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Meursault Premier Cru

Meursault Premier Cru wines are those produced under the strictest conditions of the Meursault appellation, from grapes grown within officially classified premier cru vineyards. These wines are permitted to use the words premier cru on their labels and to append their official climat name to that of the commune in the appellation title.

Meursault itself is a large village in the Côte de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy whose premier cru wines are held in very high regard in the wine world. In fact, it is the reliably high quality of Meursault's Premier Cru wines that is largely responsible for the commune's good reputation.

The most famous of Meursault's Premier Cru vineyards are at the southern end of the commune: the Charmes, Perrières and Genevrières sites. These are located on limestone slopes facing between south and south-east, thus capitalising on the ripening potential of the morning and early afternoon sunshine during the growing season. They are contiguous with the equally well-regarded premier cru vineyards of Meursault's southern neighbour Puligny-Montrachet. The three Meursault sites produce the commune's finest wines, which are renowned for being among the richer, more full-bodied Burgundy whites. Meursault tasting notes commonly cite hints of butter, almonds and grilled hazelnuts alongside the finer citrus fruit and mineral elements. Some of the complexity and ageing potential of these wines is due to the fact that a lot of Meursault whites are matured in oak barrels for slightly longer than those from other communes.

Meursault Premier Cru wines are almost entirely whites made from Chardonnay grapes. Pinot Noir-based red wines make up less than 5% of the output. In fact, reds from premier cru vineyards at the northern end of the commune are actually produced under the appellation of Meursault's northern neighbour, Volnay. These vineyards all fall under the Volnay Santenots title for their red wines but the Meursault Santenots Blancs, Santenots du Milieu and Les Plures titles for their whites.

Located on the slopes of the Côte d'Or escarpment, Meursault's vineyards are blessed with classic Burgundy terroir. Limestone sub-strata, poor topsoils and a high proportion of stones make for excellent vine-growing country. The village occupies a site at the entrance to the Saint-Romain valley, a hiatus in the Côte d'Or escarpment, which leads to a variety of orientations in the local hillsides, from due south through due east. This variation is just one contributing factor in the variation of styles in Meursault wines.

In addition to its official premiers crus, the commune has a number of well-respected lieu-dit vineyards, which do not have the premier cru title but are known as a source of high-quality grapes. Promotion to premier cru status is by no means impossible for these sites, and classification reviews are becoming more frequent. The last review of Meursault's vineyards was in late 2001. The 19 premiers crus of Meursault are:

- Blagny
- Charmes
- Clos des Perrières
- Genevrières
- La Jeunellotte
- La Pièce sous le Bois
- Le Porusot
- Les Bouchères
- Les Caillerets
- Les Cras
- Les Gouttes d'Or
- Les Plures
- Les Ravelles
- Les Santenots Blancs
- Les Santenots du Milieu
- Perrières
- Porusot
- Sous Blagny
- Sous le Dos d'Ane

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