Chateau de Santenay Chassagne-Montrachet 2018
This rich, luscious wine is balanced well between acidity and ripe, generous fruit. The rich citrus and spice flavors are enhanced by the mineral texture, the wood-aging toastiness, and by ripe white fruits.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Château de Santenay is one of Burgundy’s largest wine domaines. Its prestigious heritage, which comprises a remarkable Château with a glazed tile roof and 90 hectares of vineyards, is the product of a time-old legacy that is closely tied to the history of the Burgundy wine region. This remarkable château, with its varnished tiles, is a spectacular piece of heritage closely tied to the region’s history. Its vineyards are split between the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise. The diversity of its ‘climats’ results in a rich palette of wines with distinctive styles that reflect the subtleties of the Burgundy varietals.
The Château was built in the 9th, 12th and 16th centuries. It was formerly one of several properties belonging to the Duke of Burgundy, Philippe le Hardi (1342-1404), and was named after him for centuries to come. In 1395, Philippe le Hardi signed the founding document for single varietal cultivation in Burgundy. The document was named the “Ordonnance de Philippe le Hardi”. Pinot Noir thus replaced Gamay as the varietal used for red wine production in Burgundy.
For the last 20 years, the domaine has been taking an environmentally-friendly approach to growing, proving itself to be a true pioneer in this respect. It has been TERRA VITIS certified since 2004 and was certified by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2009 for its use of sustainable growing methods. In 2015, it was one of the first wine domaines to receive ‘High Environmental Value’ (HEV 3) certification respecting a new set of specifications issued by the French Ministry of Agriculture. In 2016, the domaine set up an apiary close to the vineyards in order to verify that the techniques used were harmless to bees, which are very sensitive to the environment. Plans are already in place to introduce more hives.
"Our objective of enhancing the diversity and subtleties of our ‘climats’ lies at the heart of our winemaking philosophy. From the vineyards right through to bottling, every effort is made to ensure that quality remains the top priority. Our white wines possess exceptional aromatic purity, precision and elegance. Our red wines reveal the depth of the Pinot Noir varietal with a rich palette of red and black fruit aromas. Our delicate wines are characterized by their freshness, density, bright color and elegant tannins. A team of experienced and dedicated winemakers bring their savoir-faire and passion to the vinification process."
"The Château’s vat house has a vinification capacity for 5,000 hectolitres of wine. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facilities ensure the highest quality possible and allow us to bring out the true potential of the terroirs whilst respecting the raw material and optimizing every stage of the winemaking process. Our latest generation presses ensure gentle extraction. The facilities provide us with optimum temperature control throughout the vatting and ageing cycle. Several temperature-controlled cellars give us a combined storage capacity of up to 1,600 barrels." - Chateau de Santenay Winemaker Gérard Fagnoni
A Côte de Beaune village of Burgundy 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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.