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Chassagne Montrachet Clos St Marc Jean Marc Pillot 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

Chassagne-Montrachet is an enigma. It is thought of as one of the "big three" white wine villages of the Cote-de-Beaune, a member of the Holy Trinity if you will, along with Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet. Through the ages, though, this has been red wine territory. Except its northernmost extremity the "hill of Montrachet" where Chassagne claims approximately half of the Grand Crus Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet as well as Les Criots-Batard-Montrachet in its entirety. It has only been very recently that Chassagne-Montrachet has produced more white wine than red, and current numbers might surprise the consumer as chardonnay out produces pinot noir only by a small margin (approximate production per annum -- 9,000hl. white, 7,000hl. red). Yet its white wines are very popular, and its many vineyards such as Caillerets, Vergers, Morgeot and others have wide name recognition. While in many a village, it is difficult to track down examples of the classed vineyards, in Chassagne, most all are readily available, making a comprehensive study of its terroir possible with a just a little legwork. Lost in all of this are the reds of Chassagne, which is good for the consumer, as their substantial production is largely under priced due to their lesser recognition. Covering a large area, with some twenty premier crus of varying aspects, altitudes and soils, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what Chassagne-Montrachet is or should be. Knowing the individual vineyards is helpful, but of course knowing the producer is critical. However, some generalizations can be made. White Chassagne-Montrachet is usually fuller than its counterparts from Puligny-Montrachet and usually features more densely concentrated fruit. Chassagne-Montrachet is feminine, but not in a girlish sense. They are mature, complex and sophisticated with depth and character. There are ripe yellow and green fruits, good spice and perhaps a touch of fleures blanches. The reds feature pure, red cherries typical of the Cote-de-Beaune and a precise framework of acidity. Complexity often comes in the form of a touch of rusticity: perhaps some earth, mushroom or sous bois. Many producers have been attentively working at taming the wine's more angular qualities over the past several years, successfully fashioning wines of greater sophistication and suppleness.

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Chassagne-Montrachet is an enigma. It is thought of as one of the "big three" white wine villages of the Cote-de-Beaune, a member of the Holy Trinity if you will, along with Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet. Through the ages, though, this has been red wine territory. Except its northernmost extremity the "hill of Montrachet" where Chassagne claims approximately half of the Grand Crus Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet as well as Les Criots-Batard-Montrachet in its entirety. It has only been very recently that Chassagne-Montrachet has produced more white wine than red, and current numbers might surprise the consumer as chardonnay out produces pinot noir only by a small margin (approximate production per annum -- 9,000hl. white, 7,000hl. red). Yet its white wines are very popular, and its many vineyards such as Caillerets, Vergers, Morgeot and others have wide name recognition. While in many a village, it is difficult to track down examples of the classed vineyards, in Chassagne, most all are readily available, making a comprehensive study of its terroir possible with a just a little legwork. Lost in all of this are the reds of Chassagne, which is good for the consumer, as their substantial production is largely under priced due to their lesser recognition. Covering a large area, with some twenty premier crus of varying aspects, altitudes and soils, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what Chassagne-Montrachet is or should be. Knowing the individual vineyards is helpful, but of course knowing the producer is critical. However, some generalizations can be made. White Chassagne-Montrachet is usually fuller than its counterparts from Puligny-Montrachet and usually features more densely concentrated fruit. Chassagne-Montrachet is feminine, but not in a girlish sense. They are mature, complex and sophisticated with depth and character. There are ripe yellow and green fruits, good spice and perhaps a touch of fleures blanches. The reds feature pure, red cherries typical of the Cote-de-Beaune and a precise framework of acidity. Complexity often comes in the form of a touch of rusticity: perhaps some earth, mushroom or sous bois. Many producers have been attentively working at taming the wine's more angular qualities over the past several years, successfully fashioning wines of greater sophistication and suppleness.

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