Domaine Matrot Meursault Les Chevalieres 2016
The Matrot domaine is one of the oldest estate-bottlers in Burgundy and one of the largest and most important properties in Meursault. It is widely represented on the wine lists of France's greatest restaurants, and has been distributed in the United States for over thirty years. Thierry Matrot and his wife, Pascale are the owners.
The domaine farms about 3/4 of its 45 acres, some of the finest vineyards in the heart of Burgundy.The average age of the vines is an impressive 30 years. Thierry Matrot works towards the achievement of one major goal: to produce a wine that retains its elegance while maximizing both the fruit and the native tang of the soil. In order to accomplish this goal, he relies upon his wine making philosophy: "wine is made in the vineyards – and far less than people think, in the cellar. However talented the oenologist, with poor raw materials he is lost before he has even started." 100% estate-bottling has been practiced at the domaine since Thierry's grandfather, Joseph Matrot, took it over in 1908.
Known to offer a magical balance of smoothness and freshness, Meursault's quality is hard to rival. The village lies in the middle of Côte de Beaune, just south of Volnay. Meursault is said to mean “mouse’s jump” because in the past the plots producing Pinot noir and those producing Chardonnay were no more than a mouse’s jump from one another. Today the village is almost exclusively Chardonnay. A tiny bit of Pinot noir is produced here with the best coming from Les Santenots on its northern side near Volnay.
While there are no Grands Crus, Meursault’s numerous acclaimed Premiers Crus can compete with any other top-notch white Burgundy. Some to know are Les Perrières, Les Genevrières, Les Charmes, Le Poruzot, Les Bouchères and Les Gouttes d’Or.
Meursault produces outstanding village level wines as well. In general great Premiers Crus and even village level Meursault (Chardonnay) have enticing aromas of lime peel, tropical fruit, crushed rocks, spice and hazelnut. On the palate there is a wonderful balance of brightness and a seductive length with flavors of white peach, pineapple and citrus.
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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.