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Secret of Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot revealed:

A mystical and mythical wine, at once full-bodied and with good minerality, the celebrated Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot today lifts the lid on the mystery of its origins.

This Domaine de la Vougeraie monopole in the shadow of the celebrated Clos Vougeot is one of the oldest vintages and can trace its history back as far as 1110, when it was the wine used at mass by the monks of Cîteaux. Since the French Revolution and the separation of Church and State, this vineyard covering two hectares has never been subdivided and remains in the same configuration it had in the Middle Ages: A large triangle which opens to the East and points towards Musigny in the west.

Thanks to the winter planting, the soil at Le Clos Blanc recently revealed a secret that has been buried for some 1500 years. The team of vine workers made an astonishing discovery, which could revolutionize the very notion of terroir for the appellations of Burgundy.

Initial analyses carried out by the government research organization, the CNRS, has confirmed this startling find: The sub-soil of Le Clos Blanc contains a substance not previously recorded on Earth. It is an amalgam of limestone from the Bajocian age (around 170m years ago in the Middle Jurassic), interspersed with stripes of a yellow rock which at first glance look like gold, but when crumbled breaks up in contact with oxygen. Scientists have dubbed it "moonstone", because it gives off a faint glow in the light of the full moon.

After extensive tasting, it has now been demonstrated that this strange rock is indeed the origin of the inimitable terroir flavor that is usually referred to as "mineral". This suggests that one could now safely say the taste of the wine grown in Le Clos Blanc is truly eternal, pending further investigation into the mysterious origins of this stone. A "divine" concoction, whose secret the monks of Cîteaux kept closely guarded for 900 years!

It should be noted that other theories - some of them quite far-fetched - have previously been put forward to explain the miraculous properties of the local soil, including a subterranean Fountain of Youth. It is no doubt no coincidence that this "golden" triangle, the most revered in the vineyards of Burgundy, symbol of eternal life for pre-Colombian and Egyptian civilizations, is also the coded sign of many religious orders. In any case, it is imbued with strong mystical connotations.

1 April 2011 - Felicity Murray