One of the best wines from the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation is in my view the Clos de Corvées from Domaine Prieuré Roch – a special cuvee made from a monopole within the Aux Corvées vineyard.
It’s in many ways a quite unusual wine … conceptualized by a remarkable man – Henri-Frédéric Roch, the owner of Domaine Prieure Roch and co-owner of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.
So lets go to Premeaux to take a closer look at this special vineyard.
Premeaux the southern end of Nuits-Saint-Georges – the appellation of monopoles
The official appellation of Clos des Corvées is Nuits-Saint-Georges, but in my old book the vineyard belongs to the Premeaux appellation – the southern end of the current Nuits-Saint-Georges area.
I underline this as I think there is quite a difference between the wines from Premeaux and the wines in the central part of Nuits-Saint-Georges just north of Premeaux. I really like the wines from the Premeaux appellation, as I find the wines produced north of Premeaux somewhat rustic and in many cases lacking a bit of refinement … quite in contrast to the campaign to promote Les Saint Georges to grand cru.
Anyhow I really find Premeaux interesting and the structure of the vineyards is somewhat special, as is the history of the vineyards. Firstly Premeaux is an appellation with many monopoles, and two of these are located within the same old “vineyard” – Aux Corvées – in the northern end of Premeaux. The two monopoles within Aux Corvées are Clos St. Marc and Clos des Corvées. Secondly some of these monopoles have for many years been under management of the large houses in Beaune .. this also apply for Clos des Corvées – that was under Jadot management for quite some years.
Clos des Corvées – a clos and monopole within a vineyard
Domaine Prieure Roch is the current owner of Clos des Corvées – a 5.2110 ha Clos located just south of Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Clos des Forêts, and just north of Clos des Corvées Pagets and Clos St. Marc – see map below.
Clos des Corvées is a part of the area called Aux Corvées – more about Aux Corvées below. The three parts of the original Aux Corvées on the map are Clos St. Marc (3), Clos des Corvées Pagets (2) and last but not least Clos des Corvées (1).
Aux Corvées – two monopoles and a vineyard
As mentioned Premeaux is an appellation with many monopoles, and two of these are actually located within the area that used to be called Aux Corvées in the northern end of Premeaux. The two monopoles within Aux Corvées are Clos St. Marc and Clos des Corvées.
The cadastre from 1827 show that the vineyards today known as Clos St. Marc, Clos des Corvées Pagets and Clos des Corvées were considered as one vineyard – Aux Corvées – when the cadastre maps were drawn up – see map below.
Moving on to the 1861 classification2 this is repeated, as these were terroirs apparently considered as one in the classifcation – in total 7.83 ha – see photo below.
There was no mention of Clos des Corvées, Clos des Corvées Pagets and Clos St. Marc in the 1861 classification, but Lavalle mention all three parts of Aux Corvées separately in his book from 1855.
Interestingly Lavalle (1855)1 mentions Clos St. Marc as being 3 ha. and this is repeated by Rodier4 in 1920. This would then mean that Clos des Corvées and/or Clos des Corvées Pagets were smaller, as the total area of Aux Corvees was mentioned as 7.8340 ha by both Lavalle1 and Rodier4.
So there are some inconsistencies in both Lavalle and Rodier – the total area of Aux Corvées is approximately correct, as the current area of the three vineyards is 7.6736 ha according to the cadastre maps.
Today Clos des Corvées Pagets is 1.5613 ha split between 5 cadastre plots, Clos des Corvées is 5.2110 ha all in one cadastre plot (no 41). Both these vineyards are registered as Aux Corvées in the cadastre – while Clos St. Marc 0.9013 ha is registered as Clos St. Marc and no longer associated with the Aux Corvées name in the cadastre at least.
In reality it seems like the current size and borders of the three vineyards were decided after Rodier4 wrote his book in 1920 – and this most likely happened when the classification of Premeaux-Prissey was finalized in 1936.
Ownership history of Clos des Corvées
Domaine Prieure Roch acquired Clos des Corvées in 1995 from General Denis Gouachon. The ownership history is however somewhat unclear – but on the Domaine Prieure Roch website the Geisweiler family is mentioned as one of the previous owners, and the ones that assembled most of Clos des Corvées under one ownership.
Going back to the old sources Rodier4 mention only two owners of Aux Corvées in 1920 – Brünninghaus (negociant in Nuits-Saint-Georges) and Rossigneux.
So no Geisweiler is mentioned as owner in 1920 – but investigating this further it becomes clear that Rossigneux is closely related to Geisweiler, and when Pauline Geisweiler passed away in 1909 Rossigneux was mentioned as one of the beneficiaries5
Furthermore Albert Rossigneux seem to have been the manager and owner of Geisweiler et fils in 1922 6 – so most likely Rossigneux was the owner of Clos des Corvées in 1920 when Rodier wrote his book.
More evidence is the photo below that includes some of the important people in Nuits-Saint-Georges – see decription here.
The photo include both Mr. Geisweiler and Charles Rossigneux who is mentioned as the son in law of Geisweiler. So it is pretty obvious that the Geisweiler ownership must have been transfered to Rossigneux as this was the continuing name.
Digging a bit deeper in the Geisweiler family history7 – Pierre Adolphe Geisweiler (1807 – 1879) was married to Pauline Bouchard (daughter of Joseph Theodore Bouchard – founder of Bouchard Ainé et Fils). They had three children, two daughters, Marie Geisweiler (1836 – 1910), Cécile Marguerite Pauline Geisweiler (1837 – 1909) and a son Francois Geisweiler (1837 – 1867).
Pauline was married to a Durantieré while Marie Geisweiler was married to Charles Rossigneux (1828 – 1897) in 1858 – thus Charles Rossigneux was the son in law of Pierre Adolphe Geisweiler. They had two children Albert Rossigneux (1859 – 1938) and Lucie Amélie Rossigneux (1861 – 1928). Albert seem to have continued the Geisweiler negociant business at least until the early 1920s … but it’s uncertain when Clos des Corvées was sold – and if it was directly to General Denis Gouachon. I have seen records of a 1945 Clos de Corvées from Gouachon, so most likely he acquired the estate between 1920 and 1945.
Moving back to Danguy & Aubertin3 we have a quite large number of owners of Aux Corvées:
- Les Héritiers Galland
- L’Hospice de Nuits
- Charles Vienot
- Arséne Perrier
From those we can identify Rossigneux and Durantiere as the two sides of the Geisweiler family – thus confirming the ownership of at least part of the vineyard in 1892.
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