2019 Maison Louis Latour, Chassagne-Montrachet “Cailleret” Premier Cru White Burgundy, Côtes de Beaune, France.
The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet Cailleret is classically pure and elegant in the glass with stony elements from start to finish, a delicate aromatic quality and some nice depth and length, rivaling some of Latour’s top Grand Cru bottlings in their 2019 collection, which I was lucky to run through in late May of this year. This wine impressed, especially as it opened up, revealing lemon, apple, Bosc pear and white peach fruits along with a fine mineral core, hazelnut, bread dough, golden fig, the mentioned wet stony note and subtle white flowers, making for a pretty Chardonnay that will nicely engage with those that pop the cork on this wine. The pale gold Chassagne was crafted using 30 year old vines in the Cailleret vineyard that is all hand tended and picked, with this vintage seeing a barrel fermentation, including full malolactic conversion, and aging in Latour made French oak with 10 months in the wood, which was 50% new. The depth of fruit, with tiny yields, and fresh acidity really hide that new oak and allows for clarity and its terroir to shine through.
Louis Latour, founded in 1797, is one of there most famous family owned wineries in the world, is now on the 11th generation of Latours, who have been in charge here for nearly 220 years. They proudly fly the flag for the Burgundy region with quality holdings from the Maconnaise to Chablis, and they own the most acreage in Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte d’Or, including lots of prime and historic spots. Going through almost 20 wines at Louis Latour’s pre-arrival tasting in Carmel by the Sea was good exercise in tasting terroirs, especially with their collection of white Burgundies that ranged from their lovely Pernand Vergelesses, reviewed earlier, to a tiny young vine parcel at the legenday Batard-Montrachet, with this Premier Cru Chassagne-Montrachet Cailleret being one of stars. The Cailleret plot is set on classic clay and limestone soils and the maturity of the vines gives concentration, this is serious stuff, even in vintages that are considered less desirable and this 2019 proves that to excellent effect, and it should continue to age for another decade with ease. This rich and textured wine is grew on me, more and more, and I kept coming back to it during the Louis Latour pre-sale tasting, and it goes great with food, especially with soft farm cheeses and a variety of sea foods.
($135 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive