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The village of Chambolle-Musigny lies in the very heart of the Côte de Nuits. The Musigny vineyards lie above the Clos de Vougeot between the Premier Cru climat Les Amoureuses and the Grand Cru Échezeaux. The altitude varies from 260 to nearly 300 m. The southern portion rises towards the plot known as Combe d'Orveau which marks the boundary between Musigny and Flagey-Échezeaux.
The Musigny family, which gave its name to the appellation, is now extinct but held important posts at the court of the Dukes of Burgundy in the 14th century. The boundaries of the USIGNY appellation were formally laid down on 16 April 1929, before the advent of the AOC system. It has always been a Grand Cru.
The gradient on this rocky limestone terrace is quite steep (8-14%). The soils, though not deep, are enriched by red clay in the upper section and are generally more clayey and less limey than the neighbouring Grands Crus. The rocks are of Jurassic origin (approx. 150 million years BC).
Red: this brilliant scion of the Côte de Nuits family has a preference for meat - natural enough given the power of its tannins and the lingering complexity of its aromas. But its individuality rests on the breadth of its sensuality in the mouth and the distinction that results from this. This lends it a particular affinity for fine poultry (roasted or stuffed) and feathered game in sauce, braised or - better still - patiently roasted. Glazed duck and crispy roast lamb would be at ease with this iconic burgundy, while cheeses like Cîteaux, Coulommiers or Brie de Meaux will also respond to its generous character.
Serving temperature: 14 to 16 °C
White: if by good fortune you should ever find yourself in the presence of a white Musigny, match it with only the most delicate of dishes - lobster, crawfish, or freshwater crayfish with a butter, cream, and truffle sauce (sauce nantua).
Serving temperature: 12 to 14 °C
Musigny is one of the two Grands Crus of Chambolle-Musigny. It is located on a hillside, south of Chambolle-Musigny, with a southern-east exposure. It lies in the middle of the slope, where the soil produces an optimal balance of structure and elegance. The limestone soil gives a high initial acidity, bringing a supreme elegance and an aromatic purity and finesse to the Musigny. The soil really speaks through the vine and the wine and emphasizes in the wine delicacy, finesse, elegance, and fragrance, at the expense of weight, muscle, size and overwhelming tannins but combines the above with power, intensity, grip, depth and complexity.
Musigny is the pinnacle and probably the most sought-after. It hides a great underlying power and strength, the proverbial "iron fist in velvet glove".
2001 VINTAGE in Burgundy
A promising start to the new millennium...
Growing season and weather conditions
The winter, during which the vines lay dormant, was a mild one.
The first signs of bud-burst came early but wintry conditions in April accompanied by frosts in the most exposed vineyards slowed down the start of the growing season.
Spring, from May onwards, was marked by periods of fine sunny weather.
The first flowers appeared, precociously, at the beginning of June, but the process was then slowed by a recurrence of low temperatures. Flowering was thus spread out over a period of some two weeks and the resulting unevenness in the progress of maturation persisted until harvest-time.
The natural weight of the crop burden led many growers to resort to green thinning ("vendanges en vert") - cutting out superfluous grape bunches at an early stage to ensure a harvest lower in volume but higher in quality.
Maturation and harvest
July was cool and rainy. Summer only really arrived in August with sometimes scorching heat and high levels of recorded sunshine. Violent rain- and hail-storms caused significant damage to the vines in some localities.
Maturation proceeded under favourable circumstances and the physical condition of the grapes remained good.
A slight drop in temperature at the beginning of September together with some light rain meant that in choosing the right moment to begin picking, growers needed to be alert and exercise great judgement (given uneven maturation and changeable weather conditions), and to make the best use of dry and sunny periods.
The need to wait, in some cases, for the moment of optimum ripeness meant that the harvest period was prolonged. Maturity was variable with sugar levels ranging from moderate to very good, good levels of acidity, and variable polyphenol levels in the red wines.
Estimated yield totals 1.5 million hectolitres, a slightly lower volume than the 2000 and 2001 harvests.
Vinification and character of the wines
Vinification of the white wines proceded in a lesisurely manner and without incident. The red wines demanded more attention in order to extract the maximum potential from their colouring matter and tannins.
As of mid-November, the white wines are fine and straightforward, well-balanced with good concentration and well-developed fruit backed by firm acidity.
The reds are vividly and intensely coloured. They have a well-defined structure thanks to firm tannins and a good level of acidity. They are meaty, with agreeable and expressive fruit.