Tasted in Montagny with Françoise Feuillat-Juillot, 24th February 2015
Route de Montorge
Tel: +33 3 85 92 03 71
Françoise Feuillat-Juillot is a one-woman, Montagny whirlwind, enthusiastically pointing to the hillsides around her domaine and extolling “Montagny is a 350 hectare appellation for white, and here you see the big, Jurassic, Montagny amphitheatre that’s so perfect for the chardonnay grape.”
Maurice Bertrand established his 8 hectare domaine in 1989, though commercialized only part of the produce himself. Françoise Juillot, daughter of Mercurey grower Michel Juillot, joined this (now) 14 hectare domaine, after a commercial degree in Paris and wine-making studies at the University of Dijon. When Françoise joined she made a partnership with Bertrand, forming the domaine Bertand-Juillot. Maurice Bertrand died in 2004, so with help from investors, Françoise bought the domaine, retaining the two full-time employees and renaming it Feuillat-Juillot. Since that time, Françoise commercialises the whole production at the domaine.
Françoise recounts that “All the vines are ploughed, and with much reduced yields versus what is allowed. We make very little treatment, except in 2013 when the weather really worked against us! We have 6 different plots in the 1er Crus – and of-course all the grapes are manually harvested. All the parcels vinified separately – we are also lucky to have vines with a good age – many from 30-40 years-old.”.
All the tanks here are thermo-regulated. Françoise says that she keeps ‘the best part of the lees.’ Two of the 1ers are raised in wood, a mix of 350 and 500 litre barrels from Berthomieu with a ‘chauffe blonde.’ The barrels are kept for up to 4 or 5 wines. About 60+% of the domaine’s wines are exported, but they have plenty of cellar sales too.
Françoise on 2013:
“We had low harvests in 2011 and 2012 due to hail, fortunately they were still good quality. 2013 wasn’t great for morale given the bad weather throughout the year, but I think the wines are open fresh and tasty. Actually the 2013s are almost sold-out after the short vintages that preceded but we’re excited by the 2014s that wait…”
A selection that ranges between modest and excellent – a good address!
2013 Montagny Cuvée Camille
from two parcels of young vines.
Fresh, high tones, and a faint lemon-skin aspect. Also fresh in the mouth with a good, mouth-watering sweetness. A good weighty flavour in the mid-palate that fades only slowly leaving a little herb and sweetness as the last impression. Quite good.
2013 Montagny Les Crèts
Vines set higher on the hill, with plenty of limestone in the soil.
A more weighty nose, still fresh but almost offering a texture to the citrus notes. More direct and intense, again with mouth-watering sweetness – almost a little savouriness in the mid-palate. Nicer, longer finishing flavour. To drink young, but also to enjoy…
2013 Montagny 1er Les Jardins
A bit of a plateau and a warm area, lots of limestone in the soil again.
Deep aromas, a reductive/agrumes nose that’s very attractive. An obvious extra intensity, seemingly a little silkier, and again a fine mouth-watering but sufficiently sweet flavour. Another very attractive wine!
2013 Montagny 1er ‘Grappes d’Or’
A blend of parcels, also elevaged only in tank.
Fresh but deep, again with some agrumes aspect that suggests a reductive accent. Another increase in intensity – really more mid-palate concentration. The family mouth-watering flavour is here too. Concentrated in the middle and long finishing. A little more mineral than the last wines but tasty, not austere. Yum!
2013 Montagny 1er Montcuchots
South facing vines, elevage in 2-3 year-old barrels.
Again a weighty nose but without loss of freshness – the depth seems tight but with citrus accents. Rounder, silky but absolutely fine freshness and intensity – a modest impression of oak in the middle, but this is fine. Impressive stuff. More weight in the finish which is a mix of minerals and barrel accents…
4 hectares, largest parcel of the domaine, average 60 year-old vines but some are over 80. About 10% new oak the rest is 2-3 year-old barrels.
This has a lovely, transparent character with faint agrumes and minerals – fresh and very inviting indeed. Direct, intense, indeed ever-growing intensity. Lithe and full of energy – this is excellent. Very little accent from the barrels. Super!