2016 St Aubin, Le Charmois, 1er Cru, Jean-Claude Bachelet & Fils, Burgundy
About this WINE
Jean-Claude Bachelet is considered one of the most conscientious wine producers in St Aubin. The wines are exceptionally well balanced, with understated character and good medium-term ageing potential.
Benoît and Jean-Baptiste Bachelet now head up the estate, having taken over from their father Jean-Claude (who died in 2020). Jean-Claude previously sold much of the estate’s crop to négociants, but nowadays they bottle almost all their wines.
Benoît and Jean-Baptiste have now moved to superb new cellars in the hamlet of Gamay, next to St Aubin.
In the vineyard
The brothers have been experimenting with biodynamic viticulture in the vineyard and have plans to extend this across their holdings in St Aubin, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet.
In the winery
The basic principle of a long, slow barrel-ageing for almost two years remains in force, while the state-of-the-art winery has improved consistency.
Though tucked away in a side valley behind the two ‘Montrachet’ villages, Saint-Aubin is a great source of fine, steely white Burgundy and some attractively fruity reds. Production used to be about 50:50 between the two colours, but the whites have become the more sought-after and now represent two-thirds of the crop. There is a significant difference however between the best Premiers Crus – such as En Remilly – and the vineyards tucked away further up the valley.
- 80 hectares of village Saint-Aubin
- 156 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (15 in all). The finest include En Remilly, Murgers des Dents de Chien, La Chatenière, Les Frionnes
- Recommended producer: Hubert Lamy
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.
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From an east-facing vineyard with shallow red soil situated on the slope bordering ChassagneMontrachet, there’s around 25 percent new oak here. The cool, rocky site provides elegance and freshness, with a crisp citrus-fruit profile and saline backbone. There is a pleasant touch of struck-match reduction on the finish. Drink 2019-2023.
Adam Bruntlett, Burgundy Buyer
With the move to superb new cellars in the hamlet of Gamay, next to St Aubin, Benoît and Jean-Baptiste Bachelet have taken over from their father Jean-Claude, though he may still be seen with his wartime vintage truck ferrying the grapes at harvest time. The basic principles of a long slow barrelageing for almost two years remain in force, while the state-of-the-art winery has improved consistency. In the vineyard, the brothers have been experimenting with biodynamic viticulture and have plans to extend this across their holdings which are in St Aubin, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. With vineyards mostly located in St Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet, the Bachelet brothers – Benoît and Jean-Baptiste – had a torrid time in 2016 thanks to the frost, losing 75 percent of their crop. Despite the terrible spring weather and resultant disease pressure, they stuck to their biodynamic methods. The crop was so small, in fact, that they had to fill 44 unused barrels with water and sulphur dioxide to keep them fresh until they get another decent crop. There is no Chatenière in 2016 and many of the other cuvées are very small indeed.
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