Domaine Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 2016
The domaine farms just over twenty hectares (50 acres) of vines. It is a mix of family-owned vineyards and long-term leased vineyards. Marc and Alex’s grandfather was a vigneron and created Domaine Bernard Bachelet et Fils in Chassagne-Montrachet. Their father, Jean-François Bachelet, made wine for most of his professional life at this domaine.
Following his studies at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, Marc did internships at domaines Lucien Muzard in Santenay and Parent in Pommard, as well as stints in the southern Rhône and in Australia. After similar studies, his younger brother Alex did internships at domaines Nouveau in the Hautes Côtes and Bouzereau in Meursault, as well as at Monteillet in Côte-Rôtie. Both boys worked five harvests at their father’s domaine prior to embarking on Bachelet-Monnot.
The seat of the domaine is the family homestead in Dezize-lès-Maranges, just southwest of Santenay. In the vineyards, no herbicide is used and the rows are plowed regularly to manage weeds, aerate the soil, and cut the horizontal roots to encourage deep growth. In the cellar, the percentage of new barrels used is roughly 25%; the wine is aged for twelve months before being racked into tank (or, in the case of the reds, cement vats) for another six to eight months of ageing on the lees before bottling. This, to one degree or another, is the general pattern of élevage for all of the wines made here of both colors.
Total annual production in a normal vintage is around 8,300 cases, roughly divided equally between red and white wine.
A source of some of the finest, juicy, silky and elegantly floral Chardonnay in the Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet lies just to the north of Chassagne-Montrachet, a village with which it shares two of its Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet itself and Bâtard-Montrachet. Its other two, which it owns in their entirety, are Chevalier-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. And still, some of the finest white Burgundy wines come from the prized Premiers Crus vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet. To name a few, Les Pucelles, Le Clavoillon, Les Perrières, Les Referts and Les Combettes, as well as the rest, lie northeast and up slope from the Grands Crus.
Farther to the southeast are village level whites and the hamlet of Blagny where Pinot Noir grows best and has achieved Premier Cru status.
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.