I wanted to conclude White Burgundy Week with something really great. One of my absolute favorite regions in Burgundy for Chardonnay is Chassagne Montrachet, so it was my obvious choice to end the series. The tasting notes that are to follow in this article are going to be full of colorful descriptions, but I can sum these wines up in just two words, intensity and balance. All four of the wines we have covered so far have not been influenced by oak, although both of the wines we’re about to discuss are gracefully accented by it. That’s not to say they show it as forcefully as many Californian Chardonnays, quite the contrary, these wines are framed by their oak, not covered up by it. Like in the case of Wednesday’s wines, the climate in Chassagne Montrachet is cool enough to sustain acidity and freshness while allowing the grapes to ripen fully enough to show intense, palate saturating fruit flavors. As a result, these wines have a presence about them on the palate and aromatically that instantly captures and sustains your attention.
Wine #1: Michel Niellon 2007 “Clos Saint-Jean” Chassagne-Montrachet
The aroma shows bright, spiced apple tones, a soft edge of melted, just beginning to brown, butter, and waxy aromas of warm honeycomb. A gentle spin in the glass opens up white wild flowers, Asian pear, and a minerality that is somewhere in between chalk and wet stone.
The first sip reveals a dense, smooth wine with a gorgeously full flavor profile and mouthfeel. Cinnamon spiced custard and honey show at first, with flavors of fresh baked apple pie showing immediately after. The edges of this wine give it depth, with a subtle leafy, floral quality and a minerality that shows limestone, chalk, and flint all at once. This is a rich, beautifully integrated wine, with an artful layering of flavors and aromas.
Worth Trying. 91 points.
Wine #2: Bruno Colin 2006 “Les Vergers” Chassagne-Montrachet
Creamy, smoky, and buttery on the nose, this wine impresses from the very first sniff. Cinnamon spiced apple, fresh ground nutmeg, and a minerality that combines limestone and slate show at the core. A spin in the glass reveals notes of small blue wild flowers, pineapple leaves, and just the faintest hint of almond.
A gentle touch of ripe sweetness introduces the wine to the palate. From there soft and supple flavors begin to unfold one after another. This wine is full of delicate honey and cream notes, entire fields of wildflowers, and delicious flavors of fresh baked apple streusel and coffee beans. Dominated by exceptional complexity, this wine shows a perfectly silky palate, impressive balance, and a deliciously creamy, lasting finish.
Worth Trying. 92 points.
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