The Georges Roumier Bonnes Mares is perhaps the most famous and acclaimed wine from this large Grand Cru.
In a sense the Roumier is the Bonnes Mares benchmark wine – a wine that sort of defines the terroir in more than one sense, and also the variation in the expression of the terroir.
While other great wines are made on Bonnes Mares – the Roumier is certainly amongst the best in my view – a wine I have followed over more than 20 years – a wine that rarely if ever disappoints – and a wine that needs a long time to unfold it’s full potential.
Domaine Georges Roumier a bit of background
Domaine Georges Roumier is one of the top estates in Chambolle Musigny, and one of the true stars of Burgundy.
Domaine Georges Roumier was founded by Georges Roumier (1898 – 1965) in 1924 – when he married Geneviéve Quanquin (1896 – 1977) on November 14th 1924.
Georges Roumier was from Dun-les-Places in Morvan … and not from a vigneron family, but his wife was from Chambolle-Musigny, and the Quanquin family had a fine collection of vineyards in the Chambolle Musigny appellation.
Over the years the Roumier estate expanded the vineyard holdings and even so the holdings in the Bonnes Mares.
The Roumier holdings in Bonnes Mares
Bonnes Mares is sort of the “dark side” of Chambolle-Musigny, a vineyard that represents a hybrid between Chambolle and Morey – a vineyard that sometimes is somewhat overlooked when compared with the mighty Musigny.
In the Roumier case it’s however a bit different, as their Bonnes Mares is more floral and minerally expressive than many other wines made from this large Grand Cru.
Bonnes Mares is 15.05 ha – hence almost 40% larger than Musigny – and is located in both Chambolle Musigny and Morey-Saint-Denis. The main part is in Chambolle-Musigny – north of the village and Les Fuées – and only 1.52 ha is located in the Morey appellation – just south of Clos de Tart.
Domaine Georges Roumier currently have 1.89 ha of Bonnes Mares located in different sections of Bonnes Mares. Normally the Roumier holdings are quoted as 1.39 ha, but a new section has been included recently – as an investor according to Claude Kolm has acquired a 0.50 section and Chistophe Roumier now has these plots in metayage.
The map below show the current Roumier plots in Bonnes Mares – before the latest expansion.
In the northern end of Bonnes Mares we have four Roumier plots (3) – presumably originating from the Bélorgey estate, as the surrounding plots are now owned by Bruno Clair and Domaine Vougeraie (previously Maison Ponnelle) also appear to be from the historic Bélorgey estate.
Then we have some plots high and above in the center of Bonnes Mares (2) that include some plots, that presumably originated from the original Quanquin heritage. In the very southern part we have one plot (1) – possibly also from the Quanquin estate – but not sure about this.
Roumier now have the following plots in Bonnes Mares:
- AB 100, 0.2328 ha
- AB 66, 0.1070 ha
- AB 340, 0.1650 ha
- AB 367, 0.1608 ha
- AB 467, 0.1803 ha
- AB 468, 0.1803 ha
- AB 469, 0.1803 ha
- AB 470, 0.1803 ha
It is possible that a part of AB 65 (above the AB 66) also is a part of the Roumier Bonnes Mares – but hardly more than 0.01 ha, perhaps explaining the difference between the sum of the area of the plots above ( 1.3878 ha) and the official holdings from the Roumier website (1,3919).
The new Roumier plots of Bonnes Mares
On the map below I have tried to add the new plots (4) that Roumier now has in metayage from an investor, who also have vineyards in other appellations.
These new plots are according to my informations located in the southern end of Bonnes Mares above the main Vogüé section. Three plots in total 0.4983 ha according to my calculations.
- AB 89, 0.3825 ha
- AB 298, 0.0493 ha
- AB 105, 0.0665 ha
This will bring the Roumier holdings 1.8902 ha – and hopefully more lovely bottles of Bonnes Mares from Domaine Roumier even for me.
The Quenquin and Jorrot heritage
The Roumier plots in Bonnes Mares comes from different sources – some originally from the Quanquin family.
Georges Roumier was married to Geneviéve Quanquin – and the Quanquin family had some fine vineyards, that became the foundation for the Roumier estate established also in 1924.
