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So good they named it twice (Cote de Beaune, France – Day Two)

The famous village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wasn’t always named as such, it was renamed from just Chateauneuf after the Papal regime had all of their best vineyards here back in the 15th century. The association with this important period in history was strong enough to change the name of the village, thereby highlighting the importance of viticulture, and today it is the largest single appelation in France. This isn’t the only village in France that has changed its name to signify the importance of viticulture, some of the most famous are in Burgundy. Within the Cote d’Or, villages that neighboured the best grand cru vineyards began to take the name of the vineyard to lift their profile. Gevrey became Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle became Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne became Vosne-Romanee and Aloxe became Aloxe Corton. Arguably the most famous white wines in the world come from the Montrachet Grand Cru vineyards which are between the villages of Puligny and Chassagne, and thus they both took the name of the vineyard and became Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet respectively. In a way this is like a seal of approval or a sponsorship, but in the same way that a sponsorship from Pepsi doesn’t guarantee that The Spice Girls are good, just because the fruit comes from a classified vineyard it doesn’t mean it will be the same style or the same quality. This is one of the problems with the appelation classification system, is that it is merely for a place and not for the human influence, and two wines from the same vineyard but a different producer can be very different. As I always say, trust the producer first and the rest will follow.

Barrels and bottles

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Domaine Bruno Colin – 11/12/2012

Chassagne-Montrachet 2011
Brisk very bright and crisp, sharp biting citrus notes. Quite creamy in texture actually, very gentle and supple, quite sexy, supple, lovely and round and approachable, wonderfully appealing style with just a little cheekiness.

Charmois Saint Aubin Premier Cru 2011
Moving into a melon area, a little rich and creamy on the nose. Soft gentle supple and subtle, some creamy sweet texture, a little nut characteristic, round and opulent but not heavy or fat. Quite rich and ripe though, good acidity but perhaps lacking in precision.

Les Chaumees Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2010
Smoky toasty ripe peach lemon, creamy richness, very intense and fine. Generous and rich again, nice and ripe, white peach moving into some pineapple and lime, very supple and generous, a hands off approach but not the same crispness and high acids as previous producers. Texture good.

Les Maltroie Chassagne-Montrachet Premier 2010
Bolder concentration, very heavy mineralics and florals, ripe dense stone fruit, full expression. Generous again, subdued, lacking a little intensity and character, the wines are on the simple side for now, they may improve with age. I’d like to see some funky things being done on the wines. Perhaps fining them or fermenting in tank is not the way to go, too modern?

Les Maltroie Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2008
Honey lemon floral mineral, a little waxy, a little cheesy. Very bright and fresh, nice intensity, some zing and bite to it, much better expression, high acids and freshness, appears younger and more exuberant than the 2010 somehow.

Chassagne-Montrachet Vielles Vignes 2010
Dark intense fruits, black olives, a little spice and brambley characters. Dark and extractive on the palate, full robust and not-subtle tannins, quite biting and a little aggressive, thankfully not heavy or too long. But a bit of a work-out. Right decision to move towards stainless steel tanks.

Domaine Bruno Colin

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