Echezeaux – Grand cru standard?

Echézeaux is one of the largest grands crus of the whole Côte d’Or. It’s divided into a number of plots or climats the vineyard, located around the smaller Grands-Echézeaux.

I have tasted some very good bottles of Echezeaux, but also some very poor bottles where only the label was an indication of its grand cru status. Why this variation .. and what is a good Echezeaux?

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Echezeaux one vineyard – 11 plots or climates

There are 11 different climates or plots on Echezeaux, some are more know than others. The Echezeaux is around 37 ha in total, but this has not always been the case. Echezeaux was expanded in 1937 from 3,5 ha. to its present size.

There was a lot of discussions about the quality of the new parts of Echezeaux, and in generel one can say that the “new Echezeaux” is one of the lesser grand crus, mainly due to the fact of the inclusion of a lot of plots and growers, with sub grand cru standards.

Naturally within such a large vineyard the terroir varies considerably, thus the plot of origin may have considerable influence on the style and quality of the wine.

Sadly the information about climate/plot does not always appear on the label, and many wines are in fact a blend from several plots. Some producers do state the location of their vines, and it’s worth noting the plot of the Echezeaux vineyard of best reputation/quality/producers.

It’s therefore quite difficult to get a holistic overview on the qualities of the Echezeaux vineyard, as the information about the production on different plots is very scattered and limited. This calls for some research – so here is my story about Echezeaux.

The terroir Echezeaux

In general the plots lower down the slope (near the road) have more clay and yield, and this normally gives richer wines. The plots higher up the hillside have more sandy soils, and this normally will yield more elegant wines.

The difference in quality is maybe not as big as in Clos de Vougeot, where the vines run all the way down to the road, but there is certainly a climat-effect, and some parts of Echezeaux are considered to be better than others.


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There are as mentioned 11 different climates or plots on Echezeaux, some more known than others.

The plots are:

  • En Orveaux (in part) : 5.04 ha, north and coldest given its exposure. It extends the valley of Orveau.
  • Les Champs-Traversins : 3.58 ha, on the side of the hillside, the soil is quite shallow. It is also called “Little Citeaux.”
  • Les Poulaillères : 5.21 ha in the heart of the vineyard, the Domaine de la Romanée Conti owns almost all.
  • Les Rouges du Bas : 3.99 ha, on the slope, the highest point of Echézeaux is on this lieu dit.
  • Echézeaux du dessus : 3.55 ha, the heart of Echezeaux. This is the original part of the vineyard, before it was expanded. It has a more deep and chalky soil.
  • Les Beaux Monts bas : 1.25 ha ; neighboring “Les Rouges du Bas” only a small portion is classified Grand Cru.
  • Les Loächausses : 2.48 ha, before a monopole owned by Domaine Gros frères et Sœur.
  • Les Treux : 4.89 ha, adjacent to the “Grands Echezeaux”
  • Les Quartiers de Nuit (in part) : 1.12 ha , at the extreme eastern side, bordered by the Clos Vougeot. The other part of this vineyard is village level.
  • Les Cruots or Vignes Blanches : 3.28 ha, a plot known as the south, it adjoins the “Suchots.”
  • Le Clos Saint Denis, 1.80 ha. just as “The Cruots” or “Vignes Blanches”, it marks the southern limit along the “Suchots”

For a full dscription of the soil check Allen Meadows book “The Pearl of the Cote”.

The producers on the different plots

The plots and the climate is only a part of the story, to complete the picture one have to fit in the producers on the map. This is not an easy task, as most producers don’t reveal these details. There are around 80 producers of Echezeaux – some of these are still missing on my mapping of Echezeaux.

The trend is however that the best producers is giving more and more information about vineyards and vinification, thus making it possible to map some of these on Echezeaux.

The list below need an update … and I’m currently working on separate articles about the 11 climates, to get more solid information about the ownership on Echezeaux. Please contact me if you find errors in the lists below – thanks.

