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Montrachet Grand Cru – 2015 – 95-97 points – Burghound
"... there is both good freshness and vibrancy to the imposingly constituted flavors that, like the Chevalier, manage to retain an unequalled grace and refinement on the gorgeously persistent finish where a hint of wood surfaces. This is quite firmly structured, partially thanks to the impressively deep reserves of dry extract but also because of the very firm citrus-tinged acidity and between the two, this beauty should age for a very long time."
Vineyard Profile Appellation: Burgundy/ Location: 1 parcel in Chassagne-Montrachet / Cultivation: 100% biodynamic/ Size: 0.082 hectare (0.2 acre)
Vine Age: Planted 1960 / Soil: Calcareous clay
Vinification Long, gentle pneumatic pressing, “débourbage,” or “settling of the juice,” over 24 hours; then racking and running the must into cask. Alcoholic fermentation in oak casks, 100% new (origin Allier). Matured 12 months in new oak, followed by 6 months in 1-year-old oak, then prepared for bottling. Homeopathic fining and very light filtering, if necessary
After a mild beginning, winter took a nose-dive during three days in mid-January before becoming majestic. The first 15 days of February were icy-cold, between -15ºC and -4ºC (-5ºF to 25ºF). Then winter yielded its place to spring; it was thus that the month of March, dry and mild, saw in its appointed time the first budbreak. We thought, therefore, that once again it would be a precocious vintage, based on our recent experiences of the 2011 and 2007 vintages. This did not take into account the cold rains of April which would arrest the new growth. In the month of May, growth of the vines resumed, recovering a bit more normal cycle, but always advanced.
Flowering began during the last days of May, full flowering on June 5, but dragged on until after June 20. The fragile flowers, having to face wretched climatic conditions, offered us berries of mixed size (millerandage) affected by shatter (coulure). At the end of June, a sudden rise in temperatures brought on thunderstorms and then hail on June 30. The month of July was along the same lines but with added humidity.
The vineyards were once again hit by hail on August 1, further reducing an already diminished crop. Then the sun blazed and allowed the grapes to reach good phenolic maturity with a level of sugar that was less elevated than in the last few years.
We began the harvest on September 14: The musts were well-balanced and showed a very good level of acidity. We followed the wines during their aging (élevage), and they have maintained lovely acidity and show in advance an extraordinary minerality. Despite the fact that global production of the domaine was diminished by one-half, the wines manifest numerous qualities: minerality, balance, finesse, precision, tension, energy…a very grand vintage.
The 2012 vintage can be appreciated at the earliest as follows:
Bourgogne Blanc from the end of 2014 forward
Puligny-Montrachet and the Premiers Crus from the end of 2016 forward
The Grands Crus from the end of 2017 forward
Montrachet from the end of 2020 forward
2012 was beset by unusual weather that didn’t spare the vines! A mild winter, spring-like March, cool spring with frosts, summer-like May, cooler, wetter June, a variable summer with heatwaves, hail and storms… Because of the cold damp spring, some of the vine flowers didn’t set and form fruit, there was millerandage (where the flowers aren’t fully fertilised and give small berries) and high pressure from mildew and odium. Temperatures went right up during the short periods, over-heating and scorching the berries. This weather caused a significant fall in yields, without, however, impacting on the quality of the grapes, as well spread out bunches with small berries guarantee concentration and intensity.
All in all, the grapes achieved good ripeness in aromas and good sugar to acidity balance. The white wines are characterised by their finesse and concentration. The reds set themselves apart with their lovely colours, ripe and silky tannins and their harmonious mouthfeel