Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

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Alex Rychlewski
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Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#1 Post by Alex Rychlewski » January 13th, 2019, 8:20 am

Hi,

I realize, of course, that producer counts here. A lot.

I ask the question as someone who has had all the wines, be never in a comparative tasting.

Your insight will be much appreciated.

I was under the impression that the established pecking order was:

Le Montrachet
Chevalier Montrachet
Bâtard Montrachet
Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet
Criots Bâtard Montrachet

Do you go along with this "received wisdom"?

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#2 Post by alan weinberg » January 13th, 2019, 8:44 am

there’s an extra gear in some Montrachet, more power, perhaps an additional layer. I don’t have huge experience and am more of a Chevalier fan for my taste, but I think the hierarchy is valid.

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#3 Post by Gerhard P. » January 13th, 2019, 8:49 am

With MONTRACHET you can have it all: the greatest white ever, and huge disapointments, e.g. when opening a negociant bottling.
When it´s on ... it´s really on ... no substitute!

Chevalier can often be the better wine depending on producer and vintage, but when both is top (or the same) the M. is almost always superior.

I would prefer a Bienvenue-BM over a Batard in most cases because the BBM has the better producers, but there are exceptions, at Ramonet I often preferred the BBM, but there are really fine Batards, too.
Criots is definitely at the bottom of the list - it´s more a very good 1er Cru than a GC, but I had 1-2 fine examples.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#4 Post by Robert Pavlovich » January 13th, 2019, 8:59 am

Lamy's Criots is a stunner, probably tops for that vineyard right now. I like the mix of power and elegance found in good Batards. Have had less success with BBM, but still early days for me.

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#5 Post by DanielP » January 13th, 2019, 9:16 am

In the most recent I'll Drink to That podcast, Jasper Morris seems to think there is clear delineation between Montrachet and the others, including a clear geological delineation, which is cool. I don't drink much burgundy, and certainly not grand cru burg, so I can't personally comment. But I still enjoy hearing about these differences.

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#6 Post by Kris Patten » January 13th, 2019, 9:25 am

My preference outside of a DRC/Ramonet Monty would likely be....

Chevy
Monty
BBM (more precision for my palate)
Batard
Criots (purely from lack of experience)
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#7 Post by William Kelley » January 13th, 2019, 9:43 am

DanielPaik wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 9:16 am
In the most recent I'll Drink to That podcast, Jasper Morris seems to think there is clear delineation between Montrachet and the others, including a clear geological delineation, which is cool. I don't drink much burgundy, and certainly not grand cru burg, so I can't personally comment. But I still enjoy hearing about these differences.

https://soundcloud.com/leviopenswine/ja ... #t=1:35:54
There is a geological fault dividing Montrachet and Chevalier, so the two are characterized by different limestone strata. The soil gets quite a lot deeper in Bâtard, though with slope wash from the Montrachet and Chevalier above.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#8 Post by Nick Ellis » January 13th, 2019, 9:44 am

Chevalier has the highest elevation and incline (something like 15 degrees), so you’d think it would get better drainage and more sunlight than the other sites. All of the Bastard Monty’s looked to be as flat as the 1er Crus that surrounded them, while Le Montrachet has a slight incline. Since position on the Cote seems to have a big impact on prestige, it seems like Chevalier should be a notch above the Bastards. The best Monty I ever had was a Chevalier, but I’ve had maybe 20 bottles total from all 5 vineyards.

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#9 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » January 13th, 2019, 10:33 am

The simple answer is "yes". For most producers, if they make a range including Montrachet then that will be their best wine. There are some potential exceptions - e.g. Jadot Chevalier Demoiselles is probably better than their Montrachet. The pecking order you list certainly reflects pricing, but it really isn't that simple. For example, Carillon BBM is better than most Batards for many people. You're quite correct highlighting that producer is paramount - e.g. there are few Montrachets (probably just Ramonet, Lafon, DRC) that are better than a great Chevalier from Leflaive or d'Auvenay.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#10 Post by jcoley3 » January 13th, 2019, 10:35 am

I think that's a fair pecking order, hough Chevalier tends to be in better "hands" on average than Montrachet itself. Domaine d'Auvenay Chevalier is probably the greatest white wine I have ever had, and I would love to see what they could do with a sliver of Montrachet.

