Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Chambolle-Musigny Les Groseilles Premier Cru 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 89-92
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or has for decades been the collector’s choice for expressive and memorable wines from Burgundy’s most hallowed terroirs. This historic estate is one of the Burgundian elite, in a similar realm of such exclusive wineries like Romanée-Conti and Comte de Vogüé, with its strict selection and seamless winemaking. The history of Pousse d’Or in Volnay underscores its influence throughout the ages. In 1855, the winery was part of a larger domaine that included such names as Romanée-Conti and Clos de Tart. Originally called La Bousse d’Or (Bousse, in old French, means earth; thus, “golden earth”), the Domaine changed owners a number of times until legend Gérard Potel took the reins. It was Potel that put the estate’s wines on the map, with the elegant, refined style that Pousse d’Or is still known for today. In 1997, Patrick Landanger purchased the winery and its vineyards. In the mid-2000s, Landanger added an impressive collection of Côte de Nuits vineyards (from Domaine Moine-Hudelot) to his portfolio. Pousse d’Or has three premier cru monopoles, or exclusively estate-owned vineyards, in Volnay: ‘Clos de la Bousse d’Or,’ ‘Clos des Soixante (60)-Ouvrées’ and ‘Clos d’Audignac.’ Pousse’s attention to detail and dedication to organic viticulture (the estate is not certified but has followed organic principles for years) is serious. Vineyards are cared for without the use of pesticides or herbicides and are regularly plowed. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, and bunches are destemmed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Wines are aged from 15 to 18 months in French oak barrels, with between 30 to 50 percent new wood, depending on the cru. In recent vintages, Landanger has been experimenting with terracotta amphorae for aging some of his premier cru wines. All wines are bottled by gravity and are unfined and unfiltered.
Chambolle-Musigny represents the charm of the Côte de Nuits district of Burgundy. But you’ll find that term mainly in reference to the vineyards in its southern stretches, which border Clos Vougeot: the Grand Cru of Le Musingy and in part, its neighboring and most exceptional Premier Cru, Les Amoureuses. Some producers argue for the primacy of Les Amoureuses and its eligibility for Grand Cru status given its wines can sometimes surpass other Grands Crus.
Le Musigny ranks on par with the most acclaimed Grands Crus for Pinot Noir: Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Richebourg, Chambertin, and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. It is also the only Grand Cru in Côte de Nuits for Chardonnay. All of the others are in Côte de Beaune.
This village can in fact claim only two Grands Crus vineyards and—in the context of breaking down the minutiae—they are markedly different. Bonnes-Mares, the other one at the far northern end above the village, bordering Morey-St-Denis, offers power, strength and great aging potential. But Chambolle-Musigny includes a nice handful of exceptional Premiers Crus, as noted above with Les Amoureuses as the finest. Le Fuees and Les Cras are other noteworthy Premiers Crus.
Overall, a top Chambolle-Musigny offers pure aromas of violets, dark cherry and damp earth, coupled with a velvety elegance, supple mid-palate, an abundance of black and red berry, and finesse and power through a long and fine-grained finish.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”