The 1861 classification from Comite d’Agriculture de Beaune1 is a very detailed document, including very precise informations about the classification of the different climates in Burgundy.
While Lavalle1 offer some details about the split classification of some vineyards – this document offer a classifcation on cadastre level .. i.e. if the top part of a vineyard is perceived better than the bottom part, then they have classified the top part higher than the lower part on a cadastre plot level.
This information is interesting, as this is the foundation for the detailed maps in the book, and it also offer a possibility to gain some informations about the quality of the different plots within the vineyards .. as it was perceived around 1861.
In this article I will take a closer look at the 1861 classification of the Chambolle-Musigny vineyards and plots.
The Chambolle-Musigny Classification 1861
The classification map below include three levels 1eres Cuvées (pink), 2mes Cuvées (yellow), 3mes Cuvées (green) – click on the map to enlarge.
The Classification of Chambolle-Musigny include two areas of 1eres Cuvées vineyards … the area with and around Musigny and the area with and around Bonnes-Mares. So far no surprises – but taking a closer look reveal some interesting points.
The southern part of Chambolle-Musigny – La Combe d’Orveau
Starting from south one see that the total area of La Combe d’Orveau is 1eres Cuvées. The area resembles the Grand Cru and the 1er cru part of the current La Combe d’Orveau.
This indicates that the current 1er cru part of La Combe d’Orveau was highly regarded in 1861, and that this part of the vineyard perhaps also deserved a promotion to Grand Cru status – just as it happened in 1929 and 1989 with the plots of La Combe d’Orveau owned by Jacques Prieur.
Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureauses . a split classification
Moving on the Les Amoureuses it can be seen that the top part of this vineyard was classified as 1eres Cuvées while the lower parts were classified as 2mes Cuvées.
The map is not very accurate, as the top part of Les Amoureuses above the road is not shown on the map, but it seems reasonable to assume this was also classified as 1eres Cuvées. The part just below the road was also classifed as 1eres Cuvées, while the bottom part – today owned primarily by the Groffier family was classified as 2mes Cuvées (yellow).
Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes .. 1eres Cuvées!
One of the surprising details in this classification is that the top part of Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes was classified as 1eres Cuvées .. indicating Grand Cru or top 1er cru level.
I have indeed had some delightful Chambolle Les Charmes from produceres like Ponsot, but I have never thought of this terroir as a top end terroir. I will try to explore this a bit further, but Lavalle only mentioned Les Charmes among the Deuxiéme Cuvées.
Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix .. 1eres Cuvées!
Even the top part of the 1er cru Les Haut Doix was classified as 1eres Cuvées in 1861. This vineyard is somewhat overlooked these days, and rarely mentioned as one of the top 1er crus in Chambolle – actually at rarely mentioned at all.
Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras – three level classification
Moving north of the village we find Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras – today a vineyard with both village and 1er cru status.
In the 1861 classification Les Cras was classified in three levels .. 1eres Cuvées (pink), 2mes Cuvées (yellow), 3mes Cuvées (green). Without going into details the 1eres Cuvées part seem to be more or less identical to the current 1er cru part, while the 2mes and 3mes Cuvées sections are similar to the current village part of Les Cras.
So this is a quite stable picture … but in my view the best part of Les Cras is quite far from being a top end 1er cru .. so perhaps the 1eres Cuvées rating was a bit over the top.
Chambolle Musigny Les Fuées – 1eres Cuvées
Les Fuées is one of my favorite 1er crus of Chambolle-Musigny … aside from the gorgeous Les Amoureuses.
In the 1861 classification Les Fuees is mainly classified as 1eres Cuvées, but a small part in the top is classified as 2mes Cuvées … just as the part Les Cras located just above Les Fuees.
While I enjoy Les Fuees tremendously … especially coming from Mugnier it’s not a top end 1er cru in my view … although adorable and delightful in the best possible way.
Chambolle-Musigny Derriere La Grange – The unknown 1er cru
One of the most surprising elements of the classification is however the vineyards located below Le Fuees and Bonnes Mares – see map below.
The vineyard Derriere La Grange is relatively unknown to me, but was classified as 1eres Cuvées in 1861. The vineyard is located above Les Gruenchers and just below Les Fuees, a part of the vineyard has previously been a owned by Domaine Louis Remy. But now the most prominent producer is Amiot-Servelle. Domaine Confuron-Cotétidot seem to have taken over the last part of the vineyard from Domaine Remy in 2008/09.
I have never tasted Derriere La Grange … but will try find a bottle asap.
Chambolle-Musigny Les Lavrottes – forgotten 1er cru
Just north of Derriere La Grange we find another vineyard classified as 1eres Cuvées in 1861. This vineyard is perhaps even more unknown than Derriere La Grange … I have never tasted or even seen a wine from this vineyard.
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