En Orveaux

  • D’Eugenie
  • Bouchard Père & Fils
  • Domaine Dominique Mugneret
  • Château D. de Beaufort (bottled by J. Coudray-Bizot)
  • Rene Engel (now D’Eugenie)
  • Jacques Cacheaux (mix)
  • Chalopin-Parizot
  • Christian Clerget
  • Joseph Drouhin
  • Faiveley
  • Jean-Pierre & Michel Guyon
  • Dominique Laurent

Les Champs-Traversins

  • Comte du Liger-Belair (mix)
  • Domaine Jacques Prieur
  • Domaine AF Gros
  • Domaine Lamarche (mix)
  • Domaine Dujac
  • Jacques Cacheaux (mix)
  • Louis Jadot (mix)

Les Poulaillères

  • Domaine de la Romanée Conti (mix 90%)
  • Frédéric Magnien (mix)
  • Jean-Marc Millot (mix)
  • Jacques Cacheaux (mix)
  • Capitain-Gagnerot

Les Rouges du Bas

  • Domaine Meo-Camuzet
  • Mongeard Mugneret VV (mix)
  • Louis Jadot (mix)
  • Mugneret-Gibourg (mix)

Echézeaux du dessus

  • Jayer-Gilles
  • Cecile Tremblay
  • Jean-Marc Millot (mix)
  • Mongeard Mugneret (mix)
  • Alex Gambal

Les Beaux Monts bas

Les Loächausses

  • Domaine Gros frères et Sœur
  • Anne Gros

Les Treux

  • Georges Jayer (mix)
  • Lucien Jayer
  • Emmanuel Rouget (mix)
  • Frédéric Magnien (mix)
  • Mongeard Mugneret VV (mix)
  • Mongeard Mugneret (mix)
  • Regis Forey (mix)
  • Jean Tardy

Les Quartiers de Nuit

  • Gerard Mugneret
  • Mugneret-Gibourg (mix)

Les Cruots or Vignes Blanches

  • Henry Jayer
  • Georges Jayer (mix)
  • Comte du Liger-Belair (mix)
  • Emmanuel Rouget (mix)
  • Domaine Jean Grivot
  • Domaine Lamarche (mix)
  • Jacques Cacheaux (mix)
  • Georges Noellat

Le Clos Saint Denis

  • Domaine de la Romanée Conti (mix 10%)
  • Domaine Lamarche
  • Jean-Marc Millot
  • Regis Forey (mix)

What is important – producer or plot

As allways in Burgundy, the answer is both. A bad producer can make a mess out of the best vineyards (just have to think about Camus in Gevrey), but a great producer can’t take an average vineyard to a extraordinary standard.

If we take the Echezeaux vineyard, it seems that the plots placed abowe Grands Echezeaux and towards Vosne Romanee yields the highest quality. Les Poulaillères, Les Cruots or Vignes Blanches could very well be the premier spots, followed by Les Champs-Traversins, Echézeaux du dessus. Even Les Treux, Les Loächausses, Le Clos Saint Denis seem to yield high quality. It seems the lesser plots are Les Quartiers de Nuit, Les Rouges du Bas, Les Beaux Monts bas and even En Orveaux.

Conclusion – Echezeaux from good to outstanding

The Echezeaux vineyard can in my view not merrit an extraordinary wine, it does not have the complexity and the finesse of the big grand crus like La Romanee, Romanee Conti, Richebourg and Romanee Saint-Vivant.

The best Echezeauxs I have tasted were made by the producers Liger-Belair and Henri Jayer and both are at least partly from the plot “Les Cruots or Vignes Blanches”. The Domaine de la Romanee Conti Echezeaux made mainly from “Les Poulaillères” is also very fine, but lacks the complexity and intensity of the first two mentioned. D’Eugenie, Dujac, Grivot, Meo-Camuzet, Jayer-Gilles and Emmanuel Rouget also make some fine efforts, but they are not quite in the same leauge.

For me a good Echezeaux should at least have some mineral balance from a lighter soil, otherwise it’s just a big Suchots without freshness and complexity.

Article in progress

With 80 producers there a still missing a lot of information – this will be added as soon as possible. Please write a comment if you have some af the missing pieces of Echezeaux.

Tasting Notes for this Vineyard

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