One of the more unknown 1er crus of Meursault is Les Bouchères and the Clos within the vineyard called Clos des Bouchéres.
But since 2011 Jean-Marc Roulot really has put this terroir on the Burgundian map – as he now makes one of the most delicate and refined Meursaults from the monopole Clos des Bouchères.
In the 2014 vintage Clos des Bouchères has moved up to second position in the interanal Roulot Meursault hierachy – ahead of the Meursault Charmes .. but still second to the mighty Meursault Perrieres.
So lets take a closer look at Meursault Les Bouchères and with that Clos des Bouchères.
Meursault Bouchères – a vineyard and a clos
Meursault Bouchères is located above Les Porusot, north of Les Porusot Dessus and south of Les Gouttes d’Or – see map below.
The vineyard is 4.2380 ha in total, and within this vineyard we find the monopole Clos des Bouchères, located almost in the middle of the vineyard – the Clos consist of one plot – cadastre no 13 – and the area is 1.3770 ha – see map below.
The history of Clos des Bouchères
The ownership history of Clos des Bouchères is fairly well documented and rather simple, as the changes in ownership since 1880 have been very few.
The current owners of Clos des Bouchères is a group of investors from New York led by the sommelier Robert Bohr.
The investors acquired the Domaine Rene Manuel in January 2011 for €12.3m from the previous owner Cottin Freres5 + 6. The deal included 7 ha vineyards – mainly in Meursault, and these vineyards where then leased to two vignerons – Jean-Marc Roulot and Dominique Lafon. According to Wine Spectator these leases run for 18 years6.
In this deal Jean-Marc Roulot got the Clos des Bouchères, while Dominique Lafon took over the old Roulot plot on Les Bouchères (0.14 ha) and got a plot on Les Bouchères from the Manuel estate (0.16 ha) … to even things out so to speak. The other vineyards of Domaine Manuel were also distributed between the two estates – but that’s another rather complex story.
The seller was as mentioned Cottin Freres, the owner of Laboure-Roi, who presumably took over the old Rene Manuel estate back in 1998.
The early history of Clos des Bouchères
The Manuel family owned Clos des Bouchères for more than 100 years. Going back to Rodier4 and Danguy & Aubertin3, Domaine Manuel is mentioned as an owner on Les Bouchères, and in Danguy & Aubertin3 the ownership gets a special mention on page 83 – see photo below.
This documents that Manuel owned plots on Les Bouchères and Clos des Bouchères when Danguy and Aubertin3 published the book in 1892 – the terms Grand Clos des Bouchères and La Petite Bouchères are interesting – and not used by Danguy & Aubertin otherwise.
As it’s mentioned in the photo it seems like the Manuel Estate was founded in 1877 – so most likely the vinyards were acquired between 1877 and 1892. The earlier history of Clos des Bouchères is not precisely documented – but will be explored further below – under the early history of Les Bouchères.
This does not document that Manuel had the full ownerhip of Clos des Bouchères .. but it’s likely that they did. Looking at the 1825 cadastre – see map below – there were only two plots in the area currently known as Clos des Bouchères .. so most likely Manuel acquired at least the large plot – and presumably both plots when the estate was founded in the late 1870s.
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