2005-Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet Rouge
The Wines and Winemaking
Starting with the vines in Chassagne, the domaine has enough for two barrels per year of Bâtard-Montrachet and produces 10 different premier crus: The Dents de Chien and La Romanée tend to be the more mineral wines, Jean-Pierre even likes to compare these to Perrières or Charlemagne. Grand Ruchottes and half a hectare of Maltroie Crêtes – which is never blended with the Clos de la Maltroye. Then there are two cuvées of Morgeots – one from vignes blanches and the other from ‘feroutes’ these are very rich rather than mineral and also never blended. Then there are the 1ers of Macharelle, Chevenottes and Baudine. The last whites from Chassagne are a villages, a bourgogne blanc and an aligoté.
The reds from Chassagne include 3 premiers; Clos de la Maltroye, Clos St.Jean and Boudriottes, the range being rounded out by a villages rouge and a bourgogne rouge. From Santenay the labels are all premier cru; La Comme red and white, and enough red Gravières for 3 barrels.
Jean-Pierre restricts yield by green harvesting – which caused some problems in 2005 as he’d only just finished the green harvest when hail hit – hence for 2005 he has only ~50% of his normal crop. At least then he is very happy with his 2004’s, in fact he loves them.
The reds and whites have their own cellars and cuveries. The reds are fully de-stemmed and go into temperature-controlled tanks for a 10-14 day cold maceration, before completing fermentations in a roughly 30 day cuvaison. The whites start their fermentations in stainless steel and are then transferred to the barrels when part fermented. The barrels for the reds are kept underground, and the whites at ground-level, but the white ‘cellar’ is temperature controlled. Sometimes Jean-Pierre will warm the cellar to prolong his fermentation, or cool it to try and precipitate the tartrates from the whites while still in barrel.