Hello again everyone! It is with great pleasure that I share this news with everyone. Just this past week, we entered into contract on fruit from Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “Les Feusselottes”!! This is too exciting to place into words, really. As with Volnay and Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle-Musigny was one of the three villages I was really searching to source fruit from. Of course, village grapes from Morey-Saint-Denis or Gevrey-Chambertin, along with many other villages would be exciting as well. Though, there is something about the quintessential Chambolle-Musigny that really has haunted me since getting interested in wine. To this end, I have been walking around with an embarrassing smile on my face for the past week, and I have been quite thankful for these continued opportunities.
On to the vines!
“Les Feussellotes” surrounds the village cemetery, East of the center of town, on the East side wall of the cemetery, facing (you guessed it) due East. This is actually important as there are vines in this climat that rest on a hump, facing West, receiving less sun, and pointed toward the wind coming over the towering limestone-based hilltops of Chambolle. There is a good amount of limestone in the vineyard, with a strong percentage of clay airy clay. The vines here are also interesting, being over 70 years old on average, planted to a selection massal. In this type of planting, there are no commercial clones purchased, which encourages diversity in the vineyard, which can be a truly special thing.
In 1920, Camille Rodier had “Les Feusselottes” classified as Deuxièmes Cuvées, listed with lieux dits such as Les Grands-Murs, Les Beaux Bruns, Les Noirots. Feusselottes was classified behind climats which would later be classified as Grands Crus and a nice selection of well-known Premiers Crus such as Les Amoureuses, Les Hauts-Doix, Les Cras, Les Fuées,Les Charmes and a few others that are widely regarded to be some of the best vineyards in Burgundy. In other words, truly stiff competition. Jules Lavalle had a similar ranking order, though a much smaller Deuxième class so this pushed “Fisselottes” (note the spelling) to the Troisième Cuvée Class alongside “Les Sentiers”, “Le Haut-des-Combottes, “Beaux-Bruns”, “Aux Crais” and a few others.
Interestingly enough, he goes on to mention that “all of these (speaking of the Chabolle Troisième Cuvée) different climats vary to such a small degree from those classed as Deuxième Cuvée, that these can be included in the higher classification. With this remark, I am uncertain why he would have chosen to list the above in the lower classification, unless he was simply intending to show that while they could be ranked in such a way, they were to be considered less in some manner. With this considered, this vineyard has such a great amount of history and is consistently well regarded today. In short, I couldn’t be happier with this source!
While the Volnay 1er Cru addition may provide a solid bump up in production with an expected 5 barrels of grapes (receiving whatever nature decides to provide), this Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru is just around 2 barrels of grapes. I’ve made it a point to only go after what I thought was truly interesting terroir, fully capable of standing up on it’s own. These terroirs are chosen for what they themselves may provide as I have no plans of adding anything to them. With this in mind, when something such as this comes along, I will take whatever quantity that is available.
With this philosophy, there are situations such as these that there won’t be too much wine from this vineyard. The owner of the vineyard and I are on the same page that the yield will stay decidedly low. We both feel that there is much to gain in being respectfully patient and grateful with the vines and what they give to us.
One thing is for sure though, we are officially full in the garage, I mean cuverie!