DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES DE VOGUE
Considered the queen of Burgundy Grand Crus, the wines from the vineyard Musigny has a purity, elegance and class that accords her position at the summit of the wines of Burgundy. In fact, many vignerons have shared with us that they would kill for the opportunity to make wines from this vineyard as it represent the essence of Burgundy. Fortunately for burgundy lovers, the priviledged few who own vines in this precious vineyard have taken their roles of making the best wines out of this hallowed vineyard very seriously and as such, you will seldom see a bad bottle of Musigny.
Domaine de Vogue which can trace its roots back to the 14th century, owns the largest share (approximately 70%) of the Musigny vineyard. The domaine also possesses good sized holdings in the Grand Cru vineyards of Bonne Mares and the Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru Amoureuses - a vineyard most worthy of Grand Cru status.
The success and the reputation of the Domaine has been held high by the current team made up of Francoise Millet (wine maker), Eric Bourgogne (vineyard manager) and Jean Luc Pepin (sales director). These are very passionate people who have worked hard for the last 2 decades to maintain the Domaine's lofty reputation.
Perhaps it is worthwhile to note that Francois Millet does not have a fixed formula to make wines. Instead he tailors his winemaking approach to the character of each vintage. He even tailors his winemaking to suite each sub-parcel within the vineyard. Apart from totally destemming the grapes without crushing, there is no fixed vinification formula to speak of.
The de Vogue's portfolio consists of 6 wines, starting with the Bourgogne Blanc which is perhaps the most expensive bourgogne in the world, and rightly so as the wine is actually made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in the Musigny vineyard and the vines were replanted between 1986 – 1997. The Domaine's last vintage of the Musigny Blanc was in 1993 and no Musigny Blanc has been produced since then. The reason for classifying the white wine as Bourgogne Blanc is because there is no such AOC for a white Chambolle Musigny at the village or Premier Cru level, it is either Musigny Grand Cru Blanc or Bourgogne Blanc. As the Domaine is of the view that the current vines have not reached sufficient maturity for it to produce wines worthy of the Musigny Blanc designation, the only choice is to declassify the wine as Bourgogne Blanc.
However, do note that recent vintages especially since 2007 have shown very strong signs that we are very near the day when the Musigny Blanc will be produced again. This is a rare wine as it is produced in very tiny quantities as only 0.65ha of the Musigny vineyard is planted to Chardonnay. In 2014, we were told that the return of Musigny Blanc designation should be within the next 5 years. The 2012 Bourgogne Blanc is already a stunning bottle.
The next wine in the range is the Chambolle Musigny which is made from grapes derived in a hillside vineyard in Chambolle Musigny called Porlottes. Included in this mix however, are grapes from the Permier Cru vineyards of les Baudes and les Fuees. Grapes from very young vine Musigny are also included in this mix. This is the value wine in the portfolio and they start to drink very nicely about 5 years after the vintage and age marvellously too.
The Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru is made up entirely of younger vine Musigny of less than 25 years old. Sometimes barrels of Musigny deemed not good enough to be labelled as Grand Cru are also declassified as Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru. The wine is that the Domaine affectionately calls "Musigny in short pants". Possessing almost all the qualities of the Musigny but just a little less depth and complexity.
The Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru Amoureuses is next in line. Considered to be the princess in the line-up, this wine shares many of the great qualities of Musigny and is actually a personal favourite. Alas, production is so tiny that we drink this wine much less frequently than the Musigny.
The other Grand Cru of the Domaine is the Bonne Mares. Francois Millet feels that the Bonne Mares is always more flamboyant and showy as compared to the Musigny. It is denser and darker than the Musigny or Amoureuses. The wine has more berry based notes and has more exuberance and spontaneity when compared to the Musigny or Amroueuses.
The Musigny Grand Cru is made from vines at least 25 years of age. The queen in the house of de Vogue and is marked by a delicate and aristocratic character. It is more floral and mineral with great purity of fruit and silky texture.
The team at De Vogue have done a fantastic job at elevating the wines of the Domaine to even greater heights over the years and they are not resting on their laurels despite gaining worldwide recognition.