In Rodier3 (1920) one clearly see the foundation of the Roumier estate. H. Quanquin is listed as owner on Bonnes Mares, La Combe d’Orveaux, Les Fuées, Les Cras, Derrière la Grange, Les Amoureuses and Les Barottes in 1920 – just four years before Domaine Roumier was created.
Geneviéve Quanquin was the daughter of Pierre Henri Quanquin (1861 – ?) and Marie Jeanne, Francoise Jorrot (1872 – ?) – who was the daughter of Paul Jorrot5. So it’s very likely that the Quanquin vineyard holdings at least partly came from the Jorrot family – who owned a large and prominent vineyard portfolio in Chambolle-Musigny according to Danguy & Aubertin2.
Paul Jorrot 2 had in 1892 plots in Musigny, Les Amoureuses, Bonnes Mares, Chambolles Les Charmes,Les Cras , Les Fuées, Derrière la Grange, Varoilles, Chambolle Les Barottes, Carrières, Chatelots, Combottes, Comdemènes, Chardannes, Derrière le Four, Eschezeaux, Fremières, Argillières, Fouchères and Creux Baissants. Even further holdings were registered under Joseph Jorrot (the father of Paul Jorrot),
The famous Bélorgey estate
A quite substantial part of the Roumier holdings in Bonnes Mares came from the Bélorgey estate. In 1952, Joseph Clair (of Clair Daü), Jean Ponnelle (of Pierre Ponnelle a large negociant) and Georges Roumier acquired and shared large holdings of Bonnes Mares from the Bélorgey estate. Jean-Marie Roumier was later married to Odile Ponnelle of the Ponnelle family – so the relations to the Ponnelle family was to form the future of the Roumier estate in more than one sense.
It should be noted that Edouard Bélorgey was mentioned by Danguy & Aubertin2 1892 as a owner of Bonnes Mares, and presumably a quite prominent owner with large holdings.
Red soil and white soil Bonnes Mares
The Roumier Bonnes Mares is famous for the relatively high proportion of white soil (Marnes á Ostrea Acuminata) – and Christophe Roumier has raised the awareness about the different types of soil one finds in Bonnes Mares.
Roumier vinify two different Bonnes Mares, and normally blend these before bottling. One is made from vines growing on red soil (Calcaires à Entroques) whereas the other cuvée is growing on the white soil.
I have tasted the two different cuvées from cask back in the 2004 vintage – and there is quite a substantial difference, as the white soil gives the wines a more floral and mineral expression – that sort of defines the Roumier Bonnes Mares.
The changes in soil can be seen on the map below.
It is pretty obvious that Roumier have quite a lot of white soil, as the top of AB 467, 468, 469 and 470 presumably have some white soil. The plots AB 349, 367 and 66 all seem to have white soil, whereas the AB 100 presumably also have quite some white soil at the top.
The new plots recently added presumably have quite a percentage of white soil (Marnes á Ostrea Acuminata) – as this is case with the Dujac plot just south of these plots.
Domaine Roumier, Bonnes Mares- the wine
I have as mentioned followed the Roumier Bonnes Mares over the last 20 year or even more, but despite this I have tasted only a few matured bottles of this wine.
The 1996 and even the 1998 are still not mature yet – taken from a cool cellar – so they certainly need some time to unfold full maturity. While I do enjoy just maturing Roumier wines, the treat one will get when waiting until full maturity is however otherworldly … a fully mature Roumier wine can be utterly delightful with a sensational charm and complexity – involving, full of energy and joie de vivre.
As a Bonnes Mares the Roumier has more mineral character and limestone related minerality than the ones made lower on the slope from the red soil. This enhances the red fruit, the pomegranate and blueberries often found in the limestone dominated vineyards south of the village of Chambolle Musigny – it really enhances the Chambolle character.
So in essence the Roumier Bonnes Mares is more Chambolle than many wines from Bonnes Mares …
- 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)
- Clive Coates – Inside Burgundy – Côte D’Or (1997)
- The Quanquin/Jorrot Family/tree
You need to login as a Premium subscriber to read the rest of this article. If you are not a Premium subscriber, use the subscribe function and sign-up.