Bonnes Mares versus Amoureuses

I have never quite understood why Bonnes Mares seems to be Chambolle’s forgotten stepchild, and yet some of the greatest Burgundies I have had are Bonnes Mares. Is it perhaps that part of the vineyard is in Morey? The pricing of Amoureuses a Premier Cru also seems also to have outpaced Grand Cru Bonnes Mares.

Is this preference for Amoureuses shared by others here?


What’s not to like about lovers?

To further this hypothesis, we’re doing Musigny and Amoureuses dinners in the Spring and no plans for Bonnes Mares.

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i’m trying new glasses and i read this title as Bruno Mars vs Amoureuses and was confused (well, more than usual).

Kramer - Matt, not Cosmo - has a funny (to me) line… “In some ways, Bonnes Mares is not a Chambolle-Musigny. It really should be adjacent to Clos de la Roche, which, in turn, should be in Gevrey-Chambertin. All of which to say that Bonnes-Mares is a massive, chewy, tannic wine of formidable proportions and longevity.”

Does anyone know what he means by all this musical chairs of vineyards?

But to counter, Bonnes Mares is indeed mostly in Chambolle; 13.5 ha vs only 1.5 in MSD.

Though he seems to agree with you in that “a case can be made that Bonnes Mares is the most overlooked Grand Cru in Burgundy.”

The total of Les Amoureuses is roughly 1/3 the size of Bonnes-Mares at 5…4 ha, and seemingly very spread out among producers with only Groffier having a nice chunk.

Preference is interesting - i’ve had a lot more Bonnes Mares than Amoureuses but both can be spectacular. The latter just being much more rare and because the famous ones - Roumier and Mugnier - are super-elite, they are very, very expensive and hard to find. So focusing on the market aspects is perhaps a little noisy.

I personally love Bonnes Mares; I think that there’s a couple factors that play into this; I think it’s a bit more rustic and takes longer to be ready, and some people consider them less elegant and transparent than Musigny and amoureuses. I’m fine with that though, I’m happy BM prices haven’t escalated to the same degree.


I prefer Amoureuses.


They probably are less elegant and transparent than Amoureuses. That said, I love Bonnes Mares and always consider it the MSD Grand Cru - relative share of hectares with Chambolle be damned. They taste like MSD to me. Along with Clos de Tart and Clos de La Roche, Bonnes Mares were also the great trophies of my dad’s cellar( Roumier, Groffier), and I can’t even look at a label without remembering him.

One of the reasons I can’t use established cellar inventory systems is my idiosyncratic attitude toward classification - and this started with BM, which I insist on putting in MSD. Also, my command of Napa/Sonoma geography is shaky enough that if I actually put my CA wines in proper geographic order I’d never find them in the cellar. The cellar and the inventory list have an insane logic all my own.

Bonnes Mares would definitely be more desired if we weren’t mentally comparing it to Musigny. Maybe the same also for Grands-Echezeaux if it was more famous as the top cru in Flagey rather than second-to-last in the DRC lineup.

But Amoureuses is still as silky and finessed as Burgundy can ever be and it will always be chased after for that reason. Bonnes Mares’s attributes aren’t as rare as Amoureuses’ are.

Of course not all Bonnes Mares lacks for respect - still more expensive than Clos de la Roche and Clos St. Denis at Dujac.


One great thing about BM—so many good examples of it!

All the obvious names but also Jadot and Bouchard and Bruno Clair and Bertheau and others making killer versions.

Bonnes Mares is a wine that needs a lot of time to be ready to drink. Once mature, it is fabulous, but how many people hold it long enough?

Wines that need a lot of time to be ready don’t get as much press as they should. See, e.g., Corton

+1. 30 years for each in most vintages, for my liking. Can’t fathom drinking either under age 10.


We’ve looked at Bonnes Mares many times with our various wine groups. They never shine young. Musigny and Armoureuses are far more interesting and engaging in their youth. With age (30+ years) they start to sing. People simply don’t have the patience, understanding or will to source older Bonnes Mares to get a handle on how good it can be closer to its apogee.


Many years ago I was told Amoureuses sold at a premium to wines of equivalent quality due to the name.

No idea how true that is but it is a beautiful name.

As for Bonnes Mares (one of my all time favorite vineyards) needing 30 years that really depends on the BM. For example a 2008 Drouhin was starting to drink beautifully just last year. And a 1985 Jadot (which is, of course, actually Clair Dau) was amazing back around 2000.

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