Delicate and Elegant Chambolle-Musigny With a Long Life Ahead

Today’s Story: Domaine Cecile Tremblay

Domaine Cecile Tremblay has a very interesting history, partly because she did not start making wines until 2003 though her family owned vineyards for several generations. Cecile is the great-granddaughter of Edouard Jayer, uncle of the famed Henri Jayer (go Google some of his wines, and perhaps sell your car to buy a bottle). Cecile’s family inherited vineyards from Edouard, though the two generations before her leased out the land to other producers and did not make their own wine. In 2003, however, with the expiration of a lease on three hectares of vines Cecile started making wine under her own label with a plan for further growth. For instance, the Domaine owns roughly 10 hectares of vineyard land and while more of this becomes free from leasing agreements in 2021, Cecile rented or purchased land along the way in communes such as Gevrey-Chambertin.

When Cecile took over her family’s land for her own use, the vineyards were in no standing to produce high quality wines. The producers leasing the land, for instance, used too much fertilizer for Cecile’s taste and utilized herbicides instead of ploughing. Throughout her time thus far as a winemaker, Cecile transitioned to organic farming and many of her practices include biodynamic farming measures as well. During maintenance of her vineyards, Cecile ploughs the soil mechanically and with horses while using copper sulfate to prevent mildew and other fungi.

Similar to her views on caring for her vines, Cecile is very traditional in her winemaking process. She presses her grapes with an old-fashioned vertical press and her wines see only a moderate amount of new wood during fermentation and aging. All of this effort culminates into wines that are refined and elegant, though built for the long haul.

I previously reviewed the 2011 Chambolle-Musigny Les Cabottes and 2011 Vosne-Romanée, so feel free to revisit those tasting notes if you want a more side-by-side picture.

Today’s Wine: 2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Feusselottes

100% Pinot Noir; 13% ABV

The 2011 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Feusselottes is translucent pale ruby in color with garnet hues. I didn’t decant this, but the wine took a full 1-2 hours to really open up. The very delicate and feminine nose showcases aromas of black raspberry, strawberry, cherry, a hint of plum, red and purple florals, leather, delicate grilled herbs, and gravel. Meanwhile on the palate I get notes of cranberry, cherry, black raspberry, boysenberry, violets, sweet tobacco, savory green herbs, and rocky mineral. This is light- to medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, refined medium tannins, and a long finish. Similar to Tremblay’s other 2011s, I do not get the green notes prevalent for the vintage. This is a beautifully elegant wine and it has a long life ahead of it.

Price: $480 (I paid $160). The price of these wines has really skyrocketed over the past several years, and unfortunately these are at a price-point where it is difficult to discuss value. While these are phenomenal, there are better values out there. I’m nonetheless glad to have snagged a good deal of her wines from $90 to $160 depending on bottling.

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