Inside the Great Tower
Chanson is one of the classic big merchant houses in Beaune that owns many vineyards, especially in various Beaune Premier Cru climates. Chanson was founded in 1750 and is at present celebrating its 250 years anniversary - a long time for a Negociant business. The wines have been stored in one of the four ramparts of the city wall since 1774; the most spacious of them is the Bastion de l'Oratoire of Chanson. It features eight metre thick walls, which keep the temperature inside at a constant level of between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius.
According to Chanson more than a complete year's harvest of all the Beaune vineyards could be stored inside the tower. Chanson believes that this is the tower with the greatest diameter in the whole of France. The merchant house added two floors in 1826, and the wines begin their maturity period in barrels on the top floor. Quite contrary to a cellar one walks upwards but still has the feeling to be in a deep cool cellar. At Chanson's the strategy is to concentrate on the fruit content of the wines and to accentuate the differences of the various climates. They follow a traditional approach, whereby the style of modern wine production is put into account without yielding to short-term fashion.
The domain includes 38 hectares of vineyards in Premier Cru and Grand Cru climates. The main emphasis is on climates in Beaune (27 hectares). Chanson is one of those estates in which the different properties of the Beaune Terroirs can be studied in an excellent way. Thibaut Marion Chanson, the young sales manager, compiled the following selection for us, which we sampled inside the Bastion.
Savigny-Dominode 1er Cru 1997
Pernard Vergeleses Les Vergeleses 1er Cru 1997
Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Marconnets 1997
Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches 1997
Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Féves 1991
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combe aux Moines 1997
Montagny 1er Cru 1998
Savigny-Marconnets 1er Cru 1997
Chablis 1er Cru Vaucoupins 1998
Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches 1998