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Here, Morey-Saint-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny demonstrate the ability of the Côte de Nuits to blend two distinct temperaments into a single personality. The Bonnes-Mares vineyards have been known by this name since the late Middle Ages although the etymology still remains uncertain. The origin might be the verb " marer " meaning " to cultivate carefully ", although many like to think the name alludes to ancient mother-goddesses. This explanation, however, is certainly less probable. Its Grand Cru status was recognised on 8th December , 1936. The Bonnes-Mares appellation lies just south of the Clos de Tart, the neighbouring Grand Cru, forming a rectangle between the hollowed hillsides of Morey and Chambolle. More of it lies in the territory of Chambolle-Musigny than that of Morey-Saint-Denis. Its exposition is easterly and its altitude averages between 250 and 280 metres.
The sub-soil consists of limestone pavement and white marl and underlies clay-flint soils some 40 cm in depth on a gently sloping site. The soil is quite light and gravelly, and is brown or reddish in colour. Its origins date back to the Jurassic period, some 150 million years ago.
The domaine’s other star is their 2.7 hectare plot of Bonnes Mares, which accounts for 400 cases a year. The vines are on the Chambolle side of the Morey boundary — a parcel which tends towards elegant, refined Bonnes Mares. Fine old vintages deliver violet, strawberry notes with a delicate peony blossom underpinned by a ground coffee bean flavour and toasty oak. Darker and more brooding than the Musigny, for Millet it is an electric wine; like a thunderstorm about to break.
A successful blend of impressive build and meaty texture means this wine is a worthy equal to game, which responds well to its huge aromatic intensity and, in the maturer vintages, its musky notes. Preferably the game should be roasted, but the wine will also take on stews without fuss as well as fine wine-based sauces. Duck (even laquered Pekin-style Duck) is similarly enhanced because the virile tannins in the wine give structure to the aromatic and delicately-textured flesh. It also goes well with strong-flavoured cheeses.
Serving temperature : 14 to 16 °C.
BURGUNDY 2021 Vintage report
The 2021 vintage was a challenge for winegrowers right up until the very last day. From the frost in April, made worse by a very early start to the winegrowing season, right through to the September harvest, it was characterized by some brutal shifts in the weather. Winegrowers had to be extremely reactive and attentive. The only moment of respite came with flowering, which was ideal for fruit formation, and véraison, which was accompanied by sunshine from mid-August. In the end, hard work was rewarded with success, low volumes aside. Indeed, while conveying his hope that the 2022 vintage will offer an easier ride, François Labet, co-president of the BIVB confirmed his opinion that, “Small is beautiful!”
Aside from the low yields due to frost, and hail in June in certain parts of the Mâconnais, the grapes were sorted meticulously, both in the vines and in the winery. The capricious weather in July and early August encouraged the development of pockets of disease, but these were fortunately contained thanks to the efforts of the winemakers and the return of dry weather later in August.
The general opinion is that the 2021 is an interesting vintage to work with because it requires great technical skill and vinification must be very precise. Although fermentation was rapid, one had to pay a great deal of attention to the extraction of tannins and color for the reds, and to the aromatic balance of the whites.
The impression from the first tastings is that the musts have good aromatic potential and the sugar-acidity ratio suggests a style appreciated by fans of Bourgogne wines.