Style - mineral, rounded, fleshy, opulent
Chassagne Montrachet is the most southerly of the three celebrated Côte de Beaune villages. Along with Puligny, it shares one of the finest and most expensive white wine vineyards in the world, Le Montrachet, which was added to the village name in 1879. What makes it so special? It is a saddle that has full exposure to both the south and east, a very gentle incline and a unique subsoil. Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and are grown in Chassagne, with production approximately 65% white and 35% red. The soils in Chassagne are surprisingly better suited to Pinot Noir but it’s the whites that command higher prices and because of this, many red vineyards were replanted with Chardonnay in the second half of the 20th Century. Chassagne is often described as in-between the styles of Puligny and Meursault, although not as refined and floral as Puligny and not as rich as Meursault.
Because of this, prices are often more reasonable and the village can deliver excellent value. The reds can sometimes be austere in youth, as they have a firm tannic structure that benefits from further ageing in bottle. However, some premier crus (Morgeot, Clos St Jean) are terrific examples of the quality reds that Chassagne can produce. There are 180 hectares of village Chassagne and 159 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards, of which there are approximately 52 - numbers vary depending on subdivisions of vineyards- the best include Caillerets, Les Grands Ruchottes and La Romanée. There are three grand cru vineyards over 11 hectares. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet, that are shared with Puligny, and the smaller Criots-Bâtard Montrachet lies entirely within Chassagne. Criots is quite rare - only four growers have enough to make more than a single barrel. Bâtard is usually richer and intense, more about weight and power over elegance.