2018 Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Perclos, Domaine d'Eugénie, Burgundy
About this WINE
Domaine d'Eugénie is the reincarnation of the famed Domaine Engel. After the tragic early death of Philippe Engel in May 2005, his family decided to sell the domaine. The highest bidder was François Pinault, owner of Château Latour in Bordeaux, whose right-hand man Frédéric Engerer had long had a passion for burgundy. The 2005 harvest had already been sold off in bulk, but the new team, including young vigneron Michel Mallard from Ladoix, made the 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the Lupé Cholet headquarters in Nuits-St-Georges. From 2009 they have moved into the now refurbished Clos Frantin buildings in Vosne itself.
Yields are significantly lower than in Philippe’s day and the vineyards have been meticulously looked after, including a substantial programme of replacing missing individual vines, which will be picked separately and declassified into the village Vosne in their youth.
The principal decision is whether or not to keep any stems. None were retained in 2006, but an experiment with one of the two fermentation tanks of Clos de Vougeot the following year was positive, the blend of half with and half without stems showing textural qualities and a sense of energy over and above either individual version. The experiment has been continued in 2008 and extended to the Grands Echezeaux.
Otherwise, the grapes are vinified in fairly classical manner, with a preference for punching down rather than pumping over, then matured in barrel for a minimum of 15 months (village Vosne), or rather longer for the grands crus which receive around 80% of new wood.
The first vintage released by the Domaine was in 2006. The highly impressive 2007 vintage is a truly representative vintage for Domaine Eugenie, showing each of the vineyards in its true guise.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
When it comes to the world's greatest white wines, the border between Chassagne and Puligny is the ‘X’ that marks the spot, the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Within a few hundred metres lie five wonderful Grands Crus, three of which are in Chassagne. They are led by the luscious, perfumed but variable Le Montrachet, to which Chassagne gained permission in 1879, along with Puligny, to hyphenate its name.Both Montrachet and the rich, nutty, honeyed Bâtard-Montrachet are shared between Chassagne and Puligny. The fragrant, very fine and rare Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet however, lies entirely within Chassagne's borders. The Grands Crus have their own appellations, which is why Chassagne (or Puligny) does not appear on the label.
Although the most southerly of the three great names of the Côte de Beaune, Chassagne's style is often described as lying between that of Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault: less fine than Puligny, less rich than Meursault but containing elements of both. Chassagne is minerally yet succulent, and often floral with hints of hazelnuts. Despite a bevy of very good Premiers Crus, it is not as good or famous, overall, as Meursault and Puligny, but it is usually extremely good value. Grands Crus should not be opened before eight years of age, and can last for 20 or more. Premiers Crus are at their best from five to 15 years of age; village wines from three to eight.
Perhaps surprisingly, given that the name ‘Montrachet’ is so synonymous with white wine, much of the soil in Chassagne is more suited to Pinot Noir than Chardonnay. Indeed it was only really in the second half of the 20th century that white wines began to dominate here. The reds have a firm tannic style that needs time to soften, with the best examples coming from the Premiers Crus Morgeot, Boudriotte and Clos-St Jean. At their best they combine the weight of the Côte de Nuits with the suppleness of the Côte de Beaune.
- 180 hectares of village Chassagne-Montrachet
- 159 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards. Several of the larger ones are subdivided and may be cited under various different names. The best include Caillerets, Ruchottes, Chaumées, La Boudriotte
- 11 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards: Le Montrachet (part), Bâtard-Montrachet (part) and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet
- Recommended producers: Ramonet, Niellon
- Recommended restaurant: Le Chassagne (good cuisine and wine list)
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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