Saturday, January 01, 2011

Route des Grands Crus *by JS* .....part 2

As we leave behind Gevrey Chambertin, we abruptly enter the commune of Morey St Denis(MSD). The first AOC is no other than the grand cru parcel of Clos de la Roche with a size of 15.34 hectares. MSD is small compare with Gevrey Chambertin with only 4 AOC Grand Cru parcels namely clos de la roche, clos st denis, clos lambrays and lastly but not the least no other than the famous Monopole AOC clos de tart. Note:- A grand cru parcel is known as monopole if it’s own by a single owner and in this case its own by Domaine Mommesin. There is a prestigious connotation attached to wines with a monopole accreditation and yes, it’s a big deal!!
Aromas of black and red fruits are dominant in the MSD wines rich in woody, spicy and animal notes. Since MSD lies between Gevrey Chambertin and Chambolle Musigny, the wines produced in MSD can be imagined as in between the powerful and structured chambertin and the mellow delicacy of Chambolle Musigny.

There is actually ½ of another AOC that’s shared with the neighbouring of Chambolle Musigny(CM) and it’s no other than the grand cru parcel of Bonnes mares. About 15% of this parcel sits in MSD whilst the other part sits wholly in CM!

As we proceed pass MSD we enter into the commune of Cambolle Musigny(CM) and here you will find two grand crus AOC which is namely Bonnes Mares and the infamous Musigny where makers such as Comte de Vogue makes one of the most outstanding wines of burgundy!

The transition from CM to the next commune, Vougeot is also pretty abrupt like all the others. Before we know it we are already staring at the magnificent Chateau du clos de Vougeot sitting magnificently amongst the vines of the grand cru AOC of Clos de Vougeot.

The chateau de Vougeot lies within the Clos de Vougeot vineyard.

In this chateau is the headquarters of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin which simply translates to “Brotherhood of knights of wine tasting cup” and their objective is to hold in high regard and encourage the use of the products of Burgundy, particularly her great wines and her regional cuisine. To maintain and revive the festivities, customs and traditions of Burgundian folklore and to encourage people from all over the world to visit Burgundy.

The parcel of Clos de Vougeot is the largest single parcel in Burgundy with a total size of 47.54 hectares which equates to about 260,000 bottles! This is probably the most controversial grand cru parcel in Burgundy. Due to its sheer size and the 80 odd domaines including famous makers like Meo Camuzet and Leroy, that co-owns the parcel, the wines produced are not consistent and in some instances cannot “make the cut” as grand cru. But nevertheless under the AOC it is classified as grand cru so no ifs and buts about it :)

The next Commune is actually the icon of burgundy and it is no other than Vosne Romanee(VR). Here you will find the grand cru AOCs of Echezeaux, Grand Echezeaux, Romanee Conti, La Romanee, Romanee St Vivant, Richebourg, La Tache and La Grande Rue. Certain schools of thoughts classifiy the Echezeaux parcels as Flagey Echezeaux but for convenience we will assume it’s the same.

This is the commune where outstanding domaines such as Leroy, Comte Liger Belair and the legendary Romanee Conti are located.

As powerful as they are charming the wines are always perfectly harmonious. They develop the intense aromas of red and black fruits like all red burgundy wines. Ripe and preserved fruits will dominate in the later years together with musk, leather and spices that gives the wine it’s classiness. Huge aromatic persistence is another characteristic and aging potential running to decades are required to achieve their fullest potential.

The infamous Richbourg parcel which is co owned by makers such as Leroy, Meo Camuzet, Anne Gros, Mongeard, DRC, etc.

This is actually my favorite parcel as wines produced on this patch are soft, elegant and seductive!

To come to this commune, our objective is to locate and pay our respect to the Romanee Conti parcel as for all burgundian drinkers, this is a must visit and is the holy grail of burgundy wines! After some direction enquiry, we manage to locate this sacred parcel of land. (I mean which resident in VR dunno where is Romanee Conti parcel should be banished from the land forever….haha!). It is located behind the village church on the slopes of the cote d’or. As we approach on the dirt road, we could see the iconic cross from afar.

On arriving we saw this. WTF!!

In our mind this great winemaker must be modern, mechanized and futuristic but this is like going back in a time.......medieval time actually!!

Dinos the great :- you sure this is the plot??

js:- let me get down and read the wordings on the cross.

And indeed they were the names of Leroy and others and it is the DRC plot. Leroy used to be a partner at Domaine Romanee Conti but not anymore, hence the name on the cross.

Inscription of names at the base of the cross and can you see Leroy??

"Thank you for your comprehension??" Almost a direct translation from French but I must say it's grammatically correct!!

The name "Romanee Conti" etched out on a piece of limestone block at the entrance of the parcel. It's not very noticeable so you need to look out for it.

Yes, this is indeed the holy grail of wine making.......not just burgundian wine but we are talking about wine universe here. Amen!!

It would seem appropriate for me to end my post here.

It has been an amazing journey and experience to drive along this road of the great wines and seeing all the parcels and recapturing(in my mind) all the wines of the similar parcels that i have drank and feeling the terroir is something I kenot describe in words. I am really honored to have the opportunity to have gone thru this short pilgrimage and this should be every burgundian drinker’s dream. All I can say is that nowhere else will you find wines of such exceptional purity(from vineyard to bottle) and elegance except in Burgundy.

As we reluctantly got into the car, we know in our heart that we will return to this place…..probably in the near future.

***This blog is dedicated to the man who introduced sifu and me to Burgundy wines. If he is reading this posting he should know who he is :)

1 comment:

CHER-RY said...

who who who?