I think those two are also a notable cut above the remaining three (not that I would turn my nose up at any of them).
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#11 Post by Tom Reddick » January 13th, 2019, 7:52 pm

I generally agree with the pecking order in terms of what the vineyards can offer- whether individual producers step up to the plate is another matter.

That said, even a poorly made Montrachet or an example from a light year will still have a certain resonant power to it that is quite notable and unique. Doesn't mean it is worth buying, but the "voice" of Montrachet is pretty much impossible to silence.

The only other way I know of to experience a bit of that same resonant power is in Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret. The vineyard is contiguous with Montrachet- to the east, and the wines have some of that same stony and fiery potency- although in lighter measure and more in keeping with the premier cru scale of the wine. Puligny Cailleret is not an easy wine to find- but very much worth the effort.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#12 Post by Howard Cooper » January 13th, 2019, 8:18 pm

Bouchard is a good example as it makes a Montrachet and two Chevalier Montrachets (a regular one and la Cabotte - from a parcel right on the border between Montrachet and Chevalier). From my experience, the Montrachet is consistently the best of these, the la Cabotte second best and the regular Chevalier, while a fabulous wine, is not as fabulous as the other two.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#13 Post by Kris Patten » January 13th, 2019, 9:09 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
January 13th, 2019, 8:18 pm
Bouchard is a good example as it makes a Montrachet and two Chevalier Montrachets (a regular one and la Cabotte - from a parcel right on the border between Montrachet and Chevalier). From my experience, the Montrachet is consistently the best of these, the la Cabotte second best and the regular Chevalier, while a fabulous wine, is not as fabulous as the other two.
Same paradigm I find with Jadot....Demoiselles is favorite, Monty second, regular Chevy third...I'd need to sort out which are Domaine versus Negociant, are all the Drouhin wines Domaine?
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#14 Post by dcornutt » January 14th, 2019, 2:30 am

To me this is like the La Tache and Romanee Conti comparison. When Montrachet is right, fully open and in the best of hands, it is a special wine. There are no others even Leflaive Chevalier or Niellon Chevalier that touch it for expression and complexity. I would take any of them however without a second thought. I saw Jim mentioned d'Auvenay Chevalier. That one is a special case. To me, the winemaker has turned that bottle into something mythical. One of the best, if not the best, white wines I have ever tasted.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#15 Post by William Kelley » January 14th, 2019, 4:46 am

I don't know of any address where you can taste all of them from domaine sourcing, which is too bad. But there are a few domaines where you get to compare an interesting range.

At Ramonet, you can taste all except Criots, and though they don't own the Chevalier parcel they work the vines. The Montrachet has the most volume and dimension, with more power but less weight than the Bâtard; it's expansive, limpid and very penetrating. The Chevalier is more "vertical" and incisive, not far off the Montrachet in quality but very different in character. The Bâtard is denser and more blocky, while the Bienvenues is suppler and more open, with less density and weight.

At d'Auvenay, you can taste Criots, Bâtard and Chevalier. Again, the distinctions are pretty textbook, and I have found them blind without difficulty each time I have tasted. The Criots is broader, more exotic and musky (it's also raised in steel as the volume is so small); the Bâtard is denser and more tight-knit, with a less exotic nose; and the Chevalier is searingly mineral and intense, with amazing power and energy. For my palate, the d'Auvenay Chevalier is the best white wine being made in the world today.

At Fontaine-Gagnard, the archetypes hold true: the Criots is more honeyed, exotic and musky, with the oiliest texture; Bâtard denser and more controlled; and the Montrachet more ample and expansive and less blocky than the Bâtard - though it's not as dramatic as Ramonet's.

