2017 Marcelle de Changey Vougeot 1er Cru Les Cras
Take a look at the picture above.
To the right is the upper slopes of Grand Cru Clos Vougeot, the ancient home of some of the oldest cultivated vines in Burgundy. Right beyond that, the Grand Crus of Echezeaux. A few minutes’ walk down this road and you’re in the Grand Cru of Musigny and its Grand Cru Neighbor, Petite Musigny. Even closer is the famed 1er Cru of Les Amoureuses – the lovers.
This is some of the most expensive land on Earth, that produces bottles of wine that sell into the tens of thousands of dollars – per bottle, not per case. You are in the tiny, 50-case-production-for-the-world, largely unheard of, vineyard of Vougeot Premier Cru Les Cras.
Take this prime land for Pinot Noir, farm it sustainably and organically, and you’ve got a recipe for making one of the finest Vougeots that I’ve ever tasted. And the story gets even better, because the human element is not lacking.
The talented Laurence Danel, a fifth-generation winemaker whose day job is at Domaine Fery and whose resume includes passes through the famous houses of Bouchard Pere & Fils and Domaine Faiveley, runs Marcelle de Changey. Here with this label, she is able to focus on just her passion project – single vineyard parcel sites that are exceptionally terroir driven, revealing the glory that is rare Burgundy. And with this Vougeot, it shows:
On the nose, the wine has everything you can want from a red Burgundy. Fruit aromas of kirsch, high tones of Bing cherry, plum, pomegranate syrup, red currants. Savory notes of sous bois, hints at black truffle, and a judicious note of oak spice setting off the fruit character. And finally, flowery notes of freshly cut violets, roses in bloom and white flowers. On the palate the wine walks a gorgeous line between the full-bodied expression of Clos Vougeot and the ornate and supremely elegant depth of Musigny. Les Cras refers to the calcerous soils and indeed, the finish on the wine lights up with a chalky sparkle that draws out its rounded tannins and gorgeous lift of acidity. It is from the sensational 2017 vintage and while you can drink it now (with a 60 minute decant), I urge you to try one and lay the rest down for at least three more years. It will be a treasure for you in your cellar!
Now I realize that many of you have already dropped to the prices below and decided this is too good to be true. Let me assure you – I spend hours upon hours looking at importer spreadsheets and then tasting massive amounts of Burgundy (tough job, I know) to search down these deals. In Burgundy, knowledge is power because the devil is in the details. This is a Burgundy gem not to miss.