2012 Chassagne Montrachet Les Chaumees Domaine Niellon

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Average critic rating : 91.0 points



The 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chaumees has an attractive chalk-scented bouquet with fine definition and vigor. This opens up nicely in the glass, revealing subtle sea spray scents. The palate is well-balanced with a vigorous opening: pink grapefruit, citrus lemon and a touch of nectarine that fan out towards the finish. This is one of Niellon’s better premier crus in 2012. Apparently there is a Batard-Montrachet this year, although it was ravaged by mildew and the quantity was so small that it was not shown when I visited the domaine. ||As an admirer of Michel Niellon wines, especially after a divine Chevalier-Montrachet 1986 earlier this year, it is with heavy heart that I have to report that this appears to be one producer unbalanced and compromised by the inclemency of 2012. Hail severely damaged several of their prime vineyards. Batard-Montrachet was reduced down to a nub, while propitious premier crus the calibre of “Chenevottes” was akin to a child being pushed off their bicycle. In Burgundy, I am afraid there are no stabilizers. Still, on September 19 they harvested what they could and bottled everything, including their Chevalier-Montrachet, at the beginning of September. Michel’s son-in-law Michel Coutoux and grandson Mathieu took me through these wines, which seemed to lack the vigor and precision that I found elsewhere and within the domaine’s own wines in previous vintages. I am sure they will be back on form next year. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013


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