Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot 2009
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
Winemaker Pierre Vincent (formerly of Maison Jaffelin) declared that 2009 was a "quasi-perfect vintage and the only reason I say 'quasi-perfect' is because we had some early season hail in Bonnes Mares, Chambolle and Charmes-Chambertin. The growing season was like 2005 that gave us very ripe tannins and round and supple acidities. The flowering was perfect, which made for a large crop with uniform ripeness levels. And because the growing season didn't have much rot pressure, the fruit was super clean and our sorting losses were less than 5%. We began picking on the 8th of September and started with the whites before moving on to the reds. The fruit averaged 13% in terms of potential alcohol and there wasn't even one wine that I decided to chaptalize, which is extremely rare. The vinification was easy even though I did a relatively long cuvaison of 25 to 28 days at a maximum temperature of 30° C. As I did in 2008, I used varying percentages of whole clusters, which I think added elegance. The malos were irregular with some beginning early and finishing late and some started late but finished quickly. The post-malo pHs were in the 3.65 range, which is perfectly acceptable to us. Overall, we are extremely happy with the potential quality of our '09s and believe that our clients are going to love them." As I have observed previously, Vincent is making real progress and these '09s are easily the best wines I have yet seen from him, which is a real compliment as the '08s were excellent. Moreover, several of the villages level wines offer truly outstanding quality and should be on your radar screens for obtaining great value.
The Wine Advocate - "Tasted out of the barrel at the Domaine. This has a very fine bouquet with well-defined notes of citrus lemon, hazelnut, a touch of orange zest and great mineralite. The palate is well balanced, the mineralite coming though again, touches of spice and walnut furnishing the entry, fanning out nicely across complex, Meursalt-like finish. Lovely."
Wine & Spirits - "One panelist compared the harmonic power of this wine to a night at the opera in the first row. The wine's energy has that sophistication and refinement, buzzing with limestone and mushroom earthiness, more focused on bass notes of umami and high-toned florals than any sweetness of fruit. Cellar this and you should be amply rewarded in ten years time."
Burghound.com - "A fresh and notably more elegant nose features mostly earth and soft floral notes where the earthiness also characterizes the concentrated, textured and utterly delicious middle weight flavors that possess good if not sensational depth on the dry, clean and linear finish. I like the sense of poise here."
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Domaine de la Vougeraie Winery
Le Domaine de la Vougeraie was founded in 1999, uniting under a single signature the 91 acres of vineyards owned by the Boisset family. Our vineyards are in 30 different appellations in the Côte d'Or, with two-thirds in the Côte de Nuits and one-third in the Côte de Beaune. Our first vineyard, purchased by Jean-Claude and Claudine Boisset in 1964, is the single vineyard Gevrey-Chambertin "Les Evocelles", and our latest jewel, the Vougeot Premier Cru "Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot" Monopole is part of our 24 acres in the Vougeot appellation. Pierre Vincent, our winemaker, focuses on the pure expression of Burgundian terroir using organic farming and biodynamics, respecting the environment and making truly unique wines. We are proud to announce that 100% of our vineyards are certified organic by Ecocert since the 2007 harvest. View all Domaine de la Vougeraie Wines
About BurgundyView a map of Burgundy wineries
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.