At Leflaive, the Bienvenues seems to oscillate between resembling Bâtard and resembling a broader-shouldered Pucelles - the latter being its tendency. The vines are some of the domaine's oldest there and I would say they make / can make the most minerally Bienvenues. The Bâtard is dense, layered and powerful. The Chevalier more vertical, tensile, chalky but not much less powerful. The Montrachet, again, ampler and with another dimension.

Apparently, old Pierre Ramonet used to say that, Bâtard you can drink with food and Montrachet you should drink on its own. I think there's some truth to that. A great Montrachet is almost too intense an experience to allow any distractions. It's almost too great a great wine to have with a meal.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#16 Post by Karl K » January 14th, 2019, 6:00 am

Would be nice to have the experience you do, William!

Second-hand better than not at all, so thanks for sharing.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#17 Post by Ian Dorin » January 14th, 2019, 6:42 am

Depends who's making it :)
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#18 Post by D. HEIN » January 14th, 2019, 1:54 pm

J/C & D/C,

Was the incredible 1993 D'Auvenay we drank at Mitch Hershs' weekend Burgundy tasting a Chevalier?

For a somewhat off white Burgundy vintage, it was mind blowing! I recall Brad England flipping "OUT" upon tasting this wine!

Here!
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#19 Post by jcoley3 » January 14th, 2019, 2:03 pm

D. HEIN wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 1:54 pm
J/C & D/C,

Was the incredible 1993 D'Auvenay we drank at Mitch Hershs' weekend Burgundy tasting a Chevalier?

For a somewhat off white Burgundy vintage, it was mind blowing! I recall Brad England flipping "OUT" upon tasting this wine!

Here!
That was indeed the one. Just otherworldly in what was stunning company.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#20 Post by Fred C » January 14th, 2019, 2:14 pm

William Kelley wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 4:46 am
For my palate, the d'Auvenay Chevalier is the best white wine being made in the world today.
I haven’t had the pleasure of trying the Chevalier Montrachet but after tasting her Gouttes d’Or my sentiments are similar.

PYCM produces the entire range in question even if not all domaine sourced.

Of his wines I also prefer Chevalier Montrachet to Montrachet and the BBM over his Batard. His Criots is not to shabby either!
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#21 Post by William Kelley » January 14th, 2019, 2:34 pm

Fred C wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 2:14 pm
William Kelley wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 4:46 am
For my palate, the d'Auvenay Chevalier is the best white wine being made in the world today.
I haven’t had the pleasure of trying the Chevalier Montrachet but after tasting her Gouttes d’Or my sentiments are similar.

PYCM produces the entire range in question even if not all domaine sourced.

Of his wines I also prefer Chevalier Montrachet to Montrachet and the BBM over his Batard. His Criots is not to shabby either!
He generally prefers his Bâtard, and personally I agree! Apparently the parcel he sources from (and now farms) is 90 years old and produces tiny berries.

Don't think he has made Montrachet, BBM or Criots the last couple of years but maybe he simply didn't present them for tasting.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#22 Post by Alex Rychlewski » January 15th, 2019, 12:56 am

Many thanks for all the replies, and especially to William Kelly.

Best regards,
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#23 Post by Stephen Williams » January 15th, 2019, 3:08 am

I think Caroline Morey now makes a Criots.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#24 Post by dcornutt » January 15th, 2019, 3:13 am

D. HEIN wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 1:54 pm
J/C & D/C,

Was the incredible 1993 D'Auvenay we drank at Mitch Hershs' weekend Burgundy tasting a Chevalier?

For a somewhat off white Burgundy vintage, it was mind blowing! I recall Brad England flipping "OUT" upon tasting this wine!

Here!
I remember. What a wine. Yes a 1993 Chevalier. Brought by Jim Coley. It is one of the greatest white wine experiences of my life. Hi Donn. I didn't make the connection until now.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#25 Post by J Wei » January 15th, 2019, 8:12 am

As many have echoed here, I think it ultimately depends on producer. Like PYCM, Pernot's BBM are quite good. . . some would argue it is better than his Batard.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#26 Post by Mike Grammer » January 15th, 2019, 9:08 am

Need more personal data points [grin.gif]

The 2010 Ramonet Montrachet, had in its extreme youth, is arguably the greatest dry white wine I've ever had--only the 1999 Haut-Brion Blanc is in the same discussion.

