I thought that I’d pick up on the same theme from my last blog, discussing two recent great vintages in the Burgundy wine region in France. However, instead of focusing on a special vintage, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight a single great vineyard site from that region.
That vineyard would be Clos des Perrieres in the village of Meursault. Unlike Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet, two well known neighboring villages a few kilometers to the south, Meursault does not have a “Grand Cru” appellation status; the highest classification given in Burgundy.
Currently, Meursault possesses “Premier Cru” designation but aspires to achieve the Grand Cru title. It has all the attributes needed to achieve its goal with excellent soil, exposure, drainage and many other qualities.
Albert Grivault is a fairly small domaine, only about 15 acres in total, but it does include 2.5 acres of the aforementioned Clos des Perrieres. Unlike other appellations in Burgundy, Clos des Perrieres is a Monopole, meaning it is singly owned by the Grivault family.
Unlike many other plots in this region where there are subdivisions run by other families, the Grivault’s have the rare opportunity to develop this entire tract of land themselves.
The domaine was started in 1875 by Albert Griavult at the age of 19, when he had acquired some vines from his parents. Four years later he purchased Clos des Perrieres. This purchase took place during a phylloxera epidemic, a devastating infestation caused by insects attacking the roots of the vines.
The family replanted with vines from neighboring vineyards and started from scratch. They have had other replantings since the 19th century. The estate continues to be run by the Grivault family and their constituents.
Every year while visiting the domaine, we have always been greeted by Michel Bardet and his lovely sister Marguerite. Marguerite lives on the property, and as the family matriarch, oversees the tending to the land.
Michel Bardet and his sister have run the estate for some time, only recently passing the reigns on to the next generation: Michel’s son and daughter, Henri-Marc and Claire. Claire is the wine maker at present. It is clear that Michel’s continuing passion for his wine and that importance of attention to detail in his daily life, has been passed on to his children.
Les Perrieres vineyard is considered to be the best plot in all of Meursault. Clos des Perrieres is a separate, wall-enclosed parcel nestled within the space that is Les Perrieres. Clos means wall in French.
Some of my favorite vintages include:
2010 Albert Grivaut, Meursault Clos des Perrières:
This wine possesses a long finish, nose of hazelnuts and ginger, coupled by a good dose of minerality. It expresses great purity and freshness. Nice fruit. Will take some time to open up to its fullest expression.
2009 Grivault Albert, Meursault Clos des Perrières:
This wine lends itself towards a romatic bouquet with very floral notes. Riper but still a little bit tight. Needs time. This will be superb in time.
2008 Grivault Albert, Meursault Clos des Perrières:
Flavors reminiscent of assertive ginger combined with a petrol-like note round up this stellar Chardonnay. This wine possesses great minerality and intensity on the palate. This is a beautiful wine now! Will continue to impress.
2007 Grivault Albert, Meursault Clos des Perrières:
The aromas on this wine are a little more forward, yet subtle at the same time. The flavors are super though, with notes of grill nuts and ginger. These factors add an extra roundness to this wine’s profile verses any of what might be attributed a basic Perrières appellation desiganation.