Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge Premier Cru 2018
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The Clos des Mouches rises up the hill at Beaune’s southern border with Pommard. Chanson’s parcel is midslope, the pinot noir vines facing southeast on rocky limestone and clay soils. This 2018 silenced the panel with its immediate elegance, bright and rosy, the flavors focused on juicy blackberry ripeness before deepening into layers of dark, mineral-rich tannins. Gracious as a young wine, this is tightly built and needs bottle age to fully reveal its complexities.
Founded in 1750, Chanson is one of the five grand "shippers" of Burgundy's Côte d'Or- an estate steeped in centuries-old tradition and rich in viticultural history. As a négociant (winemaker and merchant) and a domaine (vineyard estate), Chanson has represented the best of Burgundy for more than 250 years, growing its own grapes, partnering with other growers, bottling, selling, and shipping its own wines.
Chanson's holdings comprise some of Burgundy's most coveted vineyards. Located in the heart of the Côte de Beaune (the historical center of Burgundy) and surrounded by some of the greatest vineyards in the world, Chanson can count French philosophe Voltaire, romantic poet Lamartine, and the Bonaparte family among its clients.
Its celebrated bastion, a 15th-century fortress first rented and then acquired in 1794 to cellar the wines, is an internationally celebrated icon of Burgundy (the largest of six bastions that form part of the wall surrounding the city of Beaune).
To visit Chanson is to travel back in time and experience the magic of the 1000-year-old tradition of winemaking. Chanson still vinifies and cellars its wines in the bastion as it has for over 200 years. The 10-meter thick walls of this ancient fortress make it ideal for winemaking.
While the city represents the epicenter of wine production in Burgundy, the term, “Beaune” also refers to the specific sub-appellation of the greater Côte de Beaune, whose vineyards climb up the pastoral slopes that border the city to its west. Originally founded as a Roman camp by Julius Caesar, the city of Beaune eventually became the seat of the dukes of Burgundy until the 13th century. Today it is home to top négociants such as Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, Louis Latour, and Bouchard Père et Fils.
The appellation, dominated by Pinot Noir plantings, represents a lovely and charming place to begin to understand red Burgundy. Its sandy soils create light and supple, floral driven Pinot Noir. These wines are designed to be enjoyed within five to 10 years. The vineyards of Beaune span a broad swath of Premier Crus from Savigny-lès-Beaune to its border with Pommard.
Chardonnay acreage here has been increasing here in the more recent years.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”