I have in mind a memorable petit conversation with Francois Audouze at a dinner in 2014 where I brought the 08 Blain-Gagnard Criots-Batard (with thanks to Dr. Don for first helping me to discover it!) and we both commented sotto voce that we preferred Criots to Batard, but it is all about style preference I think. In my *very* limited experience:

Montrachet
Chevy
Criots
Batard
BBM

fun topic and thanks to posters for weighing in with lots of great comments thus far, especially with reference to producer impact .In that vein, Juyuan, with Pernot, I agree with you, though the Batard is by no means shabby

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#27 Post by Gerhard P. » January 16th, 2019, 12:36 am

Fwiw on Monday I had
- BBM Pernot 2008
- and Chev.M. Niellon 2008
side by side.
The Chevy was slightly superior, more focused, minerally, slightly more intense, but the BBM wasn´t shabby either, more voluptuous and creamier, quite soft, but with good length, both still quite young but enjoyable.
A very interesting comparison -
95 vers. 94 points
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#28 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » January 16th, 2019, 11:42 am

BBM is blessed with basically only really good producers making it. I would tend to put it on the same level as a vineyard as Batard, and often prefer it.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#29 Post by chetkern » January 16th, 2019, 11:57 am

It was at Paulee de Hersh 1 that we drank the 93 D’Auvenay Chevalier and it was an enormous wine against other great Chevy’s from different vintages.

93 whites are a very good to excellent vintage and the last good white burgs for aging confidently before the problems began with 95 forward.

Montrachet is a tough wine to truly understand as to really appreciate its subletly, nuance, flavor and texture full maturity is required. For DRC;
That is often 30 years or more and Ramonet 20-25 years or more, Laguiche, Jacques Gagnard, and others perhaps 15-25 years depending on the vintage.

Generally Chevalier and the others gives it all it’s got by their 10th birthday and offers up a richness and minerals not found in Batard which has more power and less finesse and Bienvenue much gentler with the finesse there. As to Criot it’s lovely and balanced and in the hands of Olivier Lamy delivers a beautiful experience.

All things being equal Montrachet is by far the top dog. Unfortunately most people because of premox will miss these experiences comparing mature Montrachet to Chevalier.

For me Chevalier is a very satisfying often sublime experience.

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#30 Post by D. HEIN » January 16th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Hi Chet,

Indeed, aged Blanc Burgundy is generally a low probability for the future, at this time. But, there are cellars with these rarities today, going back 30++ years. Extremely rare, of course!

It would fascinating to do a comparative Chevalier Montrachet/Le Montrachet dinner, with ALL wines having a minimum age of twenty to twenty five years from appropriate vintages.

Is there interest in this profile of tasting/dinner?
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#31 Post by jcoley3 » January 16th, 2019, 6:45 pm

chetkern wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:57 am
It was at Paulee de Hersh 1 that we drank the 93 D’Auvenay Chevalier and it was an enormous wine against other great Chevy’s from different vintages.

93 whites are a very good to excellent vintage and the last good white burgs for aging confidently before the problems began with 95 forward.

Montrachet is a tough wine to truly understand as to really appreciate its subletly, nuance, flavor and texture full maturity is required. For DRC;
That is often 30 years or more and Ramonet 20-25 years or more, Laguiche, Jacques Gagnard, and others perhaps 15-25 years depending on the vintage.

Generally Chevalier and the others gives it all it’s got by their 10th birthday and offers up a richness and minerals not found in Batard which has more power and less finesse and Bienvenue much gentler with the finesse there. As to Criot it’s lovely and balanced and in the hands of Olivier Lamy delivers a beautiful experience.

All things being equal Montrachet is by far the top dog. Unfortunately most people because of premox will miss these experiences comparing mature Montrachet to Chevalier.

