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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.
Burgundy 2018: An ideal vintage
The 2018 vintage was met with a unanimous show of satisfaction from the north of Bourgogne to the south. The exceptional weather, especially during the harvest period, resulted in grapes with perfect health, allowing picking to extend over almost a whole month. Initial tastings ahead of the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction have given an early idea that 2018 will be a truly great year.
The vines had built up some reserves over winter thanks to some very rainy weather, and the growth cycle began on the late side. When the sun started to show in April, the vines sprang into life, with budburst taking place very rapidly. The mild weather then allowed the plants to make up for lost time, even getting ahead of the average. Frosts in April sent a shudder across the whole region, but damage remained very limited. Flowering and fruit setting took place without hindrance.
Summer saw constant heat and drought, apart from a few hail storms in early July that were of no great consequence. The vines continued to grow at a fast pace until mid-August. Veraison took a little longer in places, the heat and lack of water affecting some of the younger vineyards. Nonetheless, since the hydric reserves had been restocked over winter, most of the vines came to maturity nicely thanks to the ideal weather conditions.
The first grapes were picked in the last 10 days of August. Since the dates of flowering, the rainfall and temperature varied greatly from one area to another, harvesting extended into the last 10 days of September.
The fruit was in extraordinarily good health, and the weather was perfect, allowing each winemaker to harvest at the optimum moment. The mood was serene across the whole wine region, producers enjoying this magnificent vintage that combined quality and quantity. Many think this will be one of the best vintages in many years.
Vinification of the whites went without a problem, the grapes having retained a good level of acidity despite the heat.
The reds required a little more attention during vinification due to the relatively high level of potential alcohol.
In 2018, the aromatic complexity of the white wines is incredible. They are explosive on the nose, with an amazing diversity that reflects each terroir. The wines have a certain crispness and good minerality. In the mouth, they are rounded and generous, balanced with a nice tension.
The 2018 reds have a seductive intense color. They are already well structured and powerful, with nicely- integrated tannins and good concentration of fruit. These exceptional wines are perfectly balanced, and are already tasting well in their first flush of youth.
This is a delicious vintage with splendid maturity.
Crémant de Bourgogne
This is a benchmark year, with expressive aromas that vary from one varietal to another, promising balanced and aromatic base wines. The Pinot Noirs are generous, with notes of cherry and rose, resulting in balanced wines with a pleasant freshness. The Chardonnays are powerful, with moderate acidity, making them well- rounded. The fruit aromas reveal some exotic notes, nuanced by fragrances of apple and peach. The Gamays have delicate aromas of raspberry and strawberry, underscored by citrus touches (clementine, lemon). The Aligotés are sharp and lemony, as usual, with good length in the mouth.