The most iconic white wine from Burgundy is the Montrachet from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.
The combination of the most prestigious estate and the finest white wine terroir in the world is a quite unique combination. DRC only produced red wine until they acquired the first plot on Montrachet in 1963.
Lets take a closer look at the terroir behind Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet.
The DRC plots on Montrachet
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti now owns three plots on Montachet – in total 0.6759 ha – all located in the Chassagne section of Montrachet … i.e. Le Montrachet – see map below.
The first plot 0.3419 ha was acquired in 1963 (31 on the map) the second 0.167 ha in 1965 (129 on the map) and the last 0.167 ha (130 on the map) in 1980 – see map below.
The average age of the vines is around 60 years and the annual production is in the range 2400 – 4000 bottles.
The history of the DRC plots on Montrachet
The history of the Chassagne section of Montrachet is not that well documented, but I will nevertheless try to uncover the history of the DRC plots.
The nothern plot cadastre no 31
The northern plot located just on the border to Puligny-Montrachet and south of the Bouchard plot on Montrachet. This plot was acquired from Comte de Moucheron in 1963.
The plots is 8 ouvrees equivalent to 0.3419 ha, and is planted east/west from top to bottom of the Montrachet vineyard.
Comte de Moucheron is not mentioned by Rodier3 as one of the owners in 1920, but as with other holdings of the Comte de Moucheron the plot could well be mentioned as owned by the Serre family from Meursault – owners of Chateau de Meursault.
The wife of Comte de Moucheron – Marcelle Boussenot du Clos (1876 – 1953) originated from the Serre family, and both Rodier and Danguy and Aubertin mention Mme. Serre as owner on the Chassagne section of Montrachet.
Marcelle Boussenot was the cousin of Marguerite Serre-Renoult7 – who was married to baron Henri de Montbrun. Marguerite Serre (1848 – 1928) left the Chateau and the vineyard holdings to her cousin as she didn’t have any direct heirs. Marguerite Serre was the daughter of Pierre-Charles Serre6. This explains why the plot was registered under the name Mme Serre by Rodier in 1920.
So the plot is most likely heritage from the Serre family, and they seem to have owned this plot at least since 1892 where Danguy & Aubertin completed their book.
Anyhow Marcelle Boussenot du Clos left Chateau de Meursault and presumably the vineyard holdings to the oldest son, Étienne de Moucheron (1903 – 1975) – when she died in 19536. It appears that he was the one who sold the plot to Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in 1963. He also sold Chateau de Meursault in 1973 ending the Serre family ownership of that estate.
Old vintages of Comte de Moucheron Montrachet can still be found on the market … and these must come from the plot 31 located in the middle of Montrachet.
The “Roizot” plot – cadastre no 129
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti acquired this plot from M. Roizot in 1965. The plot is 4 ouvrees equivalent to 0.1670 ha, and is planted south/north, and located just below the plot of Baron Thenards plot and just north of the plot of Domaine Lafon.
The plot shares history with the Lafon plot located just south of the DRC plots 129 and 130, as M. Roizot acquired the plot from Charles Drapier in 1918.
Charles Drapier was a grower and negociant in Puligny, who owned around one hectare of the Montrachet vineyard4. According to Clive Coates4, the Drapier plot was sold on auction, and was split between three interested buyers, Lafon got the southern part, Auguste Fleurot the northern part, and a third buyer, Leon Roizot, who apparently arrived late in the auction got the middle part.
Lafon has kept his part, while the Roizot plot now is owned by DRC, and the Fleurot plot has been divided into five plots where Fleurot have sold of four plots – this section is now owned by Domaine Leflaive, Fontaine-Gagnard, Blain-Gagnard, Rene Fleurot and Domaine d’Eugenie5.
The plot 129 was however only half the original Roizot plot, so Roizot must have sold of half his plot between 1918 and 1980 where DRC acquired the other half of the Roizot plot .. cadastre no 130 – see below.
To complete the historic view Danguy & Aubertin2 1892 mention Drapier as a owner on both the Chassagne and the Puligny side of Montrachet, so the plot history is covered at least back to 1892. Lavalle1 is not very specific about the ownership of the Chassagne side of Montrachet in his 1855 book, so no info from this source on the ownership prior to Drapier.