One of the most famous 1er crus in Burgundy is Gevrey-Chambertin Le Clos Saint-Jacques. This fine reputation is primarily build by Domaine Armand Rousseau, who makes a magnificent wine from this vineyard.
There are however also other fine wines from this terroir – so lets explore the history and ownership a bit further.
The early history of Gevrey-Chambertin Le Clos Saint-Jacques
The first maps of Clos Saint-Jacques I have found are the cadastre maps from 1828, where Saint-Jacques is a much smaller vineyard than the current vineyard known as Clos Saint-Jacques.
The map below show the Saint-Jacques vineyard in 1828 covering only the top part of the current vineyard.
The bottom part of the current vineyard was according to the cadastre maps (see map below) also a vineyard but the single plot (no 99) was not named as part of a vineyard.
The Saint-Jacques was however soon expanded and already in 1855 the vineyard had reached the almost current size. According to Lavalle the area was 6.52 ha in 1855 – almost comparable to the current 6.70 ha.
Ownership history of Le Clos Saint-Jacques
The ownership of Clos Saint-Jacques is however not fully documented by the usual three sources as the informations below shows.
In 1855 Lavalle1 listed the following owners on Saint-Jacques et Clos Saint-Jacques: Duret, Marion, Mme Veuve Surget. It’s interesting to note that the vineyard is called Saint-Jacques et Clos Saint-Jacques – perhaps an indication that the bottom part of the vineyard was called Clos Saint-Jacques and the top part Saint-Jacques – as mentioned on the cadastre maps from 1828.
In 1892 Danguy & Aubertin2 mentioned the following owners on Saint-Jacques et Clos Saint-Jacques: Corbabon, Guichard-Potheret et fils, Mme Serre, de Morot de Gresigny. The name remains the same Saint-Jacques et Clos Saint-Jacques.
Finally in 1920 Rodier3 mentioned the following owners on Saint Jacques: Guichard-Pothered, Felix Laroze, Magnien-Flenrot, Philippon fils, Mme Serre. My copy of Rodier’s book is however quite poor, but it looks like Rodier mentioned the area of Saint-Jacques as 2 ha and 60 ares – thus indicating that he was only mentioning the owners on a part of the vineyard.
Looking at the maps and the vineyards mentioned by Lavalle1 and Danguy & Aubertin2 it seems Rodier3 forgot to include the area of the bottom part of the vineyard – presumably called Clos Saint-Jacques by Lavalle and Danguy & Aubertin. It’s impossible to know if this error also apply to his ownership listing.
Turning to other more current sources Clive Coates4 mentioned the owner as Comte de Moucheron – who presumably was the only owner until 1954. There is however no apparent link to the owners mentioned by the previous sources.
Jasper Morris6 is however providing this link, as he mention that Comte de Moucheron did in fact not own the vineyard himself, it was the property of the Serre family. Comte Robert de Moucheron (1867 – 1943) was married to Marcelle Boussenot du Clos (1876 – 1953) who came from the Serre family of Meursault – owner of Chateau de Meursault. According to Jasper Morris she inherited a part of the vineyard in 1939 and they completed the monopole ownership i 1949. But she and the husband supposedly managed the vineyard on behalf of the Serre family before she inherited the vineyard.
Interestingly Jasper Morris6 mention a 1909 Clos Saint-Jacques monopole in his book (p. 73) – thus indicating that the bottom part of the vineyard only had one owner in 1909. This could mean that the Serre family owned Clos Saint-Jacques in 1909 and expanded the ownership in the upper part of the vineyard over the next decades.
The Comte passed away in 19438 and his wife in 1953 9 – and the vineyard Clos Saint-Jacques was sold off in 1954.
The vineyard was acquired by four domaines: Armand Rousseau (2.21 ha), Fourrier (0.89 ha), Esmonin (1.6 ha) and Clair-Dau (2 ha)4 + 6.
The current ownership of Le Clos Saint-Jacques
The ownership has remained fairly constant over the years, but in 1985 the Clair-Dau estate was split in two and so was the the plot on Clos Saint-Jacques. One part of the Clair-Dau holdings went to Louis Jadot and the other part became a part of Domaine Bruno Clair.
This leaves us with the following owners on Le Clos Saint-Jacques4 + 6:
- Armand Rousseau – 2.21 ha
- Sylvie Esmonin – 1.60 ha
- Louis Jadot – 1.00 ha
- Bruno Clair – 1.00 ha
- Fourrier – 0.89 ha
The map below show the current ownership on Clos Saint-Jacques. All the owners have plots going all the way from top to the bottom of the vineyard – with the Rousseau plot in the southern end of the vineyard.