Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 2020
This Chassagne-Montrachet is very linear with apple, quince and pear notes that are focused and refined. Beautifully structured, the bright acidity is balanced with a creamy, lingering finish.
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Philippe Colin’s heritage runs deeply in Chassagne-Montrachet, which is situated in the Côte-d’Or and inhabits only 300 residents. His father, Michel Colin-Deléger’s lineage traces back on both sides of the family to the 1850s when their ancestors settled in the area. He inherited vineyards from both the Colins and his father-in-law, the esteemed Georges Deléger. Michel founded his winery, Domaine Michel Colin-Deléger, in 1987, garnering a reputation as one of the top estates in the region, producing renowned premier and grand cru wines. In 1988, after studying vititculture in Beaune, Philippe joined his parents in the family business working closely by their sides. During this time Philippe gained a plethora of knowledge from his father, sparking his passion for winemaking. In 2004 when Michel retired (keeping just three parcels for himself), Philippe and his brother Bruno decided to split the estate into two separate domaines in order to respect their different approaches to winemaking. Domaine Philippe Colin was founded in the same year. Philippe’s efforts were soon acknowledged, with the domaine gaining an abundance of international prestige and recognition. Domaine Philippe Colin’s holdings stretch approximately 30 acres with vineyards mainly in the Chassagne-Montrachet area but also in Santenay, Puligny-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin. He covers 24 appellations in total through his selections, which are classified as Bourgogne, Village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru. Philippe upholds the philosophy of respecting the vineyards, intervening as little as possible to allow the purest expression of terroir to shine through, as each plot is markedly different.
A Côte de Beaune village of Burgundy most famous for its beautifully textured and powerful whites, Chassagne-Montrachet reaches farthest south in the Côte d’Or, save for the village of Santenay. It has three Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet overlap with and are (confusingly) shared with the village of Puligny-Montrachet. But Chassagne-Montrachet bears sole ownership of the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru.
The beauty doesn’t stop there as the village has a great many outstanding Premiers Crus wines and village level wines. Most famous Premiers Crus vineyards include Les Chenevottes, Clos de la Maltroie, En Cailleret and Les Ruchottes. Also, village level wines offer many lovely examples of what Chassagne-Montrachet has to offer, but at more approachable price points and perhaps less demand of waiting.
The best sites in Chassagne-Montrachet have complex soils of sedimentary rock and limestone (with less marl). Whites, which are by law composed of 100% Chardonnay (as in all classified white Burgundy from Côte d’Or), have steely power, bright and concentrated citrus, stone or tropical fruit characteristics and attractive textures ranging from plush to tactile, grippy and mineral-driven.
There is some fine Pinot Noir produced from the village. These wines tend to be high-toned and earthy, with wild herb aromas and suave tannins.
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.