2017 Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Caillerets"

SKU #1442504 91-94 points Vinous

 A hint of reduction to the aromas of pear, stone, menthol and herbs; a bit wild in a positive way. Dense, rich and sappy, with its touch of sweetness perfectly countered by crushed-stone minerality. At once broad and vibrant, with tactile flavors of grapefruit pith, lemon and flowers conveying a subtly salty character. Really resounds on the long back end. (ST)  (9/2018)

93 points John Gilman

 The 2017 Caillerets from Domaine Fontaine is a ripe and excellent wine. Despite these grapes being picked first, the natural alcohol has come in at 13.3 percent in 2017, showing just how fast the sugar levels were rising after the late August heat spike. The wine delivers a superb bouquet of apple, pear, a very complex base of chalky minerality, spring flowers, orange blossoms and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a rock solid core of fruit, lovely succulent fruit on the attack, excellent mineral drive, bright, snappy acids and excellent focus and grip on the very long and quite snappy finish. This wine retained excellent acidity, despite the sugars getting up into a pretty generous range, and the wine should age beautifully, but also drink with beauty and authority with only a few years in the cellar. 2021-2045+.  (1/2019)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Offering up aromas of apple blossom, crisp orchard fruit, dried white flowers and honeycomb, the lovely 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets is medium to full-bodied, satiny and expansive, with a lovely line of animating acidity, a deep core and a long, pure finish. As usual, Cécile Fontaine had bottled her 2017s just before harvest 2018, so I had the pleasure of tasting finished wines that will be entirely representative of the bottles that readers can buy. Succulent and defined by site, it's a lovely vintage at this address—which I've been visiting since my student days—and one that plays to the strengths of the domaine's pure, elegant and aromatic house style. Thanks to the generous crops of 2017 and 2018, plans are afoot to extend the domaine's cellars, opening up the possibility of longer sur lie élevage. Perhaps more space will permit other refinements of technique, too? My suggested drinking windows for these wines err on the side of caution, as in the past Fontaine-Gagnard has suffered from the scourge of premature oxidation, a problem that Céline is the first to acknowledge, but they are beautifully balanced wines so in a perfect world they might well mature in the cellar for quite a lot longer. (WK)  (1/2019)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (from En Cailleret). There is a touch of the exotic in evidence here as well with an exceptionally fresh and softly oaked mix of white and yellow orchard fruit aromas that include white peach, apricot and a floral hint. The seductively textured yet impressively dense medium weight plus flavors are blessed with an abundance of dry extract that coats the palate on the powerful, lightly stony focused and nicely long finish. This is presently less complex than the best of these 1ers though it could well develop more depth with bottle age and if it does my rating could be a bit too conservative.  (6/2019)

K&L Notes

93 Points from Jasper Morris, Inside Burgundy: "One of the paler colours and a very discreet nose, albeit with a few stony notes, which help to tingle the palate. This Caillerets has a very precise stylish finish with excellent intensity." (01/2019)

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Price: $89.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north.
Specific Appellation:

Chassagne Montrachet

- A long, wandering village in the Côte de Beaune. Fortunately, what the workaday village lacks in charm, the wines more than make up for. Most famous for its white wines, which are lovely and delicate, Chassagne-Montrachet actually produces more red than white wine. It is one of the few places in the Côte D'Or where both red and white wines are produced from Premier Cru vineyards. The Grands Crus are Montrachet, Bâtard Montrachet (both shared with the neighboring village of Puligny) and Criots Bâtard Montrachet.