What a great way to spend an hour or so, but at my favorite wine shop, the Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan and doing a Burgundian wine tasting. Michael Corso of Michael Corso Selections was taking us in small steps to the Byzantine world of Bourgogne and the demarcation of Crus, by comparing two Premier Crus of the Cote de Beaune from the same domaine and the same vintage. An interesting treat, that one doesn’t encounter that often, well for sure I am speaking for myself.
The first wine was Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru “Les Vergers” 2020. Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru wine are sometimes referred to as the southern limit of Burgundy, because it is the last of a continuous flow of Premier Crus and Grand Cru vineyards. At the beginning of the last century more red wines were produced, but through the century this trend is now completely the opposite. The finest of the communes are from the north-east quadrant of the parish with rich limestone soils and full sun. The white wines age very well from this region and slowly mature in complexity over ten years or so. Les Vergers, or the orchards was once planted with fruit trees and is in the middle slopes of the Cote d’Or. Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils is based in the village of Chassagne-Montrachet; Arsene and Flavie Amiot founded the domaine in 1920 with the purchase of three plots which would later form part of Le Montrachet Grand Cru. The domaine continued through the namesake son and now his children control the estate and responsibilities. The Chardonnay vines are seventy-years of age planted on limestone, very close to bedrock on a plot that is .55 hectare in size. Grapes are hand-harvested, carefully sorted and initial fermentation takes place in a Stainless-Steel tank with local yeast, followed by Malolactic Fermentation. Then aged for twelve months in a mix of new and used French Oak barrels, followed by integration for six months in Stainless-Steel vats before bottling. A little over four-thousand bottles are produced annually. A soft golden-yellow wine offering notes of white fruits, honeysuckle, and tea. On the palate tones of white fruits, a touch of lemon and menthol, and some vanilla in a big, lively wine with a great finish of terroir and a touch of almonds.
This was followed by Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru “Les Caillerets” 2020. “Les Caillerets” is one of Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru vineyards, but it is located south of Chassagne-Montrachet and in the midslope of the Cote d’Or hillside. This section of Chassagne-Montrachet does not get continuous sun and the mornings are cooler. Some labels just go by “Cailleret” without the village name. Cailleret refers to the pebbles “Cailloux” in French, as the soils is shallow and chalky with some clay. The Domaine has .66 hectares of land in the cru vineyard and the Chardonnay vines are seventy-years of age. They produce about three-thousand bottles of this wine. The grapes are hand-harvested and sorted. Initial Fermentation with native yeast is done in Stainless-Steel vats followed by some stirring of the wine on the lees and then Malolactic Fermentation. The wine is then aged for twelve months in a mix of new and used French Oak barrels, then assembled in Stainless-Steel vats to integrate for an additional six months, prior to bottling. A soft golden-yellow wine that offered notes of ripe fruits and lilacs. On the palate there were tones of peaches, plums, florals and vanilla in a very elegant wine with a dash of butter and a nice medium finish of terroir.