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The hard Comblanchian limestone which disappears deep underground around Nuits-Saint-Georges reappears here where, as one moves southward, red wines give way to whites. Nowhere in the Côte de Beaune does the Chardonnay grape do better than it does here. Along the village streets are a succession of little houses belonging to the vineyard workers, mixed with more imposing dwellings. The stone-work on the 53 metre-high church tower looks like it could be the work of fairies. The excellent soils were planted with vines by the monks of Cîteaux as early as 1098. A small amount of red wine is produced here, though white definitely dominates. Meursault's appellation of origin status dates from 1937.
The best soils are found at heights of 260-270 metres with exposures along an arc between east and south. They consist of Jurassic marls and marlylimestones. There are some patches of magnesian limestone. The ancient callovien limestone and argovien marls shave the crus.
There are observable but minor differences between the wines of the different " Climats " (named plots). In most cases, Meursault is greeny-gold in colour or canary yellow, leaning towards bronze as it ages. Limpid and brilliant, it sometimes exhibits silvery highlights. Its bouquet has strong aromas of ripe grapes. The young wine is redolent of toasted almonds and hazelnuts in a floral (mayflower, elder, bracken, lime, verbena) and mineral (flint) setting. Butter, honey, and citrus fruits are also present. On the palate it is rich and fat with a cheerful and appealing taste of hazelnut. Unctuousness and freshness are in silky balance. Long and structured, it needs time to mature - this is a great white wine for laying down.
Its aromatic power and exceptional balance between fat and acidity make it an aristocrat among burgundies. Unsurprisingly, it has a natural affinity with noble and fine-textured fish or meat, which it can match without overpowering. It performs a similar feat with joints of veal or poultry in white sauce, which are rendered sublime by the wine's unctuous texture and long, distinguished acidity. Still better are grilled lobster, crawfish, or king prawns in sauce - dishes whose aromatic intensity and crisp texture match the lively and supple balance of the wine. Even blue cheeses and goose liver take to it immediately.
Serving temperature : 12 to 14 °C.
2002 VINTAGE in Burgundy
A Great Year
The trade is unanimous: the harvest was exceptional and 2002 is destined to be a great vintage for Burgundy. A dry summer, a sunny September, splendid grapes with highly concentrated sugars - everything came together to produce structured and complex wines with outstanding aromatic potential.
As early as the beginning of September, the sugar content in the grapes was often at exceptionally high levels and they had attained a degree of maturity indicative of a good balance between sugar and acidity in both the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir, as well as in the Gamay and Aligoté.
Well-matured grapes have produced - on the evidence of early tastings - deeply-coloured red wines with a garnet tint, and with really well-structured tannins. Depending on degree of maturity, the wines evoke sustained aromas of red and black fruits. Thanks to yield control and careful harvesting, they present a wide diversity of expression.
The white wines are intense and heady, richly fragrant in their blend of fruit and mineral components. They are rounded, long in the mouth, balanced and harmonious.
Both reds and whites of the 2002 vintage fully express their respective terroirs and promise fine ageing potential.
As Hubert Camus, President of the Interprofession and himself a wine-grower at Gevrey-Chambertin, puts it: "In 2002, Burgundy's growers and négociants have every prospect of obtaining remarkable wines."
Growing conditions during the year were characterised by low rainfall. Maturation took place in warm and sunny weather punctuated by occasional rainstorms. These weather conditions aided concentration in the grapes and kept them healthy. The harvest period enjoyed an ideal combination of sunshine and cool temperatures.