According to Jean-Pierre Cournut, 2004 is the best of recent vintages, followed by 2008. "Two thousand nine is great for the minerally terroirs, and 2010 is for serious connoisseurs," he added. "Of course, 2010 is also a potentially great vintage, like all high-acid years." Cournut started harvesting on September 20 in 2010, and his wines finished extremely dry, with 0.5 grams per liter of residual sugar, which is about as low as Burgundy gets. Cournut's 2009s showed superbly at the beginning of June; they were bottled before the harvest of 2010 and should drink well earlier than most vintages here.

2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet

($63) Pale yellow-green.  Very fresh aromas of lime, pear and mint.  Lively and minty on entry, then dry and a bit hard-edged in the middle.  Seems a bit underripe.  Finishes vibrant but quite dry.

2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Santenay Blanc La Comme

($58) Bright, pale yellow with a hint of green.  Deeper aromas of crushed stone, lemon, nuts and smoky minerality; there's something sauvignon-like here.  Then dense and tactile, with the dusty stone quality carrying through in the mouth and giving grip to the persistent, lively finish.  An impressive Santenay.


2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Vigne Blanche

($85) Bright yellow.  Lemon, lime and powdered stone aromas.  Then surprisingly fat and open-knit, with good limey lift to the smooth peach fruit.  Finishes nicely dry and fresh, with a perfumed floral quality and a hint of warmth.  Nicely coats the palate, but this is not a particularly weighty example of Morgeot--or of 2009.


2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Clos du Chateau

($85) Bright yellow-green.  Reticent but pure aromas of lime, mint and minerals; give this some air.  Minerally on entry, then sharply delineated in the middle, offering lovely detail and floral character.  A bit youthfully strict today and quite dry on the finish.  This needs at least two or three years to expand in the bottle.


2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Grandes Ruchottes

($141) Bright yellow-green.  Smoky, rocky nose offers the reductive quality of an outstanding white wine.  Dense and silky on entry, then superconcentrated and full in the middle, with vibrant flavors of crushed rock and pineapple carrying through a tactile, utterly gripping finish.  Builds superbly on the very long aftertaste.  A great premier cru from a full yield of 50 hectoliters per hectare.


2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanee

($157) Bright, pale green-yellow.  Pungent aromas of minerals, mint and flowers.  A bit less tightly coiled and explosive than the Grandes Ruchottes; broad in the mouth, with strong minerality currently dominating underlying stone fruit flavors.  No easy sweetness showing today.  This very long wine needs plenty of aeration or at least a few years in the cellar.


2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet La Dent de Chien

($188) (60% new oak):  Pale greenish yellow.  Noble reduction on the nose.  Aromas and flavors of lemon, lime, mint and stone.  Conveys a strong impression of dry extract.  Broad, ripe and lush but quite dry; at once tactile and fine-grained.  Perhaps most impressive today on the very long, slowly rising, palate-staining finish.  Premier cru at grand cru level.


2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet

Bright pale yellow.  Fresh peach, lemon drop and a touch of vanillin oak on the nose.  Supple and rich but juicy, thanks to bright acidity.  Has gras for village wine but also excellent balance.


2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chenevottes

Vibrant if subdued aromas of lime oil and mint.  Juicy and quite tight; in fact, this is downright imploded today, showing little more than a hint of grilled oak in the middle palate.  Really echoes on the brisk finish, though.


2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Santenay Blanc La Comme

Perfumed aromas of lemon, spices and crushed rock.  Sweet and juicy, with a tactile character currently accentuated by the gas.  Boasts almost sauvignon-like cut and finishes perfumed and persistent, with serious grip.  This would be perfect with grilled fish or mollusks.

2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Vigne Blanche

Bright pale color.  Fresh mango, cherry-almond and spicy oak on the slightly exotic nose.  Then firm-edged and penetrating, with lovely richness but a light touch to the exotic fruit and grapefruit flavors.  A nicely weightless premier cru with a long, tight back end.  (The rather bracing Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru was too reduced and metallic to judge.)

2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Clos du Chateau de la Maltroye

Pale color.  Slightly reduced aromas of pineapple and more exotic fruits.  Dense, thick and tactile but with terrific energy giving an almost painful quality to its sweet, brisk yellow fruit flavors.  This boasts terrific cut and the long finish stains the mouth with perfume.  Very promising.

2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Grandes Ruchottes

Very pale color.  Very pure aromas and flavors of pineapple, smoke and crushed rock.  Fat, smooth and highly concentrated; this really expands in the mouth.  Finishes very suave and long.  Just four barrels were produced in 2010, vs. a normal nine.


2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanee

Bright yellow.  Reduced nose offers fresh peach, citrus scents and spices; not yet floral.  Tactile, fresh and tangy, combining a very fine-grained, silky texture and superb inner-mouth tension thanks to nicely integrated acidity.  The superb building finish dusts the mouth with limey citrus flavor.


2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet La Dent de Chien

(two of three barrels were new):  Pale yellow.  Very reduced nose offers iodine, smoked meat and spicy oak.  Impressively large-scaled for the year but with a light touch for all its density and power.  Saline and thick but not at all heavy.  The finish explodes with salty minerality.  This is very Montrachet-like.


2010 Chateau de la Maltroye Batard-Montrachet

(just sulfited after the recent end of the malo; from vines planted in 1937):  Fresh peach, orange oil and spices on the nose.  Less obviously minerally today than the Dents de Chien, but dense, tactile and chewy, offering an impression of strong extract to its pineapple and oak flavors.  Finishes strong, long and classically dry.  Cournut told me these vines were located next to Niellon's holding under Montrachet, in the best part of the cru.  "The wine is always fresh and never heavy," he said.

(Domaines & Saveurs/Jeanne-Marie de Champs; importers include Fine Vines, Melrose Park, IL; The Wine House Limited, San Francisco, CA; Frederick Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; and The Country Vintner, Oilville, VA)
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