Vosne Romanee Malconsorts is the fast rising star of the 1er crus in the appellation. The fame and fortune of this vineyard is closely related to Domaine Cathiard’s magnificent Malconsorts, and the arrival of two new top producers in 2005 – Domaine Dujac and Domaine Montille.
The largest owner of Malconsorts is however less hyped than the producers mentioned above – but is nevertheless producing a delightful Aux Malconsort s- with a long and quite exciting history.
So let’s go to the Domaine du Clos Frantin section of Malconsorts.
The Domaine du Clos Frantin plot on Malconsort
Domaine du Clos Frantin is the largest owner of Malconsorts, with a 1,7766 ha plot located in the middle of the vineyard – see map below.
- Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot) – 1.7766 ha
- Domaine Montille – 1.3700 ha
- Domaine Dujac – 1.3313 ha
- Domaine Sylvain Cathiard – 0.7435 ha
- Domaine Lamarche – 0.4999 ha
- Domaine Hudelot Noellat – 0.1370 ha
The map shows the current ownership of Malconsorts – with the Dujac plot on Les Gaudichots indicated with a white line around the plot – it’s in direct connection with the Dujac holdings in Malconsorts.
The owner of Domaine du Clos Frantin is Maison Albert Bichot, but the top end domaine wines from Cote de Nuits are vinified and sold under the Domaine du Clos Frantin brand. The vinification is done by the talented Cyrille Jacquelin in Nuits-Saint Georges, at the Lupé Cholet facility.
Maison Albert Bichot has owned the plot of Aux Malconsorts since 1964, when they acquired the Grivelet estate including vineyards and the Clos Frantin chai and mansion in Vosne-Romanee.
Ownership history of the Frantin plot on Malconsorts
The previous owner of the Bichot holdings in Malconsorts is Grivelet a Chambolle based producer with a rather colorful reputation.
In 1920 Rodier3 mentions Grivelet-Modot as an owner of Malconsorts, and during the next decades there are further documentations of the Grivelet ownership.
The Grivelet family were originally barrel makers, and the son Fernand Alfred Grivelet (1885 – 1958) was running a domaine in Chambolle-Musigny. Grivelet was married to Marie Camille Francoise Pauline Modot, and they had a son Bernard Grivelet in 1913.
Grivelet was one of the more controversial producers in Burgundy, and the history of the estate is quite unclear. The domaine was located in Chambolle-Musigny in the building currently occupied by Hotel Ziltner.
After some turbulent years and the death of Fernand Alfred Grivelet, the domaine was sold off to Maison Albert Bichot.
The deal included the vineyards and the estate buildings at 14 Rue de la Goillotte in Vosne Romanee. Bichot has kept most of the vineyards, but the estate buildings and the vineyard next to the estate was sold to Domaine d’Eugenie in 2006.
It is a bit unclear how and when Grivelet acquired the Frantin estate … but it’s most likely that Grivelet bought the estate with vineyards from the Chanut family around 1905 – 1909. See paragraph below marked blue
The Chanut ownership of the Frantin estate
The Chanut family was one of the largest vineyard owners in Vosne-Romanee from 1860 to 1910 and they were at that time very prominent in the village owning two of the major mansions.
In 1863 Philibert Eugene Chanut bought Maison Frantin – 14 Rue de la Goillotte in Vosne Romanee – from the widow of Jean-Edme Frantin. The price of the Frantin estate was 40.000 F, and included the estate buildings, the garden and a vineyard south of the estate with an area of 47,2 ares7 – most likely the Clos Frantin vineyard – recently renamed to Clos d’Eugenie.
The Frantin estate is the neighbour of La Goillotte – the old main building of the Chanut estate and the vineyard today known as Le Clos Goillotte. The drawing below from Danguy & Aubertin show La Goilotte with a park in front of the estate.
La Goillotte is now owned by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti including the garden. The former park is now owned by Henri Roch who is making a delightful village Vosne from the land that was used as a park by the Chanut estate – see drawing above.
In 1885 Philibert Eugene Chanut passed away, and the estate was split between the two heirs over the next years. The Maison Frantin at 14 rue Goillotte was still a part of the Chanut estate when Philibert Chanut died3.
After the death of Philibert Eugene Chanut the Frantin estate was passed on to Jules Edouard Chanut – it’s however unclear when Frantin was sold, but it’s likely it happened between 1905 – 1909 where Jules Edouard Chanut sold off all his properties.
So the Malconsorts plot of Domaine du Clos Frantin most likely originates from the Chanut estate and was acquired by Grivelet around 1905. This seems to be a repeat of paragraph
The early history of the Domaine du Clos Frantin plot
I have no information about when and from whom Chanut acquired the large plot of Vosne-Romanee Aux Malconsorts.
In 1855 Lavalle 1 mentioned the following owners on Malconsorts: Lenoir, Marey and Moisenet-Meulien.
I have not been able to establish a connection between these owners and Chanut, but the Chanut holdings in Malconsorts are most likely either from Lenoir or Moisenet-Meulien as the Marey family – later Liger-Belair owned the northern part of Aux Malconsorts.
Domaine du Clos Frantin Aux Malconsorts – the wine
Domaine du Clos Frantin has really increased quality over the last decade, and the wines are now very fine.
The Malconsorts is somehow the signature wine of the estate, as the production volume is very large given the 1.77 ha holdings in his fine vineyard.
In my view the Malconsorts of Domaine du Clos Frantin is clearly among the better wines from the climat … but can’t quite match the top wines from Montille and especially Cathiard.
It a delightful Malconsorts in it’s own right with a lovely expression of terroir, lovely pure fruit, fine transparency and last but not least it offers a lovely drinkability. Stylewise its not as floral and spicy as the wines produced in the northern part and its perhaps more on the earthy and weighty side in the display of terroir.
It’s furthermore possible to find this wine in the trade and at a quite reasonable price compared to the top cuvees from Malconsorts. So this is the real deal … Aux Malconsorts … highly recommended and more importantly enjoyable.
Please note .. the wines from Domaine du Clos Frantin do need some time to unfold after bottling .. otherwise the integration of the oak can be an issue … so give them time – they certainly deserve the wait.
References & Sources:
- Jules Lavalle, Histoire et Statistique de la Vignes et Des Grands Vins de la Côte d’Or (1855)
- M.R. Danguy et M. Ch. Aubertin, Les Grands Vins de Bourgogne (1892)
- Camille Rodier, Le Vin de Bourgogne (1920)
- Gert Crum, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (2012)
- Allen D. Meadows, The Pearl of the Côte (2010)
- Association de l’Abbeye de Saint-Vivant, Saint-Vivant de Vergy (2010)
- Liquidation de la communauté M&Mme Chanut et de la succession du Dr Eugène Chanut du 8 mai 1889
- Grivelet Family Tree – Geneanet
Special thanks to Ian Westcott for the editorial help on this article.
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