Chanson Pere & Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2012
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.
Containing the largest Grand Cru in all of the Côte d’Or, Vougeot, the village, takes its name from the small stream flowing through it, called Vouge. Over three quarters of the village retains Grand Cru status, and a single vineyard at that: Clos de Vougeot (or simply, Clos Vougeot). Its mass—over 50 ha—retains the single name chiefly for historic reasons.
But today, Clos de Vougeot contains over 80 owners and shows significant soil and slope variations within its boundaries. The top, bordering Musigny and Grands Echezeaux, is calcareous and gravelly on oolitic limestone and exhibits wonderful drainage. The middle sections are limestone, gravel and clay with less of a slope. The lower part has little slant and is mostly made of clay. Historically the diverse parcels were blended but today the abundance of owners means that everyone has his own style. Exploring and understanding them is part of the allure of Clos de Vougeot.
In general a fine Clos de Vougeot when young will be dense and dark but juicy, with a pronounced austerity, and needs a good ten years to bring it to its full potential.
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.”