Chassagne Montrachet Tasting

Join us and Courtier Wines for a tasting of four great wines from Chassagne Montrachet for only $55.

The village of Chassagne Montrachet lies on the border between the Cote d’Or and the Saone et Loire departments, cut off from the rest of the Cote de Beaune. As its name suggests, the appellation claims a share of the famous Montrachet grand cru vineyard. Chassagne produces lovely white wines that can rival those of Puligny Montrachet, yet it also produces some very good red wines too. The whites seem somehow more relaxed, vaguely softer and less edgy – full and firm, less definitive perhaps than those of Puligny, but with a better grip than the majority of Meursaults.

Blain-Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2010

Domaine Blain-Gagnard was formed when Jean-Marc Blain married Claudine Gagnard, resulting in a union steeped in Burgundy heritage. This husband and wife team continues to run the domaine, now with the help of their son Marc-Antonin, who returned after spending time in the vineyards of Australia and New Zealand. Jean-Marc employs great intricacy in his winemaking subtle tweaks to the process such as his discerning selection of coopers and the wood they use, and mixing wines from vines of different ages helps create a series of excellent wines. The wines tend to be highly concentrated – the combination of the older vines with the younger forms wines that are rich and strong but subtle enough not to be overpowering.

The Morgeot vineyard is on a gradual slope, with some old ruined buildings found at the mid-slope, the Abbey of Morgeot. The soil composition is marl and limestone, which produces an expressive aromatic profile in the wine. Dense and powerful flavors show good mid-palate extract and concentration. Very nice depth and balance overall, and one of the best premier crus in Chassagne Montrachet.

Michel Niellon Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St. Jean 2009

Michel Niellon began working with his father Marcel in 1957. Many decades later, he is still active although most of the work is done by his son-in-law Michel Coutoux. Marcel and Michel Niellon started bottling at the domaine in the 1960’s and a series of fine wines in the 70s and 80s put them on the international map. The Niellon style is rich and ripe, even in crisp vintage. This is an excellent, traditionaldomaine and one of the best in Chassagne Montrachet.

The Clos St. Jean has a lovely pure, vividly fruity character – attractive young, but with the ability to age gracefully. Aromatically, it gives the impression of being a very fruit-driven wine, but there is a good base of minerality to the notes of apple, pineapple, and fresh herbs. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, crisp and much more expressive of its soil component than on the nose, with fine acids, lovely focus, and excellent length on the complex finish. 

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets 2011

The eldest son of Marc Colin, Pierre-Yves worked at the family domaine from 1994 to 2005. With his wife Caroline, he simultaneously established a negociant business in 2001 under the name Colin-Morey. After the 2005 harvest he left the family domaine, taking with him his six-hectare share of the vineyards, which now form part of the Colin-Morey label. He has recently grown his holdings to include parcels in the communes of Chassagne Montrachet, Meursault, St. Aubin and Santenay. His choice to use larger demi-muid barrels and eschew the use of battonnage makes each one of his bottlings a clear expression of itsterroir and a study in mineral-driven Chardonnay, producing wines of extraordinary purity, elegance and precision.

His Chassagne Caillerets is a classic expression of the vineyard, with cool and airy aromas of mineral, citrus and white flowers. Fresh, energetic and well-detailed flavors are crystalline in their purity on the balanced, linear and complex finish. The impeccable balance should allow this wine to age well over the medium-term.

Jean-Noel Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets 2010

The Paquelin family produced wine in Chassagne Montrachet from at least the early 18th century. Thedomaine really came into its own under first Jean-Noel (born 1926) whose name it bears, and now under his daughter, Caroline who has been in charge in their small cellar in Chassagne Montrachet since 1989. She has fine-tuned the holdings, increasing the number of white wine cuvees since her father’s time by separating out each different vineyard.

Her parcel of the famed premier cru Les Caillerets is at the southern end of the vineyard, on pebbly soil – the most complete of her wines, combining density of flavor with intense minerality, and will keep for a decade or more.