France_Burgundy_Cote de Nuits_Chambolle-Musigny

Chambolle, with its great vineyard Musigny, might be the epitome of what great red Burgundy is and the heights it can attain. It's not all about Musigny as Chambolle has excellent 1er Crus plus the other Grand Cru, Bonnes Mares which is very different from Musigny but can attain the heights that Musigny can. Pinot Noir is almost exclusively grown here except for a small enclave of the Musigny vineyard in which Vogue makes a small bit. 

Chambolle was one of the earliest villages to be planted in the Cote d'Or and has a long and richly detailed history. They have always been considered to be different then their neighbors. Distinct wines if you will. Finesse and Chambolle have been intertwined for centuries. The limestone proportion in the soil here is bigger than in other parts of the Cote d'Or which could explain the extra finesse and femininity to these wines. Some producers, as was the trend in Burgundy, relied on the prestige of the village name and put dilute insipid wines in bottle until in the early 1990's the growers of Chambolle decided to tighten restrictions themselves. The appellation has never looked back and is one of the holy grail appellations in Burgundy. 

Chambolle also has the strictest laws regarding village wines. In other words what producers have to do in Chambolle to create a wine called Chambolle-Musigny is a lot stricter than say what people have to do than in Volnay.

What does great Chambolle smell and taste like? With a dizzying array of flower and fruit aromas along with great sous-bous, Chambolle can hypnotize you with its nose alone. The taste is of a wine that is feminine and delicate with such finesse and clear and pure fruit it is almost life-changing every time you have a great one.

There is a tiny amount of white wine made from the Le Musigny vineyard by the Comte de Vogue that can be excellent and is now labeled Bourgogne Blanc. It is labeled that because the vines were torn out in I think 1984 and the estate does not deem it Le Musigny until the vines reach a certain age. 

Village level wines start at around $60 and can go to $100 for top producers. This is a recent phenomenon though as Burgundy prices due to the poor exchange rate and the insane hype surrounding the 2005 vintage caused prices to increase dramatically. They are starting to come down but there is still more work to be done.

A Chambolle-Muisgny 1er Cru will run you $100, a little less from a negociant or not-so-great producer, and can run you up to $300 for the 1er Cru "Les Amoureuses" which is priced like a Grand Cru. It is situated adjacent to Le Musigny but has a touch less breed. Still something you don't turn down a glass of.

The cost of the Grand Cru's can get pretty high. Musigny starts at $350 and goes to $2,000 to $3,000 a bottle for Roumier. Bonnes Mares can start at $80 (Domaine Bart!) but go up to $400-$500 for certain top-class producers. There are so many great vineyards in Chambolle and great producers it is an easy region to obsess over. 

Chambolle is not a "value" region for the under $50 a bottle set. It is a region where the great glories of Burgundy can be attained for higher and higher tarriffs. People should experience the greatness of Chambolle-Muisgny at least once in their lives. 

Notable Recent Vintages: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2002, 2001,1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1993, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1986

Top producers (in no particular order) include: (Not all producers based in Chambolle, some just make a killer Chambolle Village, 1er Cru or Grand Cru)
  • Domaine Mugnier
  • Domaine Bertheau
  • Joseph Drouhin
  • Domaine Roumier
  • Domaine de Comte de Vogue
  • Louis Jadot
  • Nicolas Potel
  • Domaine Fourrier
  • Ghislaine Barthod
  • Domaine Lignier
  • Domaine Dujac
  • Domaine Collotte
  • Alain Burguet
  • Bruno Clair
  • Bruno Clavelier
  • Jacky Truchot
  • Domaine Lignier-Michelot
  • Phillipe Pacalet
  • Mugneret-Gibourg
  • Domaine Leroy
  • Lucien Jacob
  • Hudelot-Noellat
  • Anne Gros
  • Jean Grivot
  • Geantet-Pansiot