White, Ready, but will keep

2013 Meursault, Les Charmes Dessus, 1er Cru, Chateau de Meursault

2013 Meursault, Les Charmes Dessus, 1er Cru, Chateau de Meursault

White | Ready, but will keep | Chateau de Meursault | Code:  48151 | 2013 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Beaune > Meursault | Chardonnay | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Chateau de Meursault

Chateau de Meursault

The Paulée de Meursault is held on the Monday after the Hospices de Beaune sale every year, with the cuvérie being cleared of vats and vintage paraphernalia in order to lay tables for lunch for 600 people, the guests having been greeted at the door and then wended their way through the extensive subterranean cellars of the Chateau’s outbuildings.
 
The Chateau’s holdings extend to over 60ha, including 8ha of the Clos du Chateau, former park land which was planted up in 1975. There is a substantial cuvée of village Meursault raised in new wood, a 1er cru which combines Charmes and Perrières and just over half a hectare of Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet.
 
There are significant volumes of red Burgundy produced here as well, notably a Beaune 1er Cru from ten different plots and separate bottlings of Beaune Grèves and Cent Vignes. In addition the Château enjoys a holding of 3.60ha of Pommard Clos des Epenots, not to be confused with the Comte Armand’s Clos des Epeneaux, and 2.6ha of Volnay Clos des Chênes.

Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

The Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" 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.

The Region

Meursault

Meursault

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.

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