Domaine Chanson, Beaune Clos des Fèves

I tasted with with Jean-Pierre Confuron in the spring 2017. This was first published in The Burgundy Briefing Vintage Report 2016.

Clos des Fèves is 4.12 hectares and is a monopole. 1315 is the first record. It has a wall around the clos. JP says they date from the C14th. Full set of walls.

“In the classification by Dr Laville it was tête de cuvée,” Half way up the second section of the hills. It is in the middle hill..medium slope and an interesting soil, clay and limestone and rocky up the hill. (L’Ecu above very hot place for Beaune “L’Ecu is 50m higher and white soil and very quick was forrest before”) At the top of Clos de Feves there is some some more Nuits style soils at the top.

“It is a perfect east exposition. Not too windy. A little protection. So matures well. Deep soil at the bottom and rocky at the top. Selction massale and some clones were planted in 1987-92 ‘bad clones’ of 113, 114. 115. I declassify some of the wine and it tends to be the clones. We have several vats to blend and we takes the best – like a grand cru, tend to be in the middle of the terroir with the massale selection. These vines produce less. This place ripens in the middle of the harvest. It needs a little more time than other Beaune. It’s a sunny place but cold soil..”

“It should be a grand cru really. I try now to pitch it at the level this climat should have. However in Beaune no one wants Grand cru as don’t want to pay (inheritance) taxes. Beaune, Grèves and Clos-des-Mouches should also have been grand cru, but even today people do not want. In Grèves it would be impossible to agree as more than 12 owners.”

“In Beaune, Bouchard are the largest owner and Chanson the second. Chanson sold off a lot of land in 1904. Much of Jadot’s Beaune comes from Chanson including 7 hectares of Corton-Charlemagne. this was worked by horse as it was so steep and few wanted to do this work at the time.”

JP explains the process from the vineyard. “It is picked by hand and has a selection on the table . From the 2011 and 2010 we started to use a refrigeration tube which is 6m long. In this, in less than 10 mins we can decrease the temperature to 7 to 8 degrees – with nitrogen. Then to vat with no crushing or destemming and by gravity. We start with cold maceration for 8 to 10 days – (no pumping the juice.. we know there is more oxidation with this system). Before the tube it was difficult to make it cold enough for the long pre ferment maceration. We like this to preserve the delicate red fruit aromas. We then ferment for two and a half to 3 weeks. With a cold temperature you start with you can adapt your approach a lot. You have time. You can make an infusion. We do less than 8 pigeages…and now in subsequent vintages less and less. Softer and softer – like in slow cooking. The old fashioned way is to have a hot temperature.”
2002, 2005 and 2010 are the high lights. 2008 and 2003 are better than expected. 2007 is on its way out.

Tasting Notes 

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2011
Smells quite cool with red current notes. It is silky, pure and ripples across the palate. Juicy and has good acidity. The tannins are fine textured. It finishes on a more mineral note. An elegant finish. It is pure and rather graceful. Score 18.

This was harvested on the 29th August at12.5 potential alcohol – August yet fresh.

***Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2010
Quite peppery on the nose with plentiful ripe red fruit. Elegant, pure and sweet on the strike . Very vibrant. It has richness in the mid palate. It has distinctive mineral grip at the end. A lively long finish. Plenty of acidity, minerals and extract. A very fine structure. You should wait at least another 5 years, preferably 10. It should age for 20. Score 18.65

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2009
Much deeper colour. Black fruits, forrest fruits and plums. Rich and voluptuous on the strike. Almost new world pinot flavours. Thick, ripe tannins. Yes under this there is a rocky, mineral freshness which supports the palate under the rich fruit and it becomes more refined on the finish. Still it is quite a ‘warm’ wine on the finish. It will slim down, but I prefer 2010. Frankly rather like an Oregon pinot. I would wait for it to gain complexity for right now it just shows the vintage. From 2023. Score 18. From 2025

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2008
Paling a little. Has a pure, spicy and ever so slightly slightly herbal note the nose. On the palate it is is restrained, it is spicy, white pepper and green peppercorn. Plenty of sappy tannins combine with somewhat sweet fruit. Lots of acidity too. It is very lively wine. I like the finish most..there is a nervous energy and a certain frisson and minerality. It’s quite long. I think it’s a lovely food wine. Keep it for 10 years and it will improve. This is a very classic style. Score 17.75

“The acidity is bumping up the tannins. This is a real Burgundy..for a guy born in Burgundy. It will improve over 10 years.”

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2007
Browning…ageing quickly and this comes from the at the end of the season. This is rather floral on the nose, talc and rich rose notes. Gentle and soft onto the palate. It is silky and fluid and easy. There is a slightly fragile quality to it. Just enough acidity. Not much stuffing.. a lighter style. Warm aromatics at the end of the palate. 17. Drink up.

“It was too hot at the end for reds and for the whites. so we had to be careful. Drink it now. ”

“ with full bunches we have less maceration with the pips and alcohol, so we always have soft tannins…also we also aim for more maturation in the bunches.”

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2006
Also browning quite quickly..there is a richness is soft and juicy and easy. Certainly more structure to the tannins than the 2007. Quite peppy. It is pure and there is good acidity. It is more structural than the 2007 and has more energy. However I felt it was lacking a bit in the mid palate and on the finish. Score 17.25

I think it is quite nice, better than the 2007, but JP really likes it. “More in our style. It has a fresher aroma and has acidity…and the taste is soft, elegant and long on spice. Elegant..graceful.

He had this recently with seared venison – perfect combination.” would be very good with grouse. .

*Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2005
Fresh, youthful aroma. Strong, dense and compact. It is surprisingly svelte on the attack. Juicy and supple. Still much too young. The acidity needs to knit in. It is layered. An abundance of ripe red fruit. On the finish there is still tannin accentuated by the vibrant acidity. A wine for the future. It is both structured and refined. Wait another 8 to 10 years. From 2025. Score 18.75 It is as good as the 2010.

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2003
This smells very, very sweet, Notes of headily ripe strawberries and chocolate. Sweet on the palate too, rich textured and full-bodied. A plump and generous wine with soft, but substantial tannins and it is these tannins that create the balance, for there is very little acidity. The tannin and rich stuffing makes satisfactory structure. I cannot see it is on a plateau. Whether you like it or not is another matter. I do rather. Score 17. and will last.

JP seems to agree. He adds, “it is very ripe …very sweet and you could almost serve it will a dessert.”

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 2002
This has a relatively youthful red colour…not so evolved as 2003 or 07 or 06. Fresh and upright aroma. There are red currents and raspberries with some more evolved forrest floor notes. It is both ripe and tense. There is lively tension on the finish. Well balanced firm structure. Sophisticated tannins. An elegance wine which finishes on a pure and refined note. It will continue to mature gracefully. From now onwards. Top notch. Score 18.5

“It was a lovely for me is more like the 2006.”

Beaune Clos des Fèves, 1995
This was not made by JP and under the old regime when things were very different. Metallic note on the nose. De-stemmed. Smells quite sweet. It is lacking in the palate, lacks stuffing. It is sweet but it does dry out on the finish.

JP says, “this is show how the style has changed. You are tasting the tartaric acidity (here) as you were tasting ascorbic on the Corton. These are not things we use now. They seem nice when young, but in 10 or 20 years they are not so nice and yet people are still doing this..some people, many are not now…Burgundy has changed.”


UK: Mentzendorff