Blain Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Caillerets 1er Cru 2013
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.
The always understated Jean-Marc Blain, like many of his colleagues, noted that 2013 "once again threw everything but the kitchen sink at us. In addition to the lousy flowering we had a severe attack of mildew that required a lot of attention in the vineyards, which in and of itself wasn't the worst but when you add in the constant rain it seriously complicated matters because we couldn't get the machinery into the vines to treat. All of this cost us quite a bit of yield, in fact we were down 25% to 30% in the grands crus and up to 50% elsewhere as there was hail in Volnay and Pommard. Despite all of that the wines are really very good. I love the style as the wines are super refreshing and very terroir." Blain noted that the 2013s were bottled in January, 2014 without fining or filtration.
A pungent and relatively cool nose is comprised by notes of a wide variety of citrus elements, orchard fruit, rosemary oil and discreet petrol nuances. The very rich and opulent flavors coat the mouth with dry extract and the intense minerality helps to add lift to the lingering and well-balanced finale. This is sufficiently accessible that it should drink well young but it also has the stuffing to reward 6 to 8 years of cellar time. Score: 92 Points; Tasted: June 2015; Drink: 2020+; Issue: 59; Allen Meadows - Burghound
The 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru les Caillerets has a captivating chalky bouquet that has one of the best defined aromatics in 2013: this has a razor-sharp focus. The palate has the depth and roundness of the Morgeot, but there is slightly mineralité toward the finish that offers grapefruit, quince and a healthy dash of spice. There’s also that lovely saline ending to finish what is an outstanding Chassagne. Excellent. Rating 93 Points; Drink: 2017-2030; Date: Dec 2014; Neil Martin - eRobertParker.com #216
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