Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “Les Feusselottes”

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!

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8 thoughts on “Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “Les Feusselottes”

  1. I was excited about the Volnay. The Chambolle has me even more geeked. My first Chambolle was one of the wines that opened my eyes not only to Burgundy, but wine in general. I sure hope there will be some available when it comes time for my next Maison Ilan order! Great news Ray!

  2. Hey John, thank you! Glad to hear that you are excited as well. I’ve been thinking about Chambolle since it all began, though I was really hoping for Chambolle-Musigny Village, this is quite a surprise to say the least!

  3. Thanks, James! I can’t wait to get to the grapes. Actually, I can wait, hoping we get into September, hopefully! I feel the same as you do with Chambolle. I know it is a bit cliché to say that every place in Burgundy has something to offer, I think that certain places tend to resonate with you. For me, Morey and Chambolle do this for me. And, it is thrilling to finally be getting my hands on some! No idea on how all of this will be allocated (assuming all goes well in harvest, lest we can’t eggs and all). But, I am going to be smiling for a good while!

    PS Might have some ‘grand’ news in the next couple of weeks if I am limber enough to stretch for it. 😉

  4. Just read your exciting news on the blog email Ray. Mega congratulations to you – am trying to imagine what this must mean to you but understand I think the ‘nature’ of Chambolle for you. Very best wishes with it of course. Vines look good as best one can tell from photos.

    Am half wondering if I can guess who’s the vines are but know you won’t approve & better than to commit to print – probably wrong anyway ;-).

    Still looking forward, more so as the days pass, to seeing you at vendange in Nuits or Morey. Are thoughts still late August / early Sept ? Confess I’ve not been following the weather on the Cote lately and am waiting (impatiently !) on an update from Cyprien having found him another vendangeur.

    Cheers.

    Mark

  5. Hey Mark! Thank you for the response. I am Very pleased, too excited really.

    The owner of the grapes? I wouldn’t know….. 😉

    As for weather, we were up around 36-37° over the last two days, though today was around 19-20° and rains came in the early morning. Vines are looking good here, generally speaking. I’d recommend keeping the shades down if you follow. I have a few of my sources saying September 3rd and some saying August 28th. Translation: No one knows. We are all hoping for calm weather entering into and throughout July.

  6. Congrats on the new vineyard, Ray. Mmmm, old-vines Feusselottes. I won’t be greedy; just one barrel for me please.

    With 70 year old vines, it seems unlikely that high yields wouldn’t be a problem under any situation, right?

    Keep up the great work with the blog.

    -Brady

  7. Thanks, Brady. I can’t wait! And, old vines would generally put out lower yields, but the previous negoce was keen to take as much as he could from there…not too selective but he got a good (better) quantity.

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