2012 Chassagne Montrachet J-M Blain-Gagnard



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Average critic rating : 87.0 points

87

87

Moving onto the whites, which had all been bottled just prior to the harvest, the 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet Village comes from 7 parcels planted between the 1930s and 1990s. It has an agreeable, light bouquet with veins of apple peelings and grapefruit. The palate is nicely balanced with pithy fruit, touches of pear and melon, leading to a conservative but clean finish. Fine. ||Jean-Marc Blain poses, somewhat awkwardly, against a metal elevator door upon which is chalked the family tree. Jean-Marc is a quietly spoken, diffident and self-effacing gentleman that has just escorted me through his 2012, which had already bottled. His own branch of the family has viticultural roots, albeit in Sancerre rather than Burgundy. He married Claudine Gagnard in 1980 after meeting at Dijon University and their son Marc-Anthonin, who has been learning the ropes overseas, has joined the husband and wife team. The winery is located in Chassagne, just a few doors down from Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard whose door knocked on just a couple of days later. Jean-Marc could not be more different from his niece, Celine Fontaine. Whilst Celine was garrulous, candid and brimmed over with energy, Jean-Marc kept his opinions to himself until requested, letting his wines do the talking. What both domaine’s have in common is that they are both two of the finest Chassagne producers. The domaine has an impressive portfolio of holdings scattered over some of the appellations most propitious premier crus, plus three grand crus including a 0.08-hectare plot of Montrachet. Even then, it only adds up to 8.17-hectares of vine, so quantities here are small. Jean-March told me that he began the harvest in 17 September. I was struck by the amount of flavor that Jean-Marc crams into his wines. These are not shy or bashful wines, but really come at you with their aromas and flavors in a slightly more classic style compared to Fontaine-Gagnard due to the more conservative use of new oak. His 2012 are suffused with great poise and energy that has successfully been captured thanks to the early bottling. If you have not enjoyed this domaine’s wines than now is time for you to start getting acquainted with these delightful wines. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013

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