Clos de Vougeot

A fascinating grand cru

The Clos de Vougeot is one of the most fascinating vineyards in Burgundy. The vineyard covers just over 50 hectares, and is the largest single grand cru vineyard in the Côte de Nuits. These fifty hectares are divided up between around eighty growers, and this is where the fun begins.

The terroir of the vineyard is by no means consistent, and there are six different soil types throughout. It is generally accepted that the wines from the top of the vineyard are superior to those from the bottom, though this rule is a hard one to prove. A blind tasting of the wines will almost certainly show variances in winemaking technique and skill rather than differences in terroir.

In the same way that the Clos St Jacques in Gevrey-Chambertin and Les Amoureuses in Chambolle-Musigny are often cited as being of grand cru quality, the Clos de Vougeot is one of a handful of grand cru vineyards that some argue should be premier cru rather than grand cru. The jury will remain out on this, though there is no doubt that the Clos does have some exceptional terroir: this is a vineyard that borders both Echézeaux and Grands-Echezéaux to the south, and Le Musigny at its north-western tip.

Significant holders in the Clos de Vougeot are Château de la Tour, Méo-Camuzet, Etienne Grivot and Louis Jadot. Domaine d’Eugenie has one of the best spots of the vineyard though, historically, the best Clos Vougeot was considered to be a blend from different vineyard sites.

Whilst winemaking styles differ, typical Clos Vougeot is a pure, crunchy, expression of Pinot Noir. The wines have more lift, perhaps, than their neighbours in Vosne; there is a fresh acidity to many of them that is perhaps the hallmark of the Clos.  Quality has improved markedly in recent years across the board – this may well be down to improved winemaking in Burgundy as a whole, or perhaps because of winemakers paying more attention to their holdings here.

Either way, this is a vineyard worth looking at, and remains one of the more affordable grand crus.

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