2012 Batard Montrachet Fontaine-Gagnard



Size Availability? price? Qty
£900.00

Average critic rating : 93.0 points

93

93

A densely fruited and layered nose of white flowers, mandarin orange and ripe yellow orchard fruit aromas is trimmed in discreet but not invisible oak. The rich, powerful and impressively concentrated broad-shouldered flavors brim with plenty of dry extract on the almost painfully intense, persistent and mouth coating finish. This is a big but attractively stylish Bâtard that combines a sleek muscularity with admirable refinement. Note that this will need a few years of cellar time first as it's quite tight at present. Tasted: Jun 15, 2014. Drink: 2019+

93

93

The 2012 Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru comes from two parcels of vines, the earliest planted in the 1930s. It is more expressive at this early stage than its peers, offering peach skin and nectarine fruit, fine mineralite and tension. The palate is powerful like the Criots-Batard-Montrachet, packed with pithy fruit and touches of granite on the finish. Very fine – but just five barrels this year. The reds were all in barrel when we met. ||I’ve been smitten by the wines of this Chassagne producer ever since winemaker Celine Gagnard poured me a hauntingly beautiful Criots-Batard-Montrachet in London several years ago. Celine is one of those immediately likeable winemakers: an outgoing personality with an uncommon side order of self-deprecating humor, frankness and self-confessed chattiness. There is directness in her approach that is refreshing. It probably stems from her father Richard, an air force mechanic who upon meeting his wife Laurence Gagnard, dropped everything to study winemaking. Together they established their own domaine initially through rented parcels and debuted with the 1985 vintage. They now have an impressive portfolio as Laurence’s father Jacques Gagnard-Delagrange has handed down parcels so that they presently own an enviable trove of Chassagne premier crus. Celine did not dither in expounding her views upon organic winemaking, de rigueur amongst vignerons. She is adamant that the practice is leaving too many copper deposits in the vineyard. Good point – one rarely addressed. And whereas many winemakers are gently dialing down the level of new oak, here at Fontaine-Gagnard it is part of the intrinsic character of the wines, not that they showed excessive use. To this end, at Fontaine-Gagnard they venture into the forest to select their own wood that is dried in Richard’s garden for two years, governing the drying process so that they get exactly what they want. “We used more new oak this vintage on both whites and reds. The flowering was worse in Chassagne than in Volnay. On 17 May we suffered frost damage in higher terroirs. We believe we need to have the best healthy grapes at harvest time and for that we need products when the pressure is hard. After all, we live in a climate with a lot of rain. We have seen a high concentration of copper in organically farmed vineyards.” Here, the pickers picked up their secateurs on 19 September and put them down again on 24 September. Celine explained that there was little sorting to do because it had been done all in the vineyard, either naturally or through vineyard husbandry. As I mentioned, I am not one to pull my punches from overuse of new oak, but here at Fontaine-Gagnard, they have always had the knack of assimilating it into the wine so that it is barely noticeable. Broaching the whites first, we tasted through the complete range except for their single barrel Montrachet that had already been bottled, through Celine generously opened a 2011 that I left to one side because it was so closed. As I mentioned, there is a clutch of stupendous premier crus here, especially from the calcareous soils on the higher reaches of the slope such as “La Romanee” and “Cailleret”. The only downside is that they border the forest and wild boars have taken to nibbling some of the La Romanee berries. They don’t even leave a tasting note. Crowned by two superb grand crus, “Queen Criots” and “King Batard,” the whites overshadow their reds that tend to be more rustic and easy drinking, not substandard wines by any means, but rarely the main event. This brings me back to that Montrachet 2011 that was waiting patiently for its turn. A couple of hours later I return to my hotel and switch on my laptop. I discover the Word document open and ready for a note never written, the poured Montrachet snubbed by us both. Doh! Both Celine and I had been chewing the fat so much that I forgot it. I just hope she enjoyed the rest of the bottle that evening?assuming that she noticed herself. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013

UK DOMESTIC DELIVERY:

FINE+RARE offers UK home delivery through our logistics partner London City Bond, with next day deliveries available for Central London addresses.
We deliver Monday to Friday; charges are £ 16 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent) for most UK postcodes.
For delivery charges to Highlands, Islands and outlying areas, please contact our Customer Service Team.

INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY:

For deliveries into Hong Kong and Singapore, we offer a dedicated air and sea service.
For more details regarding delivery to Hong Kong, Singapore and all other destinations, please view our International Delivery information page.
Spirits cannot travel on our services to Hong Kong, Singapore or Macau and require separate shipments. Please contact our Customer Service Team for further information.

F+R STORAGE:

Our storage costs are highly competitive. We will happily accept cases or single bottles, charging pro-rata based on the number of bottles and length of storage period.
Unlike many other wine companies, our service includes storage of duty paid wines as well as in bond from any reputable source, not just those bought through FINE+RARE.
Please visit our F+R Storage information page for more details.



IN BOND AND DUTY PAID DELIVERY TO STORAGE ACCOUNTS:

FINE+RARE can arrange delivery of your wines to your personal fine wine storage account:
Deliveries within London City Bond or to a Vinotheque storage account are charged at £ 8 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent).
Deliveries to all other storage providers are charged at £ 16 + VAT for up to 10 cases (12x75cl or equivalent).

Please contact our Customer Service Team if you have any questions.