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Domaine Albert Grivault, Clos des Perrières

12/10/2018
a fascinating 'terroir'…

In Meursault, the Clos des Perrières has been known for centuries as a truly exceptional 'terroir'. We have tried to uncover the mysteries of this vineyard which so ably competes with even the most well-known 'Grand Crus'.
 

Michel Bardet

Old books, maps, magazines... The Meursault residence of the descendants of Albert Grivault would be of great interest to any historian. The contents of its extensive archives reveal the extent to which the Clos des Perrières is a genuinely exceptional 'terroir'. Michel and Marguerite Bardet currently manage and coddle this vineyard, delicately preserving its heritage. We don't have room to reproduce all of the fascinating documents here, but we must share the episode concerning the gold medal won at the 1895 Paris agricultural show. It lead to that year's vintage (1893) being served to the President of the Republic, Felix Faure in person. One could also mention the many references in the famous writings of Jules Lavelle (1855) or even René Danguy and Charles Aubertin (1892) as proof of the deeply held respect earned by this 'Clos' over the centuries.

The uninterrupted flow of accolades continues to this day. One could, for example, quote the words of Michel Bettane in the ‘Revue de France', May 1989: "Let's finish with the four most fascinating and sublime 'Cuvées': The Montrachet from the Romanée-Conti estate, Jean-François Coche-Dury's Corton-Charlemagne, Bardet-Givrault's Clos des Perrières...” There’s not much you can add to that!
 

An explanation for such consistency is evidently going to be found by taking a close look at the 'terroir' in question: 94 ares and 52 centiares (9,452m²) over which the good fairies of wine geology have cast their spell. "If we compare with the location of the Puligny-Montrachet 'Crus', we can see that the Clos des Perrières is geologically situated in the middle of the Montrachets like a central strip, at an altitude of 260 metres.", wrote Pascal Ribereau-Gayon *. This Meursault Perrières 'Premier Cru' enclave is sheltered from the winds and lies along a gentle slope located right in the heart of the most refined Côte des Blancs vineyards. The soil is quite deep. The high point of the 'Clos' is seated on an outcrop of Bathonian limestone whilst the lower part is made up of colluvium making the soil stony and red in colour. Its south/south-east exposure ensures a high level of maturity regardless of annual variations. Visually all of this exudes a sense of serene harmony, a haven of peace for Chardonnay grapes that find themselves with just the right conditions to do their best work.

The sense of fulfilment that these fruit attain can be tasted in the wine. Here strong flavours come most often to the fore, more so than for the other Meursault-Perrière 'Cuvées'. And there is also the minerality and purity so typical to the wines from this 'Climat'. As a result Michel Bardet limits the proportion of new barrels to less than 20%. This minerality can be a little austere, generally requiring time to blend with the rest of the wine's characteristics. Ideally a Clos des Perrières should be consumed after being laid down for about fifteen years; or as much as twenty for the better harvest years.

Recent vintages (we have tasted those of 2012 to 2017 at the property) are all of the highest quality. With the 2015 being notable for its fullness, and the 2014 utterly remarkable for its purity and sophistication. Genuine wonders. A great piece of wine history continues...

Laurent Gotti

 

* Les Vins de France, Editions Hachette (1991)

 

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Domaine Albert Grivault
7 place du Murger - 21190 Meursault
Tél. : 03 80 21 23 12