Charmes, often written as Les Charmes, is a Premier Cru-rated climat of the Meursault appellation in the Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy. It is one of Meursault's largest and best-known vineyards.
Charmes is located on the limestone slopes of the Cote d'Or escarpment. It faces between south and south-east, thus capitalizing on the ripening potential of the morning and early afternoon sunshine during the growing season. It sits in a small cluster of Premier Cru vineyards at the southern end of Meursault, close to the Puligny-Montrachet commune boundary. These sites produce the commune's finest wines, renowned for being among the richer, more full-bodied Burgundy whites.
Charmes is larger than both of its neighbors (Perrieres and Genevrieres) put together and is, like them, divided into two sections. The upper section is named Charmes Dessus and the lower Charmes Dessous – dessus meaning 'above' and dessous meaning 'below'. Charmes Dessous, the less-favored of the two, runs all the way down the hillside until it reaches the D113b road between Meursault and Puligny. The land across this narrow road does not qualify even for the communal Meursault appellation, meaning that its wines may claim only the lowliest of Burgundy's appellations, AOC Bourgogne. Because of this proximity to such lowly vineyards, the Charmes Premier Cru classification has been regularly questioned, with many critics suggesting that the lower section be stripped of its status.
Meursault Premier Cru wines are those produced under the strictest conditions of the Meursault appellation, from grapes grown within officially classified Premier Cru vineyards. These wines are permitted to state the words 'Premier Cru' on their labels and to append their official climat name to that of the commune in the appellation title.
There are several prestigious Cote d'Or vineyards with the name Charmes: Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Meursault Charmes, Morey-Saint-Denis Aux Charmes and, most notable of all, the Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru.