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By Linden Wilkie, 27 Oct 2021
One of the most impressive visits for our team in Burgundy has been at Château de la Maltroye in Chassagne-Montrachet. In the Côte de Beaune this village straddles the divide between great whites and great reds. Sharing Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet with the neighbouring Puligny-Montrachet adds to the prestige and fame of the village.
Indeed, the whites made here by Jean-Pierre Cournut are vibrant, intense, and can be thrilling. Chassagne naturally lends power and richness to chardonnay, but Cournut is expertly skilled in retaining and extracting great tangy acidity and mineral depth to match.
But a clear sign of his dedication to the village in which he lives and works, he is also one of Chassange-Montrachet’s leading producer of reds. Pinot Noir was once the dominant variety in Chassagne but has today - due to whites commanding higher prices than reds - retreated to just the core of the most suitable terroir for the grape. Prices - for the quality - are modest.
We think his monopole Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Clos du Château’, which lies just downhill from the village itself, is one of the village’s best reds and one of the best quality-for-price reds in Burgundy. Cournut also makes a white wine from this vineyard, under that same label. The Chardonnay vines here (representing 40% of the area planted) are 60 years old .His Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vignes Blanches is a part of Morgeot, close to the ruins of the historic abbey, on clay-rich, deeper soils, a more central slope. At the top of the range, don’t miss his Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, from parcels entirely on the Chassagne-Montrachet sector of the Grand Cru.