2017 Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Burgundy
About this WINE
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod
Ghislaine Barthod’s domaine originated in the 1920s with Marcel Noëllat, whose daughter married Gaston Barthod – a soldier stationed in Dijon who came to buy some wine and got the girl as well. He gave up military life for the vineyards in ’60.
His daughter, Ghislaine, and her partner, Louis Boillot, bought their current premises overlooking Premier Cru Les Feusselottes in ’86. Though they share the team who work the vineyards, the vinification and commercial aspects of their businesses are kept separate.
The domaine has an incomparable range of Chambolle-Musigny terroirs, with 11 separate Premier Cru bottlings and highly regarded Bourgogne and village wines.
Chambolle produces the most elegant wines in the Côte de Nuits, having more active chalk and less clay in the soil than the other villages. The wines may be a little lighter in colour and less tannic than Gevrey-Chambertin but they have a sublime concentration of fruit. Village Chambolle-Musigny usually provides excellent value.
Le Musigny is one of the top half-dozen vineyards in Burgundy, producing wines of extraordinary intensity and yet with a magical velvety character. Les Amoureuses is immediately appealing, a wonderfully sensual wine which deserves Grand Cru status. Bonnes Mares tends to have a firmer structure and ages very well
- 94 hectares of village Chambolle-Musigny.
- 61 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (24 in all). The finest vineyards include Les Amoureuses, Les Charmes, Les Fuées, Les Baudes and Sentiers.
- 24 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard - Bonnes Mares and Le Musigny.
- Recommended producers: de Vogüé, Mugnier, Roumier, Barthod.
- Recommended restaurant: Le Chambolle
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
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The aromas have a hint of compôte, showing a bit of the warmth of the year, but on the palate things get more interesting. There is a very underplayed hint of spice, perhaps the oak peeking through, but then a wild strawberry note ascends. Drink 2020-2024.
Ghislaine Barthod’s domaine originated in the 1920s with Marcel Noëllat whose daughter married Gaston Barthod, a soldier stationed in Dijon who came to buy some wine and got the girl as well. He gave up military life for the vineyards in 1960. His daughter, Ghislaine, and her partner Louis Boillot bought their current premises overlooking Premier Cru Les Feusselottes in 1986. Though they share the team who work the vineyards, the vinification and commercial aspects of their businesses are kept completely separate. The domaine has an incomparable range of ChambolleMusigny terroirs, with eight separate Premier Cru bottlings.
Given the carnage here last year, one could have been concerned that yields might have been high, but these worries were needless. Although there was a certain amount of green harvesting on the younger vines, the old vines (of which there are lots here), if properly pruned and with excess buds eliminated, regulated themselves to reasonable yields well below 50hl/ha. The harvest started on 3rd September and was completed in eight days, with everything beautifully healthy. For Ghislaine, 2016 was about energy; 2017 is about purity.
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