Chambolle-Musigny boasts 24.24 hectares of Grands Crus in two vineyards. The wines are graceful and charming. They are not the deepest-coloured of Burgundies, nor the most structured, but they deliver a sensuous fruit and a laciness of texture which are entirely satisfying.
Le Musigny (10.85 hectares)
In 1110 the monks of Cîteaux received land in Musigny, but unlike certain other vineyards the cru was not taken over by a single owner nor enclosed with walls, but remained in multiple ownership throughout the ancien régime.
Le Musigny is one of Burgundy’s outstanding crown jewels, on a par with Chambertin. In fact, if forced to state a preference, I would place Musigny ahead of Chambertin – the finest of all Grands Crus excepting perhaps some of the monopolies of Vosne-Romanée.
Marketing departments have turned the phrase ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ into a cliché, but there is an element of this in Le Musigny, as in Ch. Margaux. The sumptuous nature of the fruit provides the velvet, the exceptional density of it, the fist.
The vineyard is made up of three lieux-dits: Les Musigny (5.9 hectares) – often referred to as Les Grands Musigny; Les Petits Musigny (4.19 hectares) and La Combe d’Orveau (0.77 hectares), the latter only added in 1929, and topped up in 1989 when a final 0.15 hectares was included, just to tidy up. Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé owns all of Les Petits Musigny and the lion’s share of Les Grands Musigny, wherein all the other producers have their holdings – excepting Jacques Prieur, who has the whole of La Combe d’Orveau sector. Together the Musigny vines overlook Clos de Vougeot and Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses. The unpaved road above the vineyard has been repaired recently and makes an excellent vantage point.
A number of producers have holdings here: Comte Georges de Vogüé (7.12 hectares), Mugnier (13 hectares), Jacques Prieur (0.77 hectares), Joseph Drouhin (0.67 hectares), Domaine Leroy (0.27 hectares), Domaine de la Vougeraie (0.21 hectares), Louis Jadot (0.17 hectares), Drouhin-Laroze (0.12 hectares), Roumier (0.1 hectares), Confuron (0.08 hectares), Faiveley (0.03 hectares). In addition to this, André Porcheret managed to purchase a tiny piece of land on the lower side of the Route des Grands Crus.
Bonnes Mares (15.06 hectares)
Of the total, 13.54 hectares lie in Chambolle and 1.52 in Morey St Denis. There used to be a little more on the Morey side, but since it was within the walls of Clos de Tart, and belonged to the same owner, Mommessin, it became part of Clos de Tart in 1965.
Has the name evolved from bonnes mères, the good mothers (nuns) of Notre Dame de Tart, or is it derived from marer, to cultivate? Neither, according to Jacques Lardière of Louis Jadot, who attributes the name to an ancient word for fairies.
It is a hard vineyard to get a handle on, with a multiplicity of producers and a complex terroir. For a start, it does not taste entirely like a wine from Chambolle-Musigny; probably it has a touch more kinship with Morey St Denis for there is definitely a wilder streak to Bonnes Mares. It is more of a compôte than the pure fruit of Amoureuses or Musigny.
The principal producers are: Comte Georges de Vogüé (2.70 hectares – the biggest holding), Drouhin-Laroze, Roumier, Fougeray de Beauclair, Jadot, Bart, Groffier, Vougeraie, Dujac Naigeon, Bruno Clair, Peirazeau, Mugnier, Bertheau, Newman, Georges Lignier, Hervé Roumier, Domaine d’Auvenay, Bouchard Père et fils, Drouhin, Arlaud, Charlopin-Parizot