2012 Chassagne Montrachet Clos St Jean

Domaine Niellon

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Average Score 88.0

Once again there is enough reduction to dominate the fruit so I would advise decanting this if you're going to try a bottle young. The mouth feel of the nicely delineated medium-bodied flavors is finer than that of the Champs Gain and with more evident minerality as well, all wrapped in a clean, dry and moderately citrus-inflected finish that also exhibits a hint of salinity. Tasted: Jun 15, 2014. Drink: 2017+
The 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos Saint-Jean has a taciturn, stony, broody bouquet with wisps of limestone and melon, complemented by pink grapefruit. The palate is nicely balanced with more vigor than either the Maltroie or the Champs-Gain. Light honeyed tones, hints of spice with shaved ginger furnish the finish to render; this is a decent Chassagne-Montrachet that will probably be for early drinking. ||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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