Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Caroline Colin-Morey, 07 November 2017.
Domaine Caroline Colin-Morey
4 Rue de la Murée
Tel: +33 3 80 21 90 10
In 2017 Caroline’s domaine increased to 7 hectares of vines, 35% of the domaine is now red, with wines from Santenay, Chassagne and Beaune. 2016 brought some Santenay via a fermage agreement, then there was Chassagne villages from 4 different parcels, plus Santenay 1er Comme, Chassagne 1er Les Vergers and some Criots Bâtard-Montrachet. Then in 2017 came Chassagne blanc from her father plus red and white Beaune 1er Grèves.
The 2017 vintage:
“2017 was a very interesting vintage for both volume and quantity, with nice fruit. We started relatively early, and I didn’t notice much of a difference between the juice pre and post rain. We have quite rapid fermentations this year – I don’t think there will be any long ones!”
The 2016 vintage:
“2016 – whilst there was less quantity we had a lovely quality. The aromas to start were different to normal, perhaps that was the frost, but with a long elevage that has faded. But still with a good character I think. I was minus 30-80% for the whites – depending on the sector. I lost a little less in the reds, but the harvest was good. Probably at the end I was about 50% down but it’s hard to be definitive as the domaine keeps changing in size! But essentially the reds were minus 30-50%. I’ve used more standard size barrels in this vintage vs demi-muids, simply because there is less wine.”
Really a style difference vs Pierre-Yves – impressively-so when you think that they are all made in the same cuverie. Do you want to be challenged (PY) or do you want the wine to take over (Caroline)? Nervous (PY) or calm (Caroline)? The red wines here in 2016 are not the easy, juicy, ripe fruit of some domaines, they are a little more cerebral and pure. Really beguiling wines in 2016 – well done Caroline!
Near the Château de la Crée
This has a very elegant, wide, cushioned nose of lemon. Supple, wide, growing in freshness and delicacy – ooh sometimes the first wine really hits it out of the park, and this is that wine! Faint finishing salinity… it glows!
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles-Vignes
Average is at least 40 years-old. New vines en-fermage in this vintage.
Wider, less deep and effusive, a little more chassagne for sure. Ooh, the nose doesn’t set you up foe the ultra pure, beautifully textured palate – it’s a little mineral and faintly micro-grained with complexity. Not massively over but beautifully giving. Bravo again but with completely different character…
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet les Chênes
Near Maltroie – vines of about 15 years old, was old red vines but degenerated, now white here. 350 litre barrels, no battonage
Also a relatively tight nose, but here with a little reflection of yellow citrus. Hmm, gorgeous, over the palate, fresh, but with fine cushioning, width of comforting flavour. Just beautiful.
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Champs Gain
Planted in 2009, lost 80% to the frost this year. This will be the first year for this wine with a longer (vs the villages) elevage like the other 1ers
A little more open with a hint of flowers intertwined with the citrus. Really a fine width, and a very mineral wine, no harshness or rigour as its so well packaged. Also calm in style yet beautifully delivered and balanced… finished long for such young vines with a faint touch of tannin.
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Chaumées
Near Philippe Colin’s vines, near the quarry. Older vines with millerandes, ‘only’ lost 40%
A nice width of cushioned lemon notes. More open, more volume, fresher, a little more energy, melting flavours, a little extra something in the mid-palate and into the finish. Very long – really super!
Another new parcel, actually two parcels and about 50% of a normal yield.
Again a medium intensity nose but of purity and a nice depth of citrus. Different in the mouth, more volume again, more intensity, perfect silk texture, but cut with melting minerality. This is a really super thing. Bravo. Today a suggestion of oak in the flavours – but I doubt that will last long.
From the 3 different parts of this area – all the levels of the vines, different slopes, three different plantations, but the average is 45-50 year-old vines. From the road to the forest, a continuous line of vines from top to bottom vs the two separate parcels of PY
A little different, this has high and deep tones though this nose is less wide – yellow citrus at the base and a suggestion of smokiness above. Round, great volume, more pliable, more mobile than the big volume of the last. Complex, and more a delivery of flavour of waves in the finish. Today this is the more complex, the Vergers is the bigger wine – different style, equally good.
2016 Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
First vintage, these vines not far from those of Leroy.
Fresh, open with a little reductive oak. This is direct, penetrating, molten rock, mouth-watering, super-wine. It has less direct fruit flavour than all the other wines, save perhaps Vergers, but it’s really an impressive thing. The finish is a subtle flavour but really stays with you. Super stuff….
One parcel in Le Chainey in the direction of Maranges – not far from Grand Clos Rousseau. No whole-clusters – simply based on maturity of the stems.
A modest dimension of aroma but an attractive and pure red fruit at the base. Wide, good freshness and purity. Really a nice fruit starts to come through in the mid-palate and into the finish. Fresh and tasty wine. With modest tannin. Yum!
2016 Santenay 1er Comme
Next to Chassagne-Embazées – young, 20 year-old vines. 20% whole-clusters
Also not the biggest of noses but a nice vibrance to the fresh fruit here. More dimension in the mouth, equally fresh, a hint more tannin, but really it’s a textural drag more than a grain. Fresh, slightly more complex wine.
Two parcels, one more in the plain. Some fine massale selections from Volnay here, these latter vines – about 40% of the total – always keep with their stems.
More weight of aroma, certainly more fruit a little darker in colour. Supple, fresh, layered, beautiful complexity. This is simply first class – bravo. Super wine.
2016 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Champsgains
Only two producers make this in red – Caroline and her father. The parcel is now shared, but there’s not much in 2016 – just 350 litres…
Modest colour. Plenty of reduction just now. Unlike the previous Australian importer I don’t put a 5 centimes in the glass (I don’t know where they have been!) and the reduction anyway slowly fades with swirling. The nose is complex, a little herb, but with some sweetness. Actually quite some weight and volume to this wine. It’s complex, and in this very slightly reduced phase I don’t know that I could guess that it’s a Chassagne. But there’s weight, at the same time delicacy and really very fine texture – no astringency from the tannin. This is composed and delicious.