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White wines : We pressed the whites for quite some time to extract a juice that was difficult to extract, in some cases by crushing the grapes, in other cases by leaving the bunches whole. The alcoholic fermentations started spontaneously 4 or 5 days later, the juice being racked into barrel the following day.
On 30th November, many vats were approaching the end of their sugar-to-alcohol fermentation. The wines seemed to be fermenting easily and finishing their primary fermentation freely.
They had strong solid matters with a slight tendency to reduction so we had up to then stirred the lees up regularly.
The vines were planted in two stages by Auguste and Pierre Morey. They are old, weak vines producing little (between 20 and 35 hl/ha). Badly affected by fan-leaf degeneration, they have improved considerably since the application of biodynamic preparations. The parcel is situated at the far south of Montrachet also facing south. The soil is fairly dark, quite deep and stony. It consistently produces wines rich in alcohol, balanced out by their marked acidity. A great deal of substance, these are wines to keep for a long time.
The Montrachet family consists of grand five Grands Crus grown in the two villages of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. These two share the Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet appellations. Chevalier and Bienvenues belong to Puligny, Criots belongs to Chassagne. These Grands Crus are the most southerly of the Côte-d'Or, and lie between Meursault in the north and Santenay in the south. Their origins go back to the Middle Ages - the work of the Cistercian abbey of Maizières and the Lords of Chagny. The wines of Montrachet (pronounced Mon-rachay) came fully into their own in the 17th century. There is no argument : this is the finest expression of the Chardonnay grape anywhere on earth. The Grand Cru appellations date from 31 July, 1937.
The underlying rocks date from the Jurassic, 175 million years BC. Exposures lie to the east and the south. Altitudes: 265-290 metres (Chevalier) ; 250-270 metres (Montrachet) ; 240-250 metres (Bâtard, Bienvenues, Criots). In the " Climat " of Montrachet, the soils are thinnish and lie on hard limestone traversed by a band of reddish marl. In Chevalier, the soils are thin and stony rendzinas derived from marls and marly-limestones. In the Bâtard " climat " soils are brown limestone which are deeper and, at the foot of the slope, more clayey.
The power and aromatic persistence of these lofty wines demands aristocratic and sophisticated dishes with complex textures : « pâté » made from fattened goose liver, of course, and caviar. Lobster, crawfish, and large wild prawns, with their powerful flavours and firm textures, pay well-deserved homage to the wine and match its opulence. Firm-fleshed white fish such as monkfish would be equally at home in their company. And let us not forget well-bred and well-fattened free-range poultry whose delicate flesh, with the addition of a cream-and-mushroom sauce, will be lapped up in the unctuous and noble texture of this wine. Even a simple piece of veal, fried or in sauce, would be raised to heavenly heights by the Montrachet's long and subtle acidity.
Serving temperature : 12 to 14 °C.
The Weather / A classic autumn was followed by a winter that was marked by bitingly cold weather - down to minus 12ºC in the second week of January - and regular snowfalls. The vineyards were for the most part snow-covered until the 7th March.
- Bud-break took place at the end of March, in time for the Easter period.
- The month of May was unsettled, alternating abnormally warm periods with snaps of unusually cold weather. The rainfall remained overall moderate, with some occasionally heavy precipitations (65mm on 21st May).
- The flowering started on June 7th and ended on the 13th, and was irregular. On a single bunch of grapes, some berries were ripening faster than others.
- The grapes were healthy. On the 13th June there was no sign of oidium and very few rare cases of mildew. Scorching weather in June followed by an unusually cold period at the beginning of July was the cause of oidium (downy mildew) attacks, which in some vineyards required vigorous control.
- Mild hailstorm in Les Montrachet on the evening of 17th July.
- Very low rainfall in August. On 22nd August, the reds were healthy and promising; the whites were suffering a little from the drought. Maturity seemed to be heterogeneous: some plots were much more advanced than others. We planned to employ a team of twenty workers to gather the harvest over 10-11 days.
We took the decision to start picking early, on the 12th September - because some plots in our first growth vineyards in Meursault were very ripe - and to progress slowly, with a smaller team of just 15 workers, in order not to arrive too quickly in the vineyards that ripen later.
- 12th September : Charmes (young plants), Petite Perrières and Genevrières
- 13rd September : Perrières, Charmes (old vines)
- 14th September : En la Barre, Puligny-Montrachet Champgain, Désirée
- 15th September : Beginning of harvest of young vines in Volnay Santenots
- 16th September : End of harvest of young vines in Volnay Santenots, then Volnay Champans and Volnay Clos des Chênes
- 17th September : Charmes (young vines), Clos de la Barre (old vines)
- 18th September : day of rest…
- 19th September : Clos de la Barre (young vines and young plants)
- 20th September: Goutte d'Or, then Volnay Santenots
- 21th September: En Luraules, Petite Montagne and the remainder of Volnay Santenots
- 22nd September: Monthélie Blanc and Monthélie-les-Duresses
- 26th September : Montrachet
Red wines : Excellent raw material with very good acidities. We immediately cooled the vats down to 12-15ºC. The alcoholic fermentations started very gently after 5 or 6 days.br>
The alcoholic fermentations lasted for practically two weeks. We stopped treading down the cap in the vats in the last four days but continued to pump over once or twice a day.
We ran the wine off after about 3 weeks of maceration; subsequently there was a light pressing before blending the press wine and the free-run juice together.
The reds :
One is immediately struck by the intensity and aromatic purity of the reds. They have beautiful colours with a really brilliant appearance. The palate is round and rich with well-integrated tannins and an aftertaste well supported by the acidity. They have a beautiful finish as well as a low malic acid concentration and we should end up with very good acidities.
The whites :
|Great purity of fruit flavours with an intense and very forward nose.
Rich on the palate (high degrees of alcohol) with good supportive acidity and the low level of malic acid indicates that we should retain these good acidities.
Very full-bodied, intense, very structured wines, which when young will not readily show themselves.
But no doubt with a beautiful ageing potential.
30th November, 2005