Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé is one of the most prominent estates in Burgundy, and the Musigny Vieilles Vignes is one of the most legendary wines produced in the region.
While de Vogüé also is the largest owner of Bonnes Mares this wine seems strangely overlooked, although it’s in my view is one of the very best wines produced from this vineyard.
The Bonnes Mares from Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé deserves more credit and attention … so let’s take a trip to the southern end of Bonnes Mares.
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé – historic perspective
The history of de Vogüé dates back to the mid-15th century, and comprehensive holdings of both Musigny and Bonnes Mares have been built over many decades.
The history of this expansion is not very well documented, but all historic sources confirm that de Vogüe have been the dominant owner on both Bonnes Mares and Musigny for many decades.
Musigny is more extensively described in the literature, and this research indicates that there have been adjustments of the Vogüe ownerships within the last 150 years, so not a completely static picture … and the same could well apply for Bonnes Mares, but I have found no documentation of this.
So let’s take a closer look at the current holdings of Bonnes Mares.
Comte de Vogüé – Bonnes Mares
The de Vogüé holdings in Bonnes Mares are located in the southern end of the grand cry vineyard – and in the lower part of the vineyard – see map below. The white outline show the borders of Bonnes Mares while the red sections show the Vogüé ownership.
The 10 plots are assembled in one section but there is however one plot outside the main section – cadastre plot (98) located higher on the slope above the main section. The Vogüé holdings account for 20% of the Bonnes Mares appellation, and they are the largest owner of this vineyard.
It’s worth noticing that the Vogüé holdings primarily are located in the part of Bonnes Mares with “red soil” – terres rouge – soil with a quite large proportion of clay. Only a very small proportion is located in the area with terres blanches -“white – soil” that consist of white marl rich in fossilized oysters. The terres blanches soil is mainly found in the isolated plot (98) – 0.0473 ha equivalent to only 1.8% of the de Vogüé holdings in Bonnes Mares.
Comte de Vogüé – tradition
I have followed Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé for almost three decades now, and it holds a special place in my Burgundy obsession.
With it’s long history and classic label Domaine de Vogüé instils confidence, and continuity …
This is underlined by the management team – Jean-Luc Pepin, who joined the Domaine in 1988, is the estate manager and sales director. Francois Millet is oenologist and winemaker – he joined the domaine in 1986, and finally we have Eric Bourgogne who is vineyard manager and joined the domaine in 1996.
The style and vinification have remained fairly consistent over the years, although the wines today seem to be more rewarding in their youth than the wines produced 20 years back – by the same team.
Some think that Millet has changed the vinification over the last decade or so, to a slightly more accomodating style .. I’m not so sure!
I do however agree that the wines seem more approachable and enjoyable in their first decade of development, but this could well be a result of the climate changes and the increasing ripeness of the grapes.
The de Vogüé myths
I often come across people with strong views about the de Vogüé wines … often based on somewhat limited experience with the wines.
It’s often said that the wines from Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé takes many decades of cellaring to reach a mature and enjoyable stage.
My take on this is .. yes they do need time to reach full maturity .. as do most other Burgundian wines at this level. Actually my experience with Roumier Bonnes Mares and a single Musigny tells me quite the opposite .. I would in fact cellar Roumier even longer than Vogüé – and both produce some of the very best wines from the Chambolle appellation.
So my guess is that more Roumier wines are consumed too early … but strangely most seem to ignore this fact. It’s sad really .. as a fully mature wine from Roumier can be gorgeously brilliant.
I have enjoyed many Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé wines from the vintages from 1999 and onwards in their youth and within the first 15 years of their lifespan – and done so with tremendous pleasure … last example was a Bonnes Mares 2002 … youthful but truly delightful, refined and almost sexy.
The style may be regal .. but they do provide a lot of Burgundian pleasure for a wine geek like me.
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