Domaine Bachelet-Monnot Santenay Les Charmes Dessus 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 90-92
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.
In the far southern end of the Côte de Beaune, Santenay forms a little notch that juts into the otherwise straight border with Côte Chalonnaise.
Santenay red wines show the true essence of red Burgundy at good price points and without demanding a lot of cellar time. Enticing aromas of rose-petal, violet, red fruits and licorice lead to sturdiness on the palate. With soils rich in oolitic limestone and marl, this is the home of well-constructed, hearty Pinot noir and represents a fantastic region to explore if you are just beginning your understanding of red Burgundy.
Reputable vineyards of Santenay include La Maladière, as well as the Premier Crus of La Comme, Clos de Tavannes, and Les Gravières.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”