Chassagne Montrachet 2014
Everything started smoothly with a warm and dry spring. Thanks to an early bud-break, the vines were a few weeks ahead of our usual schedule. Then, for the third year in a row, it arrived, hail, on June 28th 2014. Once again Volnay, Pommard, Beaune and Meursault were the most badly hit villages, with variable losses between blocks but a 50% average.
Characteristically, the vines entered a period of dormancy and healing that spanned two to three weeks, thus losing its vegetative head start. The cool summer did nothing to improve that but August and early September’s ideal conditions gave us the serenity to begin harvest on September 12th. Low yields, dry conditions and a relative homogeneity of the bunches allowed us to pick everything in a little more than a week.
The early bud break and cool summer resulting in a relatively late harvest - compared to the recent past – allowed for a slow maturation of the berries and gave us an exceptional white vintage. Wines with tension, complexity and intensity of aromas are undoubtedly establishing 2014 amongst the very best Burgundian vintages.
While tasting our 2014, a famous wine critic was telling us with his famous British restraint “I can’t say 2014 is the best white vintage ever... but I can’t remember a better one”.
Notes of petrol, resin, white peach and apricot precede the vibrant big-bodied flavors that are less refined but more powerful while offering fine length on the attractively textured and well-balanced finale. This isn't super complex at present but more will almost certainly develop.
Score: 88-91 Tasted: Jun 15, 2016 Drink: 2020+ Issue: 63
Allen Meadows, Burghound