Tasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with the (as usual) highly photogenic Sébastien Caillat, 21 October 2019.
Sébastien on 2019:
“2019 is a year with a certain magic – maybe not for the bankers though! Alcohols were a little high though the balance is super and the wines ferment very easily – and I have the memory of great family wines that were also higher alcohol. They are correct wines but from only 25 hl/ha – but no faults, I took a lot of time pressing, mechanically, and am very happy with that – a nice ambience too as we had a great team!”
Sébastien on 2018:
“2018, of course, there’s plenty of wine but we were less extravagant in volume than some places – but everything was ripe – I have a similar feeling to 1999 a family member told me you get that just once in your life but then we had it in 2009 and again in 2018. Fermentations could have been easier and some aromatic deviations for a time but they came good. I think we’ve kept the eclat of the wine – I’ve minimized the amount of new wood – the rest we taste.
“There are two new plots; Grand Montagne and a villages St.Aubin. I’ve gone from 10k to 14k bottles per year. These wines planned to be bottled next August – 2 years of elevage. I’m happy with my results so far, the wines continue down the path that I’d hoped for.”
This year I tasted the more current vintage, last year I tasted just the 16s due to the longer elevage – so I’ve missed the 17s. That said – what a fine selection of wines – I’m sure that when elevage is done, my notes will be on the conservative side – but here is a domaine that has Chassagne-Montrachet in its DNA – and I love it!
Malos only finished in July-August here:
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Grands Corvés
A modest width of pure aroma. Muscular but open, layered and long – faintly saline and less faintly mineral. Composed excellent wine!
2018 St.Aubin Les Beau Pins
Planted in 2015 on a steep slope – cold at night, hot in the day.
This is altogether more open, vibrant and fresher on the nose. Open in the mouth too – less weight but the flavour more easily accessible here. A good finishing wave of flavour in this case with just a slight warming of the fruit. Excellent.
Here is not a big nose but one with a fine vibration of aroma. Hmm, serious stuff – wide, structural but melting with flavour over the palate – indeed palate staining. Wine you should be patient with – but be proud to own! Bravo!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Champs Gain
Here is the deepest soil with some of the most clay and least stones – a rich soil that gives a lot of vigour to the vines
The tiniest of reduction at the base – here is a more airy, open, practically perfumed nose – improving all the time. Architectural – open, gaining layers as the flavour melts over the palate – slightly mineral but not with rigour. A beauty.
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Grand Montange
‘Close to Romanée the soils are all similar though Romanée and Grand Montagne are a little higher on the slope. The vines are about the same age in this as in the last but they are so different!’
A deeper nose – there’s some ripeness of citrus in the middle here. A little more padding here, richness perhaps, supple, mobile, less overtly mineral but melting with minerals in the mix over that palate, long slow-moving waves of flavour over the palate – this is sooo, good…
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Romanée
Hmm, here is depth of aroma – slightly padded in this case – a fine invitation. A halfway-house between the previous two wines – here is a little more tension and minerality than the last but still with a very modest packaging. The flavour is deep and seamless – a hint of caramel perhaps but calm, very, very long wine, faintly saline and much less faintly mineral finishing – again a little contemplative in the finish…
From Champs Gain all the way to the top of the vines.
Plenty of aromatic volume here, like a couple of others there’s a hint of caramel from the barrels that will most likely be long gone before bottling. Ooh – here are waves lapping over the palate – cool, mineral, complex, growing, changing. This is great stuff – A shame you can’t buy three cases to try a couple of bottles each year for the next 20 or so. Bravo and such a beautiful diminuendo of a finish too!