For me Chevalier is a very satisfying often sublime experience.
Agreed on 93. I think that vintage’s qualities got lost coming after 92 (like 91 reds with 90) and that was the point where some critical voices really began giving better press to more approachable wines.

I was sorry to have to miss the reunion last summer.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#32 Post by chetkern » January 16th, 2019, 10:39 pm

D. HEIN wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 6:31 pm
Hi Chet,

Indeed, aged Blanc Burgundy is generally a low probability for the future, at this time. But, there are cellars with these rarities today, going back 30++ years. Extremely rare, of course!

It would fascinating to do a comparative Chevalier Montrachet/Le Montrachet dinner, with ALL wines having a minimum age of twenty to twenty five years from appropriate vintages.

Is there interest in this profile of tasting/dinner?

D/H-
Anywhere and any time. It would be a penultimate event and of course I can supply more than my fair share of wines.
—————————————————————-
Jim-
I was hoping you’d have been able to attend and glad to see and hear that you’ve recovered well!

“white burgundy, often imitated never duplicated.”
“champagne, the new white burgundy.”

There is no secret that white burgundy has always been my beverage of choice. To protect my cellar of old pre 94 wines, I switched years ago to champagne and more specifically to many Blanc de Blancs. I do not limit my purchases to Chardonnay Champagnes but am always on the lookout for 375’’s of Blanc de Blancs.
This evening a very good 2008 Jose Dhondt Mas Vielle Vignes Les Mesnil we opened was just on the edge of beginnng to enter its earliest stage of secondary development. It was very pleasurable, quaffable and surprisingly the bottle evaporated......that’s what white burgundy is supposed to do and it’s mind bending that mostly that experience is today non existent. I don’t have any of that fear or problem with champagne and I’m thrilled with many growers escalating quality in farming and picking riper and better chardonnay grapes, resulting in purer and ever improving bottles of and dare I say Burgundian experience white burgundy champagne.

The license plate on my car is WHT BURG

Best

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#33 Post by jcoley3 » January 17th, 2019, 11:38 am

chetkern wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 10:39 pm
D. HEIN wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 6:31 pm
Hi Chet,

Indeed, aged Blanc Burgundy is generally a low probability for the future, at this time. But, there are cellars with these rarities today, going back 30++ years. Extremely rare, of course!

It would fascinating to do a comparative Chevalier Montrachet/Le Montrachet dinner, with ALL wines having a minimum age of twenty to twenty five years from appropriate vintages.

Is there interest in this profile of tasting/dinner?

D/H-
Anywhere and any time. It would be a penultimate event and of course I can supply more than my fair share of wines.
—————————————————————-
Jim-
I was hoping you’d have been able to attend and glad to see and hear that you’ve recovered well!

“white burgundy, often imitated never duplicated.”
“champagne, the new white burgundy.”

There is no secret that white burgundy has always been my beverage of choice. To protect my cellar of old pre 94 wines, I switched years ago to champagne and more specifically to many Blanc de Blancs. I do not limit my purchases to Chardonnay Champagnes but am always on the lookout for 375’’s of Blanc de Blancs.
This evening a very good 2008 Jose Dhondt Mas Vielle Vignes Les Mesnil we opened was just on the edge of beginnng to enter its earliest stage of secondary development. It was very pleasurable, quaffable and surprisingly the bottle evaporated......that’s what white burgundy is supposed to do and it’s mind bending that mostly that experience is today non existent. I don’t have any of that fear or problem with champagne and I’m thrilled with many growers escalating quality in farming and picking riper and better chardonnay grapes, resulting in purer and ever improving bottles of and dare I say Burgundian experience white burgundy champagne.

