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Comte de Vogue: The Importance
“Domaine Comte Georges is the source of many legendary libations,” writes Robert Parker, celebrating what has been an immovable landmark in the village of Chambolle-Musigny since the cellar was built in 1450. The same de Vogüé family owns the domaine to this day and have placed it comfortably at the top table of Burgundy’s great estates.
Experienced critics note this domaine’s history of great wines, but also note recent improvements in quality. “While I am duly mindful of the many legendary wines this domaine has produced (see the database for all vintages reviewed dating to 1919), the 2005 could very well join the list of the all-time greats,” writes Allen Meadows. Meanwhile Neal Martin awarded higher scores to the 2012s than any previous vintage from the domaine. Of the 2008’s John Gilman writes that: “the 2008s here may well be more on a par with the 1966s, 1964s and 1962s, as they share with those earlier vintages a striking transparency of soil, haunting perfumes and breathtakingly pure fruit tones.” One thing is certain: the quality at this historic address is better than ever.
Comte de Vogue: The Insight
Described as “the boss” by winemaker François Millet, the Musigny Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes is the top wine produced from the enormous seven-hectare parcel situated dead in the centre of Burgundy’s largest uninterrupted plot of Grand Cru vineyards. This plot used to be its own distinct Grand Cru vineyard bearing the name Les Petits Musigny, effectively a Monopole of de Vogüé. The same wine is often referred to simply as “Musigny,” since younger vines are not deemed good enough for Grand Cru status and rigorously declassified to Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru, which here plays the role of a second wine.
Very different in style, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru is one of the most cultish vineyards in Burgundy. Roumier, Mugnier and Dujac are de Vogüé’s neighbours here, producing some of the Burgundy’s most sought-after Pinot Noir-based wines. De Vogüé holds a very sizeable 2.7 hectares on reddish soils in the southeast sector of the Grand Cru, with the oldest vines dating back to 1945. The wines have been called “magnificent” by Antonio Galloni and “a reference standard wine of stunning elegance” by Allen Meadows.
Meanwhile, the Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses is, for Clive Coates, “along with Gevrey-Chambertin's Clos Saint-Jacques, the prime Premier Cru candidate for promotion to Grand Cru.” Neil Martin comments on the 2012: “This is certainly Grand Cru quality and what d'ya know - under blind conditions I gave this exactly the same mark as their Musigny Vieilles Vignes!"
De Vogüé also produces a white wine from Chardonnay plantings in the traditionally red Grand Cru of Musigny. This is the only Côte de Nuits AOC that can produce both red and white Grand Cru wines, and de Vogüé is the only producer with the necessary plantings to make a Musigny Blanc Grand Cru. However, since 1993 all the white wine has been bottled as Bourgogne Blanc, again because the vines are deemed too young to produce a wine of Grand Cru status, though it is still the most expensive Bourgogne Blanc, typically one and a half times the price of Coche-Dury’s.
All of de Vogüé’s wines stand out for their intense and muscular style in their youth, often attracting very long drinking windows from critics.
Comte de Vogue: The Background
Sources differ on the exact medieval origins of the estate, but the de Vogüé family traces its roots back over a thousand years and is one of France’s oldest noble families, and probably the only one to retain ancestral holdings in Burgundy. Today Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé is owned by Claire de Causans and Marie de Ladoucette, granddaughters of the late Comte Georges de Vogüé (1898-1987), after whom the modern incarnation of the domaine is named.
The wines have been made by François Millet since his arrival in 1986, during this time according to Robert Parker, he has “scarcely spared expenses devoting meticulous attention to virtually every possible detail of viticulture, vinification, and élevage,” often explaining his decisions, such as his obsession with minimum vine age, with anthropomorphic metaphors: “It’s a question of complexity,” he tells Decanter, “the Chambolle Premier Cru is like Musigny in short trousers.” Changes at this old-fashioned estate are slow, but the results speak for themselves.
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