2010 Criots Batard Montrachet, Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard

2010 Criots Batard Montrachet, Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard

White, Ready, but will improve   White | Ready, but will improve | Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard | Code: 23229 | 2010 | France > Burgundy > Cote de Beaune > Puligny Montrachet | Chardonnay | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BURGHOUND

94/100

GALLONI

95

BURGHOUND - Not surprisingly, this is notably riper than any of the foregoing wines with an overtly exotic yellow fruit nose that displays a pretty top note of citrus influence. The rich, full-bodied and muscular flavors possess excellent volume and plenty of power before concluding in a mouth coating, complex and driving finish that is both quite dry and clean. A vintage like 2010 agrees quite well with a naturally high ripeness terroir like Criots.
Burghound - June 2012 - Issue 74

GALLONI - Fontaine-Gagnard’s 2010 Criots-Batard-Montrachet is wonderfully nuanced and fragrant from start to finish. The Criots is at times even a bit exotic, but it never abandons its sensual, inviting personality and total refinement. In the end, the Criots is all about perfume. This is a great showing for this hugely pleasing Burgundy. Anticipated maturity: 2014+.
Antonio Galloni - erobertparker.com - August 2012

The Story

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard

Producer

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard

Richard Fontaine is married to Laurence, daughter of Jacques Gagnard. The have now been joined by their daughter Céline. They have ten hectares in all with the usual, for Chassagne, extensive range of premiers crus (Bois de Chassagne, La Boudriotte, En Cailleret, les Chenevottes, Clos de Murées monopole, Clos St-Jean, La Maltroie, Morgeot, La Romanée and Les Vergers in white, Morgeot and Clos St-Jean in red). There are futher reds such as Volnay Clos des Chênes and Pommard Les Rugiens, but the jewels in the crown are small holdings of grand cru white Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (0.33 hectare), Bâtard-Montrachet (0.30 hectare) and Le Montrachet (0.08 hectare).


Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

Region

Puligny Montrachet

Puligny was one of two villages (along with Chassagne) which gained permission in 1879 to hyphenate the name of its most famous vineyard, Montrachet, to its own.

The reputation of Puligny-Montrachet is based around its four Grands Crus. Montrachet labels often boast a noble, triumphant ‘Le’ in front of its name, lest you dare confuse it with any lesser wine. It has much to be proud of, with many considering Montrachet to be the greatest white wine in the world. At its best it has an intensity, complexity and elegance that make you wonder how such a wine could be made from mere grapes.

The luxurious and explosive Chevalier-Montrachet is not quite as deep, although it is probably the next best. Only marginally less impressive, and rather more consistent than Montrachet is the richly textured Bâtard-Montrachet (also shared with Chassagne). Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet is equally good, with the focus on honeyed finesse and exquisite balance rather than richness.

These legendary wines are supported by a host of fabulous Premier Cru vineyards capable of reaching Grand Cru quality. Brimming with flavour and intensity, Le Cailleret and Les Pucelles (which both lie across the road from Le Montrachet) are prime candidates, along with Les Demoiselles, Les Combettes and Folatières.

Sandwiched between the larger Chassagne and Meursault, Puligny produces wines that are more striking than any in the Côte d’Or, portraying a floral elegance alongside a stylish, steely concentration. They are very different to Meursault: more refined and delicate, and less rich.

Village level Puligny-Montrachet from top growers can be very good indeed, but is all too often unexciting and disappointing. Grands Crus normally need at least eight years before they can be broached, and last for 20 or more. Premiers Crus should generally be enjoyed between five and 15 years of age; village wines from three to 10 years.

In theory, you can find red Puligny-Montrachet, but it scarcely exists anymore, and is rarely worth the price tag.

  • 114 hectares of village Puligny-Montrachet
  • 100 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (17 in all). The best vineyards include Les Demoiselles, Le Cailleret, Les Pucelles, Les Combettes, Les Folatières
  • 21 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards: Le Montrachet (part), Chevalier-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet (part), Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet
  • Recommended Producers: LeflaiveCarillon
  • Recommended Restaurant: Le Montrachet (excellent cuisine and good wine list; also an hotel)

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