The license plate on my car is WHT BURG

Best
Thanks, Chet! It’s good to enter 2019 hale and hearty. Also, I totally agree on BdB Champagne in general, and that lovely 08 Dhondt in particular!
Jim Coley ITB

"So I say, like Ortega y Gasset, that when a lot of people agree on something, it's either a stupid idea or a beautiful woman." - Alvaro Mutis

"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#34 Post by Gerhard P. » January 17th, 2019, 11:57 pm

jcoley3 wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 6:45 pm
chetkern wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:57 am
It was at Paulee de Hersh 1 that we drank the 93 D’Auvenay Chevalier and it was an enormous wine against other great Chevy’s from different vintages.

93 whites are a very good to excellent vintage and the last good white burgs for aging confidently before the problems began with 95 forward.
....
Agreed on 93. I think that vintage’s qualities got lost coming after 92 (like 91 reds with 90) and that was the point where some critical voices really began giving better press to more approachable wines.

...
I disagree on the general great qualities of 1993 white Burgs. I had far more disapointing ones than good ones, most are very high in acidity, lacking in ripe fruit, harmony and finish, quite a few are shrill and unbalanced. Sure there are some really good examples (not having tasted this d´Auvenay), but the statement that the vintage is generally excellent is imho misleading. Most have survived due to the acidity, but 1992 in white is far superior.
(however 1993 is better than 1994 ... no great surprise).
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#35 Post by jcoley3 » January 18th, 2019, 8:22 pm

Gerhard P. wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 11:57 pm
jcoley3 wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 6:45 pm
chetkern wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 11:57 am
It was at Paulee de Hersh 1 that we drank the 93 D’Auvenay Chevalier and it was an enormous wine against other great Chevy’s from different vintages.

93 whites are a very good to excellent vintage and the last good white burgs for aging confidently before the problems began with 95 forward.
....
Agreed on 93. I think that vintage’s qualities got lost coming after 92 (like 91 reds with 90) and that was the point where some critical voices really began giving better press to more approachable wines.

...
I disagree on the general great qualities of 1993 white Burgs. I had far more disapointing ones than good ones, most are very high in acidity, lacking in ripe fruit, harmony and finish, quite a few are shrill and unbalanced. Sure there are some really good examples (not having tasted this d´Auvenay), but the statement that the vintage is generally excellent is imho misleading. Most have survived due to the acidity, but 1992 in white is far superior.
(however 1993 is better than 1994 ... no great surprise).
Bear in mind 93 was completely forgotten at the time, like 94. It was not 92 - but there were some outstanding wines made that were hard to enjoy young that blossomed, the way White Burgundy used to be. There were still wines like this in 96, though the transition to early accessibility was well underway. I compared it earlier to 91 reds, but in a sense its the inverse of 93 reds, where the top wines made the vintage as a whole seem better. Here, the top wines were overshadowed by more challenging wines - probably because 92 reds were generally dreadful while 92 whites were widely lauded.

I also prize acidity, so I may like wines you find unpleasant.

If nothing else, the potential was there in 93 - the four of us in the thread who actually tasted the d'Auvenay tasted it in the company of some of the best 92 Chevaliers, and it wan't even close (not that the 92s weren't stunning, but...). We can all remember the wine vividly over 10 years later, and I am with Don that it was one of the great wine moments of my life.
Jim Coley ITB

"So I say, like Ortega y Gasset, that when a lot of people agree on something, it's either a stupid idea or a beautiful woman." - Alvaro Mutis

"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#36 Post by chetkern » January 19th, 2019, 12:22 am

jcoley3 wrote:
January 18th, 2019, 8:22 pm
Gerhard P. wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 11:57 pm
jcoley3 wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 6:45 pm


Agreed on 93. I think that vintage’s qualities got lost coming after 92 (like 91 reds with 90) and that was the point where some critical voices really began giving better press to more approachable wines.

