Appellation Article

Meursault

Last edited on 7/9/2011 by cliffkol
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Located in Cote de Beaune, south of Volnay and north of Puligny Montrachet. Meursault ("Murr-so") has historically been Burgundy's center for white wine production. In fact, nearly all of the 2.5 million bottles produced from 440 ha (1,090 acres) are whites. The soil is a mixture of marl and chalk and is perfectly suited to the production of chardonnay. Meursault wines are known for aromas of hazelnuts, honey and vanilla for its aromas and creamy, almost olive oilllike texture. There are no grand crus in Meursault, though Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes produce remarkable wines. Further, some of the most well-known vineyards of Meursault such as Narvaux and Limozin are not premier cru but Villages-classified vineyards. Recent top vintages include 2008, 2007, 2005, 2002, 1999, 1996, 1993, 1990.


With 437ha. of vineyards dedicated to Villages wine or Premier Cru, Meursault has the largest area permitted to be planted in white wine in the Cote-d'Or. Furthermore, despite the fact that the village lacks even one grand cru, Meursault has historically been Burgundy's center for white wine production, in the past even more so than Puligny-Montrachet or Chassagne-Montrachet. While much of those two villages had in the past been planted to red grapes, Meursault has always been white wine territory. In fact, the modern day vineyard of Les Combettes in Puligny-Montrachet, which forms a continuous chain with the premier crus of Meursault, was once considered part of Meursault and not Puligny, where the many nearby vineyards produced red wine. There are several important factors that determine the reputation of Meursault. Primarily, the soil throughout most of Meursault is perfectly suited to the production of chardonnay; it is a mixture of marl and chalk, that when combined with a largely east or southeast exposure creates healthy grapes that are full of character. Another factor correlates to geology, though in a very different way. Meursault's high water table allows its residents to carve deep, cold cellars "perfect for the production of wine" into the chalky, stony soil. So, while large negociants from Beaune dominated the production and marketing of Burgundy throughout time, Meursault remained a wine of its own citizens. Contributing to this, since red wine has been more prized throughout time, these same negociants looked elsewhere for sources because the wine of Meursault has always been white.

What makes the wine so special? The most common descriptors attached to Meursault are hazelnuts, honey and vanilla for its aromas and creamy for its texture. However, this simplifies things quite a bit. In most cases, Meursault despite an almost olive-oil texture is countered by a precise mineral character, stoniness and a more refined overall palate than, for instance, Chassagne-Montrachet. It's the unique stony/mineral character that often gets lost when tasting Meursault, as many concentrate on the ripe, hedonistic primary flavors and aromas. It's the bipolarity of the wine, the interplay of both factors, that makes Meursault one of the most sought after white wines in the world. As mentioned above, there are no grand crus in Meursault, though many would argue that Perrieres, Genevrieres and Charmes can attain these lofty heights in the hands of the best producers. Further, some of the most well-known vineyards of Meursault such as Narvaux and Limozin are not premier cru but Villages-classified vineyards, though again, the best examples are clearly of higher quality. source: http://www.burgundywinecompany.com/wines/display.php?subregion=Meursault
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