Meursault evokes memories of a shimmering, green-gold white wine, richly textured and layered with toasted notes, nuts and orchard fruit complemented by vanilla cream. The appellation equally applies to a much smaller quantity of red Meursault, wines combining delicacy with an appealing personality. Meursault, between Volnay and Puligny-Montrachet is a rather sprawling village dominated by the 57m high 15th Century church spire, which can be seen for miles around. The town divides the vineyard commune, which hosts an extraordinary and unwieldy list of growers. There are no grands crus but best of the premiers crus consistently produce wines of grand cru calibre.
The northern section of the Meursault commune has a limestone bedrock underlying a brown-coloured combination of pebbles and some clay. Best suited to red wines, this actually produces Volnay Santenots.
South of the village of Meursault, a change in soil is visible to the naked eye, best seen on foot. It becomes much paler and with larger stones. On the highest area of the slope, above the premiers crus , a number of named Meursault climats can produce excellent value, high-toned, intense wines. Narvaux, Tillets, Les Clous, Les Casse-Têtes and Les Chaumées are amongst the better known.
Meursault Premiers Crus – terroirs & wines
Lower down, though still on the upper slope, a narrow belt of premier cru vineyards lies just below ancient limestone quarries. Here there are very sparse soils, with limestone slope wash debris. The finest of the premiers crus , running north to south and slightly west, Les Gouttes d’Or, Poruzots, Bouchères, Genevrières, Charmes and Perrières can be found here. Further down, the slopes are gentler and the soil deeper with reddish tones. The wines produced here tend toward the opulent side of the Meursault spectrum, rounded and honeyed with pastry-shop aromatics. Our Clos de Cromin, from an extensive walled vineyard to the north of the village, is a good example in the Olivier Leflaive portfolio.
Vineyards around the little hamlet of Blagny in the south-west are also entitled to the Meursault appellation and there are four premiers crus here, including our own Meursault 1er Cru Sous le Dos d’Ane – a white from Domaine Leflaive – and a white Meursault 1er Cru Blagny and Blagny 1er Cru La Pièce Sous Le Bois, from Thierry and Pascale Matrot.
Meursault Villages – wines & styles
Meursault villages wines, covering some 305 hectares, clearly offer great diversity in terms of style but the overall profile of Meursault whites is a combination of opulence, honeyed and toasted notes, often with floral aromatics.
Meursault – history
The history of Meursault, as is so often the case, is tied up with the church. The new abbey at Citeaux, founded by Robert de Molesmes in 1068, was gifted a parcel of Meursault land in 1102. The abbey had not yet started planting at Vougeot. Over the centuries, further gifts were bestowed on the order, resulting in sizable holdings in Meursault as well as Vougeot. This was a little ironic given that the origin of the order’s existence lay in the monks’ protesting against the worldly ways and wealth of the Benedictines. The Cistercians remained as prominent owners until the Revolution.