...
I disagree on the general great qualities of 1993 white Burgs. I had far more disapointing ones than good ones, most are very high in acidity, lacking in ripe fruit, harmony and finish, quite a few are shrill and unbalanced. Sure there are some really good examples (not having tasted this d´Auvenay), but the statement that the vintage is generally excellent is imho misleading. Most have survived due to the acidity, but 1992 in white is far superior.
(however 1993 is better than 1994 ... no great surprise).
Bear in mind 93 was completely forgotten at the time, like 94. It was not 92 - but there were some outstanding wines made that were hard to enjoy young that blossomed, the way White Burgundy used to be. There were still wines like this in 96, though the transition to early accessibility was well underway. I compared it earlier to 91 reds, but in a sense its the inverse of 93 reds, where the top wines made the vintage as a whole seem better. Here, the top wines were overshadowed by more challenging wines - probably because 92 reds were generally dreadful while 92 whites were widely lauded.

I also prize acidity, so I may like wines you find unpleasant.

If nothing else, the potential was there in 93 - the four of us in the thread who actually tasted the d'Auvenay tasted it in the company of some of the best 92 Chevaliers, and it wan't even close (not that the 92s weren't stunning, but...). We can all remember the wine vividly over 10 years later, and I am with Don that it was one of the great wine moments of my life.

Jim very eloquently expressed not only on the shared experience we had with Bize’s 93 Chevalier but the reason that 93 whites have aged so well based on their acidity. 92’s have a much different and richer flavor profile and those that have survived are both in a very good spot currently and have been so for the past 5 years plus, and at their peak-plateau.

If you look more closely at my original statement regarding 93 white b’s, I was quite careful in stating that the 93 whites ranged from very good to excellent, and I’ll add that they were late bloomers not unlike 88 whites and were purchased by most collectors after or on the heels of both 89’s and 92’s. Both vintages 88 and 93 whites languished on the shelves of retailers and remained readily available.
Also, I’m as always only talking about the most respected addresses, and only premier and grand cru vineyards from that time, including those from Ramonet, Niellon, Sauzet and Lafon amongst others like Bonneau du Martray.

THE real point however is that there is a conversation to be had 26 years later about the still very good to excellent 93 white burgundies.

I have in queue for consumption both 93 Sauzet Bienvenue and Drouhin Corton Charlemagne. I will report on these soon. For me it’s absolutely tragic how much post 93 White Burgundy I have poured down the drain. On the bright side a 2014 Ramonet Caillerets tonight was so good and painfully young with enormous dry extract and all things being equal and that is a BIG if, it’s a bottle and vintage to discuss around 2040, and if that were to happen I’d be nearly 90 years old.... Yikes!

Having ceased being so serious about wine, it has allowed me to enjoy it so much more in the past 5 years, and to post and talk less about them.

I wish that on everyone in the new year and going forward!

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#37 Post by Gerhard P. » January 19th, 2019, 3:51 am

Most of what´s written above is true, but I disagree with:

>>THE real point however is that there is a conversation to be had 26 years later about the still very good to excellent 93 white burgundies. <<

Yes, SOME very good to excellent 93 white Burgundies ... but the majority of what I´ve tasted are not outstanding, but only good, sometimes very good but often only mean and lean, lacking real ripe fruit and showing mostly acidity ...
I would NOT buy 93 whites on a posting like this only, thinking one couldn´t be wrong with the vintage - but rather taste first ... and then buy when you really like it ...
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#38 Post by Karl K » January 19th, 2019, 8:12 am

I would partipate in such a tasting.

I would have to buy some bottles though.
K a z a k s

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#39 Post by alan weinberg » January 19th, 2019, 12:24 pm

I missed the boat on 93, falling on the heels of beloved 92s and being so acidic in their youth. Unfortunately my other mistake was drinking my 92s too young, thinking it a Californiesque vintage. And I agree re 14 Ramonet--painfully awesome.

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#40 Post by D. HEIN » January 20th, 2019, 2:11 pm

LE MONTRACHET / MONTRACHET

<><><>&<><><>


In their "Nouvel atlas des grands vignobles de Bourgogne" Sylvain Pithiot and Pierre Poupon indicate that the "Montrachet" AOC consists of two different "lieux dits" (plots), one being called "Montrachet" on the soil of the commune of Puligny-Montrachet, with a surface of 4 hectares, 1 are and 7 centiares, the other one beeing named "Le Montrachet", located within the boundaries of the commune of Chassagne-Montrachet, with a surface of 3ha 98a 73ca.

