Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Caroline l’Estimé, 02 April, 2019.
Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard
9 Place des Noyers
Tel: +33 3 80 21 31 68
Caroline on 2018:
“Well, in 2018 we definitely had some grapes to harvest – and it was really needed given our stocks for the last years. We can also hope for no frost or hail in 2019 – if so, then we should be back to normal. Still, it was extreme in 2018 with lots of rain to start the season and dry at the finish of the season – completely unlike this year, where I’ve never seen such a dry first three months of the year – the branches of the vines are often breaking when pruning as they are so dry – hopefully they will be more flexible as the sap rises further!”
Caroline on 2017:
“Honestly it wasn’t that easy; we did have some frost and we had poor flowering conditions – then followed the drought. No, I’m not totally happy. We started harvesting 31st/1st September vs 26 August in 2018. We had a little more volume than in 2016 but less in the Hautes Côtes versus 2016 as those vines were frosted more in 2017. We lit the straw in Chassagne – I think it worked, but we still didn’t make much more than 25-30 hl/ha in many of the 1ers. I think they are direct wines with a good focus but with fruit and acidity too.”
I was happy to be greated by the ‘old’ Caroline – the last couple of years were hard as she had so little wine – but it looks like 2018 lifted her spirits – but so should the undoubted quality of her 2017s. Don’t overlook the reds here – in 2017 they are really top-level!
Bottling is a mix – it started in December and a large part is now done, following the phases of the moon, but not all are finished. Caroline was very apologetic – “The wines are a bit closed today – it’s not a flower day, but it’s not a root day either!”
2017 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc
The vines are near Le Rochepot, bottled just before the harvest, this the third vintage in bio and the bottles are all screw-capped. Bottled in July.
A fresh nose with a hint of musk but generally quite tight. Hmm – vibrant and mineral, wide in the middle with plenty of grip – lively but fine flavoured – very much a citrus style here. Yum!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Champs Derriere
This, the name of the climat, close to ‘Château Picard’ – a clay and silt type of soil of some depth. This was once planted in aligote, so this is still young vines as the aligote was pulled out only around 2004.
A bigger, brighter, fresher nose with a judicious touch of sweet barrel. In the mouth, nice line and intensity , some similarity to the Hautes Côtes but with a little more cushioned depth to the flavour. Wide and mouth-watering in the finish. Delicious.
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet La Chaume
Hmm, a slight fizz of reduction, otherwise a sucrosity to this attractive nose. Rounder, silkier, more layers of flavour – such a fine width in the mid and finishing flavour. Long. More sophisticated if a touch less energy – excellent!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Mazures
Under Champs Gains
A little extra here – more floral top notes. More clarity, more direct – a mineral and energetic wine. A punch of finishing flavour – a wine shows its proximity to the 1er crus. Really excellent!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chenevottes
Usually 11-13 barrels – in 2016 only 2 – but there was 5x more wine in 2017!
A narrow but deep nose, perfumed with flowers. Big, mouth-filling, energetic, mouth-watering wine – ooh that’s so good! A wall of great flavour to finish – I love this! Another excellent wine.
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chaumées
More vibration of minerality in the depth of this aroma. Mouth-filling again, but in a more relaxed style – still tons of complexity and very fine energy – the minerality seemingly making that last more serious. But super finishing intensity here. Excellent again.
A modest nose with sweet if equally modest oak and ripe yellow citrus. Ooh – here is presence – minerality, mobile over the palate, super energy – complex – a blend of the mineral and citrus with much silk. Bravo!
Less depth of aroma, and a more subtle complexity. Open, fresher still, with a depth of oak-accented flavour, cool fruit and energy – really some impressive depth to the flavour here, big in the finish too – bravo!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
Some sweet, floral, and perhaps a touch of ample texture to the nose. Ooh super drive again – a little more weight of concentration vs the last too but no loss of clarity or depth of flavour – just a hint more cushioning richness here. Full of flavour in the finish. Simply excellent!
Almost double the yield vs ‘the pits’ in 2016, but then pulled out half the vineyard for replanting after the 17 harvest.
A much larger nose, round, oak of-course. More air brings more floral perfume. Ooh, big, rich but so mineral with sucrosity too – a wine on another level – wow. I wouldn’t want to drink this for the next 2-3 years as there’s so much oak, but underneath the carpentry is great wine!
Only 28 hl/ha mainly in les Morichots. Bottled in the depths of winter.
Ooh – a beautiful nose of drive and berried purity – yes! In the mouth too – red berries really to the fore. Plenty of acidity, depth of concentration – structured, fresh and bounding with flavour. You would do well to keep this – if you can – bravo Chassagne villages!
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
A more cushioned width of fruit here, darker-red, but still red berries. Mouth-filling, fresh, but with depth of flavour, really an impressive concentration without overt richness. Long, mineral finishing. Excellent wine.
From Grand Clos and Clos Charreau which neighbours the Clos des Tavannes.
Another forward, red-berry-fruit nose – here with a little floral perfume too. More intense again – the concentration almost staining the palate, winding up with a furry coating of tannin over the tongue. Concentrated, structured but without angles – really a wine to wait for but bravo!
Also red berried, but a nose that goes much deeper. A fine purity of aroma. Supple, layered, great depth of flavour. No less concentrated or tannic vs the Morgeot but with just a little more cushioning of impact. Wow Santenay – bravo! I washed that tannin away with the last drops of the Bâtard – it worked for me!