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Chassagne-Montrachet – Noble Chardonnay

2012 Bachelet-Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet
Price: $55/bottle

Montrachet, the “bald hill,” produces the finest expression of the Chardonnay grape anywhere on earth. It’s difficult to imagine that the poor, thin soils over hard limestone of these otherwise nondescript, gently sloping vineyards are capable of such a feat. This hill, and the vineyards surrounding it, are so well regarded for centuries of superior wine production that the nearby villages of Chassagne and Puligny gained permission to hyphenate their names with Montrachet. Indeed, with the inclusion of neighboring Meursault, no other region on earth boasts this concentration of great dry white winemakers and vineyards.

It’s in Chassagne-Montrachet that the esteemed, family-owned estate of Bachelet-Ramonet produces benchmark white Burgundy. The Domaine has a little over 30 acres in some of the finest vineyard parcels in the area, including holdings in the Grand Crus of Bâtard-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. Since taking over the estate from his father-in-law, Jean Bachelet, winemaker Alain Bonnefoy, who runs the domaine with wife Marie-Paule and son Arnaud, has overseen a shift to even more focused work in the vineyards and the cellar. Believing wine is made on the vines first, Bonnefoy has established a natural approach to viticulture and its on display in his taut, elegant wines. Grapes are handpicked and fermented in barrel (minimal new oak) for 14 to 16 months.

Although yields in the Côte de Beaune for the 2012 vintage were unusually low, the grapes were balanced and concentrated. The 2012 Bachelet-Ramonet oozes aromas of juicy pear and sea spray. In the mouth it shifts from fat white fruit to citrus to a lengthy mineral-like finish.

We’re pleased to have acquired a small amount of Bachelet-Ramonet’s Chassagne-Montrachet produced from four parcels beneath the village. We’re even more pleased to offer it at this great price.

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Posted on 2015.02.26 in Burgundy, France, Saturday Sips

 

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