I would suppose only these producers whose Montrachet is made from grapes coming exclusively from the Chassagne plot may call their wine "Le Montrachet" if they so wish.

<><><>&<><><>


There is no difference between Montrachet and le Montrachet. Montrachet refers to both in its entirety.

"Pour Montrachet Sur le territoire de Puligny-Montrachet, section A, n. 1 à 2. Sur le territoire de Chassagne-Montrachet, section A, n. 29 à 33 et n. 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, dénommées « Dents de Chien »".

Décret du 19 mars 1998 relatif à certaines appellations d'origine contrôlées de la région Bourgogne - J.O n° 72 du 26 Mars 1998 Article 1er.

By the way, Article 3eme states that the minimum alcohol of Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet is 12% while Batard, Bienvenues, and Criots are only 11.5%.

<><><>&<><><>


La Cabotte is a separate vineyard within the confines of Le Montrachet but is considered part of Chevalier Montrachet.

The section is next to a working shed "cabotte" that belongs to Bouchard.

It is a fascinating looking building. Luc Bouchard, said that this little section was part of a parcel of Montrachet that Bouchard purchased. The exact reason that it was not labeled as such was said to be due to tax purposes. There were probably other political reasons. Bouchard is now actively trying to have this reclassified. It is really Montrachet. It is a very small vineyard.
Donn Hein

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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#41 Post by William Kelley » January 20th, 2019, 4:44 pm

D. HEIN wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 2:11 pm

There is no difference between Montrachet and le Montrachet. Montrachet refers to both in its entirety.
While I realize you are referring to the appellation laws and not the character of the different parts of the vineyard, there are in fact quite significant differences within Montrachet. There are a cluster of small parcels—including Domaine Marc Colin's—at the top of the slope on the southern side that have quite a different exposition to the northern end. There are lots of murgers up there. I have not explored sufficiently but clearly the mesoclimate varies. And so do the wines.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#42 Post by Gerhard P. » January 21st, 2019, 5:06 am

I´m not completely sure if it would be illegal to label a Montrachet from the Puligny side "Le Montrachet", but you certainly can label a M. from Chassagne as "Montrachet" without "Le ..." - same as Chambertin versus Ch.Clos de Beze ...
I did myself and attended Montrachets-tastings twice where we tasted Ms (a good 50 all together) from both sides against each other, and also Ms from the top-part in Chassagne like Petitjean, Amiot, Fleurot, Colin etc.
While there was no clear difference between the Puligny and Chassagne side recognizable there was a certain difference between the plots high up the hill (more minerally driven, slightly "lighter") and the wines from lower parts (slightly "fatter", less minerally ...) - but definitely less differences than between M. and the other GCs like Chvalier-M., Batard-M. etc.
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Re: Is Le Montrachet really a notch above the other hyphenated ones?

#43 Post by Peter Chiu » January 21st, 2019, 8:43 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:06 am
I´m not completely sure if it would be illegal to label a Montrachet from the Puligny side "Le Montrachet", but you certainly can label a M. from Chassagne as "Montrachet" without "Le ..." - same as Chambertin versus Ch.Clos de Beze ...
I did myself and attended Montrachets-tastings twice where we tasted Ms (a good 50 all together) from both sides against each other, and also Ms from the top-part in Chassagne like Petitjean, Amiot, Fleurot, Colin etc.
While there was no clear difference between the Puligny and Chassagne side recognizable there was a certain difference between the plots high up the hill (more minerally driven, slightly "lighter") and the wines from lower parts (slightly "fatter", less minerally ...) - but definitely less differences than between M. and the other GCs like Chvalier-M., Batard-M. etc.
***********I´m not completely sure if it would be illegal to label a Montrachet from the Puligny side "Le Montrachet", but you certainly can label a M. from Chassagne as "Montrachet" without "Le ..." - same as Chambertin versus Ch.Clos de Beze ... *******

Interesting...... [winner.gif]

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