Michel Gros is a master winemaker who owns some Burgundy’s very best terroir. The town of Vosne-Romanée has Burgundy’s most sought-after wine — the Domaine de la Romanée Conti and its companion Grand Crus — and its terroir has been recognized as special for centuries. Michel Gros’s family has been making wine there for 150 years, and he owns the family’s crown jewel: the Clos des Réas, the only premier cru monopole in Vosne-Romanée. It yields a wonderful wine that Jasper Morris MW has described as “supremely elegant,” yet one that “ages remarkably well.” Michel also has a smaller plot of vines in Vosne 1er cru “Aux Brûlées,” from which he makes another compelling red. He produces excellent Vosne-Romanée at the village level too, largely from vines in Aux Réas next to his monopole.
Michel doesn’t have many vines in the Clos Vougeot, but those he owns are in as good a location as there is, in what they call the Grand Maupertuis, up along the western wall of the Clos. Replanted in the 1980’s, the vines are nearly 30 years old now, into their peak years, and the three barrels they produce are filled with dense, smooth wine with all the complexity promised by its pedigree.
Not that all of Michel’s wine is at these highest levels; he crafts delicious wine at the other end of the spectrum as well. At the entry level there are now three reds: Bourgogne from the vineyards to the east of the Côte d’Or, and two reds from the Hautes Côtes de Nuits. Michel and his father spent 40 years developing their vineyards in the Hautes Côtes, where at a higher elevation you find the same soils as at the famous Hill of Corton. Among the parcels is a monopole vineyard called the Fontaine St. Martin, whose wines Michel now judges sufficiently distinctive to bottle separately from the regular Hautes-Côtes de Nuits. All three of these wines are delicious: the Bourgogne shows ripe strawberry fruit and a crisp, silky mouthfeel. The Hautes-Côtes rouge is more concentrated and mouthfilling, with ripe, sturdy tannins and notes of raspberry. The new monopole cuvée, Fontaine Saint-Martin, is darker still, with added notes of cherry and cinnamon and a fuller mouthfeel. The Fontaine St. Martin is also the vineyard that produces Michel’s only white, a wine that has developed quite a following among our clients in recent years.
Gros also owns well-located parcels in all four villages around the domaine. In Morey St. Denis, there is “En la Rue de Vergy,” vineyard that lies just upslope from three Grand Crus. Each year it delivers small quantities of precise, clear Pinot Noir, delicate and elegant. In Nuits St. Georges he makes two wines: one blended from four vineyards near Vosne, and thus labeled “Nuits St. Georges” without a vineyard name. The second is Nuits St Georges “Les Chaliots,” from a single vineyard down in the heart of the appellation. The Nuits blend always seems to echo its northern neighbor just a bit, showing a touch of the flowers and spice for which Vosne is famous. “Chaliots” is a more classic Nuits St. Georges, a powerful wine that shows more beef-broth depth, with sturdier tannin and a younger mouthfeel. Both have shown an ability to age gracefully.
In Chambolle-Musigny, most of Gros’s vines come from a village-level vineyard that adjoins the great Grand Cru “Le Musigny.” In depth and intensity, Gros’s Chambolle resembles a premier cru more than a village, and it often needs a bit more time to begin drinking well. But when it does, it is among our very favorite village red Burgundies.
Particular fans of Nuits St. Georges should consider the Gros premier cru, which Michel produces in very small quantities from very old vines. These vines tend to yield much millerandage (tiny “shot berries” that give juice of particularly density), and so these are wines of great intensity and long lives.
Whatever the level, all of the wines from Michel Gros reflect his vast experience, his meticulous attention to detail, and his uncompromising commitment to quality.