DOMAINE MEO CAMUZET

DOMAINE MEO CAMUZET

VOSNE-ROMANEE
Owner:
Jean-Nicolas Méo
Manager:
Jean-Nicolas Méo
Website
At Vosne-Romanée, in the heart of the most prestigious vineyards in Burgundy, Meo Camuzet has the good fortune to work 'terroirs' which have been known throughout the world for centuries. To be worthy of them and to remain loyal to them, the estate has developed a know-how inspired by tradition: they transcend ancestral methods so as to express the quintessence of each appellation.
DOMAINE MEO CAMUZET

Domaine Méo-Camuzet was founded at the beginning of the last century when Mr Étienne Camuzet, a member of the French Parliament for the Côte d'Or from 1902 to 1932, began to select vineyards whose location and reputation were of particular interest to him. Most notably in the Clos de Vougeot (he was the last single owner of the Château before donating it to the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin), the vineyard plots he acquired are among the best locations of the appellations. His daughter, Maria Noirot, inherited his vineyards but she herself had no children so, at her death in 1959, she bequeathed the domain to Jean Méo, who was then working in the staff of Général de Gaulle. Maria Noirot et Jean Méo were distant relatives but the two families had close ties and Maria's will stated that "all should carry on", which of course has been respected. At that period, vintners under 'métayage', a sort of sharecropping agreement, were in charge of the vineyards and winemaking. Jean Méo sold his portion of wines to famous local merchants. This agreement enabled him to pursue his Parisian career while keeping an eye on his Burgundian estate.
As of 1985, the estate began selling under its own label, directly from the cellars. And after 1988, it progressively took charge of the vineyards as the contacts with the vintners expired ; currently, 15 acres are cared for directly, while 13.5 remain under contract. All the appellations of the domain are harvested and vinified by Meo Camuzet. Of course, this was no longer manageable from Paris and a "return to the land" was needed. Jean-Nicolas Méo, son of Jean Méo, then took responsibility and is now in charge of technical and administrative matters. He is helped in these tasks by Henri Jayer who advises him on winemaking and by Christian Faurois, vineyard manager. It was Henri Jayer who truly discovered the 'Cros Parantoux', a 'premier cru' which he acquired after the Second World War and completely transformed.

The objective is to make wines with structure and delicacy - with concentration as well as charm. The balance of a wine is essential: refinement and complexity are the hallmarks of great wines and represent the desired goals throughout the wine making and ageing processes. Of course, this notion cannot be separated from that of terroir. Various procedures are implemented to carry out this objective: vine-growing techniques that try to favour the natural balances, reveal the terroir and keep yields in check, careful harvesting by hand, and sorting grapes prior to a winemaking procedure characterized by minimum interference. This encourages the freshness, the expression of the fruit and the personality of each wine rather than simple extraction. Maturing in barrels is a well-planned affair with an extensive use of new barrels; the wines are bottled by gravity not using filtration.

Temperature control is the essential contribution which modern techniques have made to the work at the estate, which, apart from that, remains very traditional. The wines are bottled by gravity, which prevents them from being shaken up too much, and without filtration, which could spoil them. But for a few exceptions, the wines are not fined (e.g. clarified) with egg whites, as they don't need this to stabilise them. By doing so, they do not suffer any trauma that could alter their true nature. This is the general principle that always prevails at the estate: respect the fruit, treat the wine for what it is - a living substance that deserves respect.