Blain-Gagnard – 2018


Jean-Marc Blain-Gagnard, 2019Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Jean-Marc Blain-Gagnard, 24 October 2019.

Domaine Blain-Gagnard
17 Route de Santenay
21190 Chassagne-Montrachet
Tel: +33 3 80 21 34 07

Jean-Marc on 2019:
All the years seem a little stressed; this year with frost 04 April – in Boudriotte and Morgeot we used some candles – 80% of the time we have north wind but came from north-west and the straw smoke was blown to the east so Morgeot was not protected, so we lost 80% there. In the end half a harvest for the domaine. Despite that, I think we will have great wines as we had lovely grapes with fine acidity 13-14°, but not much juice. I think great reds too.

Jean-Marc on 2018:
2018 brought a good harvest – the village asked for 2-3 hl/ha more allowance. We started our harvest on 30 August versus 03 September in 2017. Of course it was a hot summer in 2018. We are certainly benefiting from climate change in terms of quality, but not always quantity. We find ourselves often having to harvest only in the morning. We have high sugars but not always the phenolic maturity in such warm years. That’s now, of course, if it continues in this way our cepages won’t be best-suited to climate. I’ve a slight preference for the fresher 2017s but am very happy with the result.!

The wines…

A range of tasty, mainly excellent wines in 2018 – their Montrachet possibly one of the longest finshing wines of the vintage!

First, the reds. Racked in mid-July, not to be bottled before spring:

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet
5 parcels, terres de mines – lots of iron. About 1 ha worth.
Wide, seemingly silky. Structured but fine flavoured, practically no visible tannin, just a drag to the texture, lovely finishing, quite mineral – a sleek and long wine.

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
In Rebichets, above the church, ‘this is the Volnay of chassagne’
A touch less colour, a purer red fruit. Framed by the tannin this time – but velvet, fine, elegant flavour over the palate. Delicious finishing too – like the last, super length. Yum!

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
‘In good vintages you can easily keep this cuvée thirty years.’
Deeper, rounder, darker, more fruit-forward nose. Mich more direct and mineral in the mouth – the attack then melting with cool fruit. Very long again – simply excellent wine!

2018 Volnay 1er Pitures
Soil is marne here.
Concentrated redder fruit on the nose. This is fresh, cool-fruited, sweeping in style, still a little frame of tannin, but this dances more over the palate than the Chassagnes. Very fine!

2018 Volnay 1er Champans
Less deep but a very wide nose of fine fruit and suggesting structure. Direct, fine of texture, another wine of sweeping flavour. This with a wonderful finishing burst of flavour but be patient! Excellent wine.

2018 Pommard
2 vines combined – close by in the flats near the border of Volnay. Lots of clay.
Ooh, that smells rather nice, complex and pure, even suggesting a little floral complexity. Good volume, plenty of tannin, but like the nose, the fruit here is delicious.

Les blancs
Whites tasted from barrel, wines that will be bottled before year end:

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet
6 parcels that include about 30% premier cru. Champs Gain and Grand Montagne.
An almost modest nose, but with some nice depth. Supple, super texture, round. Certainly a wine with some richness, but one that’s deliciously long finishing.

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Boudriotte
Hmm, more open and fresh – a little crystallised citrus fruit. Extra freshness here, a nice drive to this wine. Layered but with joi de vivre. This is very tasty wine!

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot
Typical red soil without stones in two principal areas with 75% above Abbaye de Morgeot.
A little more drive to this nose with a fine concentration of pure, ripe citrus. Nice shape, very open in the mouth, flavours that keep working their way out from the teeth and gums. Lovely finishing.

2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
Two types of soil, white with stones, marne à huitres above, here with rows which run bottom to top so the expression of the two soils. The bottom of the slope resembles Clos St.Jean a little – it’s on the same geological band.
A smoky minerality. Mouth-filling, full, very open, complex, slowly growing and growing with new flavours. A certain barrel sweetness in the finish but such length. I’d wait for this one.

2018 Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
‘Centre of the vineyard opposite Bâtard, lots of stones here. Before AOC grandfather always sold as Bâtard but after INAO did soil analysis it was agreed that it should remain grand cru, but the people of Puligny didn’t want it to be called Bâtard. One of the most charming grand crus. This together with the Morgeot are the two vines that need most watching as they can change to over-ripe very quickly.’
Ooh here is much distinction – depth of aroma too. Mineral, silky, mobile, changing direction, so complex. Rich for sure but still quite balanced even if I might prefer more energy. Another finishing burst of superior flavour.

2018 Bâtard-Montrachet
In chassagne, actually the domaine own 3 parcels but one is being replanted so just two in this wine.
More aromatic volume, finely complex nothing forceful here. Hmm – wide, mineral, open, here is everything, and with less overt richness than the villages wine. Strong finishing, long finishing, this is super.

2018 Le Montrachet
2 ouvrées, exceptionally 2 barrels, normally 1.5, they normally take a barrel bought for Bâtard to use in its second year for the Montrachet.
The nose doesn’t start full power but its certainly very perfumed. Elevage always in a 1-year-old barrel. Ooh, thats a very mineral wine, beautifully shaped, structured, class, no power necessary when you have such length – I could still taste in the car on the way home! Bravo!

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