Méo-Camuzet’s cellars are on the northern side of Vosne-Romanée, almost a stone’s throw from Romanée-Conti. Jean Méo, father of present incumbent Jean-Nicolas Méo, was born in the village before, as he put it, ‘going astray’ in Paris with a petrochemical and political career that included a stint in Charles de Gaulle’s cabinet.
The estate came from Jean Méo’s great-uncle Etienne Camuzet, the last private owner of Château de Clos Vougeot, via his daughter Marie who had no children. Jean-Nicolas came to the domaine in 1989 from Paris and California to take the reins under the tutelage of the great Henry Jayer, working with the talented vineyard manager, Christian Faurois. His 20th anniversary of joining, and the Golden Jubilee of the domaine, was celebrated by a spectacular dinner we attended at the Château de Clos Vougeot in 2009. The estate stands at 12 ha with further vines still leased out, then supplemented by grapes from growers marketed under the ‘Frère et Soeurs’ label, referring to Isabelle and Angeline, Jean-Nicolas’s two sisters. They also vinify the grapes from the small estate of our old friend Tim Marshall. Tiny yields, strict vineyard management and high levels of top quality oak mean that all the domaine’s wines are of a velvety grand cru level in quality, if not always in name. Only in the worst vintages do they treat their vineyards conventionally, eschewing their organic ideals. It's good to have an ideology and philosophy, but one has to draw the line somewhere and have some grapes, says Peer Reiss, assistant winemaker at the domaine. Méo-Camuzet’s is always a stellar tasting of some 14 wines!