White, Ready, but will improve

2005 Chassagne Montrachet, 1er Cru, Les Ruchottes, Domaine Ramonet

2005 Chassagne Montrachet, 1er Cru, Les Ruchottes, Domaine Ramonet

White | Ready, but will improve | Ramonet | Code:  31729 | 2005 | Chardonnay | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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The Producer

Ramonet

Ramonet

"Ramonet in white is the equivalent of Henri Jayer or the DRC in red," writes Clive Coates. This is the most foremost property in Chassagne, producing marvellous white wines of all levels from village wines through to the famed Montrachet. Established in the late 1920s by Pierre Ramonet, the domaine is now run by Noël Ramonet and his brother Jean-Claude.

Fruit from vines under 18 years old is excluded from the domaine`s cuvées, and yields are severely restricted. The wines are vinified using traditional methods and then aged in oak (33% new) for 12-15 months. The Montrachet is aged in 100% new oak. There is no battonage but there is extended lees contact prior to the first racking. Extraordinary wines!

The 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.

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