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Meo-Camuzet Vougeot Grand Cru 'Clos Vougeot' 2012 (750ml)

Meo-Camuzet Vougeot Grand Cru 'Clos Vougeot' 2012 (750ml)

We are fortunate to be at the top of the label at the foot of the castle. It is the most visited of all the vineyards Clos! This vast land (almost 3 ha) in one piece has a floor to the balanced structure but shallow (40 cm of soil), where the roots must squeeze through stones, rocks and finally crumbled rock mother. The grapes ripen very well and are harvested there among the leaders in the field.

The walled site is the largest Grand Cru in the Cote de Nuits. There are about 18 sub-divided lieux-dits within the Clos de Vougeot, reflecting the fact that ownership of the land was historically divided between the Cistercian monks who planted the original vines, the Roman Catholic Church and the French crown. These divisions became less meaningful after the French Revolution, when the land was confiscated by the state and subsequently sold to a rich banker. Today, the clos is divided into over 100 plots, owned by more than 80 individuals from various families and domaines. France's Napoleonic inheritance laws have meant that this type of multiple ownership prevails throughout Burgundy's vineyards. These divisions have had profound implications for the quality (and resulting reputation) of Clos de Vougeot wine. While in the past, grapes from all over the site could be blended to achieve a balanced style under a single label, the numerous different producers now have only their own small patches of terroir. Some produce grapes worthy of Grand Cru status, but many do not - meaning that modern Clos de Vougeot wine is of highly variable quality. To earn the right to bear the Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru title, wines must be made from at least 85% Pinot Noir grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are permitted to a maximum of 15%) grown exclusively within the climat.

The soils vary with light chalky and gravelly soils on oolitic limestone, with good drainage in the north; softer limestone with clay and some gravel, and moderate drainagein the middle; and humus-rich alluvial clay and is almost flat, with poor drainage in the bottom.

Meo-Camuzet is one of the most celebrated domaines of the Cote d’Or, located in the heart of prestigious Vosne-Romanee. The domaine boasts fourteen hectares of land in some of the most spectacular appellations and crus of Burgundy. The vineyard land in Burgundy is highly parceled out among families, which makes it rare for anyone to have enough vines to be able to bottle one grand cru, let alone the four that the Meos have. The early beginnings of the domaine left it in the hands of metayeurs, or share-croppers. The last twenty years have brought substantial changes that have fostered a new chapter for the Meo family. Founder Etienne Camuzet was not only a passionate vigneron, but a full-time politician, and spent most of his time in Paris, representing the Cote d’Or. In order to keep his land in use, he offered it to capable share-croppers to farm. By the time his daughter had inherited the estate, she found herself with no successors, so the estate was passed down to her closest relative, Jean Meo. Jean was also deeply involved in national politics - he served as a member of Charles DeGaulle’s cabinet. Consequently, he, too, had to direct the domaine from afar. In the early 1980s, as many of the metayeurs were starting to retire, it became clear that the domaine needed a new direction. Jean’s son, Jean-Nicolas had also spent most of his life in Paris. By 1985, it was his turn to take the helm. In lieu of continuing to rent out their highly-pedigreed vineyards, he made the bold decision to slowly start reclaiming the land for the domaine’s own bottlings. He called upon the resident expert, one of Burgundy’s greatest winemakers of all time, Henri Jayer, for guidance. Henri had spent over forty years farming parcels from Meo-Camuzet under his own label, while enjoying celebrity status in the Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant portfolio. For three years, he mentored Jean-Nicolas during the transition and finally decided to retire in 1988. Though Jayer passed away in 2006, his legacy endures to this day. Jean-Nicolas has since directed the cellar and sales. He has put the vineyards in the capable hands of Christian Faurois, son of one of domaine’s metayeurs, who has dedicated himself to these vineyards since 1973.

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