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Alain Chavy Chassagne-Montrachet Chenes 2011

Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Wines from Chassagne-Montrachet are typified by aromas and flavors of green apple and lemon and tend to be taut and firm on the palate with a strong presence of minerality. Aging in a small percentage of new French oak barrels lends accents of toast and vanilla.

    White Burgundy, with its rich texture and toasted flavors, pairs well with white fish and shellfish and its naturally high acidity can counterbalance cream-based sauces. Oak-aged Chardonnay from warmer climates lends itself well to grilled fish, starches, butter, and toasted nuts.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Alain Chavy

    Alain Chavy

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    Alain Chavy, Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Alain Chavy produces restrained, structured, and long-lived white Burgundies from 17 acres of vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet. Alain and his brother Jean-Louis worked with their father from 1986 until his retirement in 1997. The brothers continued to work together until 2003 when they decided to equally divide the 32 acres belonging to Domaine Gérard Chavy. Alain established Domaine Alain Chavy in 2003 and moved to a grand, old house in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, where he lives with his family. Here, Alain constructed a new underground cellar—one of the few in Puligny—where he continues to refine his work in the vineyard and cellar.

    Chassagne-Montrachet

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    A Côte de Beaune village most famous for its beautifully textured and powerful whites, Chassagne-Montrachet reaches farthest south in the Côte d’Or, save for the village of Santenay. It has three Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet overlap with and are (confusingly) shared with the village of Puligny-Montrachet. But Chassagne-Montrachet bears sole ownership of the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru.

    The beauty doesn’t stop there as the village has a great many outstanding Premiers Crus wines and village level wines. Most famous Premiers Crus vineyards include Les Chenevottes, Clos de la Maltroie, En Cailleret and Les Ruchottes. Also, village level wines offer many lovely examples of what Chassagne-Montrachet has to offer, but at more approachable price points and perhaps less demand of waiting.

    The best sites in Chassagne-Montrachet have complex soils of sedimentary rock and limestone (with less marl). Whites, which are by law composed of 100% Chardonnay (as in all classified white Burgundy from Côte d’Or), have steely power, bright and concentrated citrus, stone or tropical fruit characteristics and attractive textures ranging from plush to tactile, grippy and mineral-driven.

    There is some fine Pinot noir produced from the village. These wines tend to be high-toned and earthy, with wild herb aromas and suave tannins.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    SWS344941_2011 Item# 146603