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Vougeot

Vougeot is an appellation that immediately calls up the name of that famous vineyard, Clos De Vougeot. But this village of the Côte De Nuits has other fine vineyards. The name itself derives from that of the little river Vouge. The powerful abbey of Cîteaux established these vineyards in the 12th century and laid the foundations of their long and brilliant reputation. Their claim to fame is due at least partly to the fact that, rather unusually for the Côte De Nuits, Vougeot produces white wines (Chardonnay) as well as red (Pinot Noir).

Vougeot's vines grow at altitudes between 240 and 280 metres. Those on the upper slopes occupy shallow brown limestone soils. The soils on the lower slopes are limestones, fine-textured marls, and clays. These plots lie very close to the northern part of the Clos De Vougeot.

Red Vougeot has close affinities with its illustrious near neighbours (Clos De Vougeot, Musigny, Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses). Its colour is between crimson and purple - deep, dark and luminous. Vougeot develops aromas of violet and small fruits (Morello cherry, blackcurrant). When older, it leans towards underbrush, fallen leaves and truffle over animal notes. On the palate, Vougeot has a four-square structure but its tannins are nonetheless delicate. The attack is straightforward, the acidity and chewiness are harmoniously balanced, and the finish often carries a hint of liquorice. White Vougeot is white or grey-gold in colour. The pleasant initial bouquet is of mayflower and acacia, with an occasional hint of mango. A touch of minerality is often found. In the older wines, aromas range from amber to gingerbread to quince to fig. White Vougeot is on the dry side, but with that underlying richness which is the trademark of the Côte De Nuits Chardonnay. White wine growing, uncommon in this area, nonetheless has a long history going back to the Cistercian monks.

The solid build of red Vougeot hides a certain delicacy, soon revealed by its length in the mouth and its liquorice-tinted finish. For this reason, this great Côte De Nuits red demands dishes equally intense in flavour. Meat dishes must be tender and melting, such as roast fowl, roast lamb, or feathered game. Even four-legged game, braised or stewed, will prove a worthy partner. Slow-cooked, spicy dishes such as couscous or glazed duck in the Chinese style will be perfectly at ease with the aromatic complexity of Vougeot. As for cheeses, medium flavoured, soft-centred cheeses like Reblochon or Vacherin will make a good match. The opulence and delicacy of the Vougeot whites make them a must for crustaceans such as lobster or crayfish, fish (either baked or in cream sauce), good quality poultry, and sweetbreads.
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