Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes Rouge 2017


In Stock

“The 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes Rouge, which has been in tank for two weeks, has a very pure, almost Cotes de Nuits like bouquet, a little sensual like a Vosne-Romanée. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, fine acidity, quite compact and just needing more flesh to come through on the finish. I think this will gain some stuffing after it has completed its elevage. (DIAM closure). Drinking window: 2022-2030. 87-89 points

Long-term readers will be aware of the esteem in which I hold this domaine, based in Gamay. In recent years, they have built up a loyal following of wine-lovers who adore their mainly white crus that focus on Saint-Aubin, yet extend into Chassagne- and Puligny-Montrachet, including a prized plot in Montrachet. For me, their range really shines at Premier and even Village Cru level. Damien Colin is a congenial winemaker who has pushed quality to greater heights in recent years. He started off by explaining the recent amicable division between himself and his brother. “My brother Joseph has created his own domaine with six hectares and so Caroline and I will keep 12 hectares,” he said. “Some vineyards go to him entirely and others are split between us. Joseph has his own family and so naturally he wanted his own enterprise.” Some of the minutiae of the division and reconfiguration of holdings can be found in the tasting notes, but basically the crus that will no longer appear under “Marc Colin” but “Joseph Colin” henceforth include Puligny La Garenne, Saint-Aubin Clos de Meix, Sous la Roche Dumay and Sur Le Sentier du Clou. I will try to taste Joseph’s wines in future, but I was unable to do so this year due to time constraints.

“We had no problem with the frost in 2017,” Damien continued. “There was some pressure of mildew but none during the harvest. It was more difficult in July when it was hot. The harvest began on September 2 and it went well, taking place over nine days. The vinification was normal. One thing that has changed is that from 2017, all the wines spend six months minimum in tank after 12 months in bottle, and now we have more space in the winery that makes this possible. It gives more freshness and density to the wines, but keeps the same style. Also, I use slightly larger barrels, 300 and 350 litres in size for the whites, to moderate the influence of oak.”

This was yet another strong set of performances from the domaine and perhaps with fewer cuvées to tend, Damien Colin can focus even more attention on quality. Amongst several Saint-Aubins, the Le Charmois really stood out as a scintillating expression of the 2017 vintage, and the Les Combes, en Creots and en Montceau were not far behind. Generally, I probably found more “bite” amongst the 2016s last year, but the 2017s are still very fine examples of the appellation and excellent value. Of course, the Montrachet is a brilliant wine, though a recent sensational 2009 was a reminder that it benefits from bottle age. Damien uses DIAM throughout his range.

Neal Martin, Vinous (01/19)