A classic broad-shouldered Bâtard that requires a touch more new oak than the 30% afforded the Premiers Crus. A pungent flintiness and spice on the nose; very, very intense and delicious, long flavours of butter, spiced fruit, citrus rind, peach, earth and dry stones. The wine has everything in large proportions and the flavours just go on and on. Immense.
Although Jean-Noël has officially retired, he always seems to find some work that needs to be done in the cellar whenever we visit! However it is his daughter, Caroline Lestimé, who takes control of vineyard, cellar and office at Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard. There can be no doubt that Jean-Noël is proud of a daughter who is producing Chassagne of such outstanding quality. The Domaine’s boundary encompasses some superb vineyards including Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets and Bâtard-Montrachet. The white wines are made in the traditional way, being kept in barrel for at least 18 months, only about a quarter of which will be new, and are bottled with only the very lightest of filtrations. They are expressive, impressive Chassagnes that display the complex nuances of their terroir.
Prior to appellation contrôlée in 1939 Bâtard used to be a vineyard of 20.37 hectares, encompassing the Criots and Bienvenue Grand Crus as well as some Chassagne 1er Crus. Today it is still one of the largest white Grands Crus in Burgundy, encompassing 11.97ha. As a big vineyard, and given that it spans both the Puligny and Chassagne communes, style can vary. Generally speaking, though, Bâtard will tend to be a full-bodied, rich and particularly borad-shouldered example of white Burgundy.