Blain Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Caillerets 1er Cru 2011
This is one of the finest white Burgundy estates, where the wine-making involves minimal interventions. It is run by Jean-Marc Blain and his wife Claudine, the daughter of Jacques Gagnard-Delagrange. The family owns some of the village’s greatest hillsides. New oak barrels are never used to excess, being subtly spread amongst the different cuvées, so that spicy oakiness is never perceptible here. Blain is also prudent with stirring-up of the lees (known as bâtonnage) which, if used to excess, may result in heavy wines which taste mealy. Here, on the contrary, the finished wines have great purity of fruit, with balanced acidity and long, clean flavours which clearly evoke the wines’ precise origins.
A wonderfully refined and broad-ranging nose displays notes of citrus, dried white flowers, wet stone and a pretty mix of white orchard fruit scents. There is a real sense of underlying tension to the seductively textured mid-palate that tightens up on the focused, bone dry and beautifully intense finish. This is a complete wine that combines the elegance of the Clos St. Jean with the length of the Boudriotte and richness of the Morgeot. Indeed the only apparent nit is a discreet touch of backend warmth but overall this is certainly one to think about. Score: 92 Points; Drink: 2017+ Sweet spot Outstanding
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