wines are typically rich and savoury with nutty, honeyed hints and buttery, vanilla spice from the oak.Even though it is considerably larger than its southerly neighbours Chassagne and Puligny, Meursault contains no Grands Crus. Its three best Premiers Crus, however – Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes – produce some of the region’s greatest whites: they are full, round and powerful, and age very well. Les Perrières in particular can produce wines of Grand Cru quality, a fact that is often reflected in its price. Meursault has also been one of the driving forces of biodynamic viticulture in the region, as pioneered by Lafon and Leflaive.
Many of the vineyards below Premier Cru, known as ‘village’ wines, are also well worth looking at. The growers vinify their different vineyard holdings separately, which rarely happens in Puligny or Chassagne. Such wines can be labelled with the ‘lieu-dit’ vineyard alongside (although in smaller type to) the Meursault name.
Premier Cru Meursault should be enjoyed from five to 15 years of age, although top examples can last even longer. Village wines, meanwhile, are normally at their best from three to 10 years.
Very occasionally, red Meursault is produced with some fine, firm results. The best red Pinot Noir terroir, Les Santenots, is afforded the courtesy title of Volnay Santenots, even though it is actually in Meursault.
- 305 hectares of village Meursault. The best vineyards include Clos de la Barre, Tesson, Chevalières, Rougeot, Narvaux
- 132 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (17 in all). The finest vineyards include Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes
- Recommended producers: Comte Lafon, Arnaud Ente, Coche Dury, Guy Roulot, Jean-Philippe Fichet, Patrick Javillier, François Jobard, Michel Bouzereau
- Recommended restaurant: Le Chevreuil
Chardonnay is often seen as the king of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.