White Limestone Makes Ageworthy Chardonnay
For White Burgundy, there are just eight vineyards bearing the Grand Cru designation, and there are about 50 Premier Cru parcels. Of those 50, just two merit consideration as Grand Crus: “La Romanée” and our favorite, “Cailleret.” The 2014 Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet is a classic White Burgundy vintage from the best performing village in the 2014. Wine Enthusiast gave it 93 points calling it “a full wine that will develop well.” Enjoy it now, or cellar for up to a decade.
All roads lead to Burgundy. We’ve all heard that phrase before, rolling off the tongues of wine lovers from all corners of the world. It’s because Burgundy is the wine that knocks you out with subtlety and charm rather than flash and brute force. They are wines that are immediately accessible but demand attention for you to extract the greatest pleasure.
“Cailleret” is perched just south of the village and appropriately takes its name from the Latin calculu, which means “stony soils.” Enjoying perfect southern exposure, this low slope is packed with chunks of white limestone. That goes a long way toward explaining the chiseled structure of the vineyard’s Chardonnays, wines that are notorious for their aging capacity, often outdistancing Grand Crus from Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet in the same cellar.
Burgundy’s 2014 growing season was successful depending on your — as they say in real estate — “location, location, location.” The flowering was early, and the months of May and June were optimally warm and dry. That idyllic warm period was broken on June 28th, when a violent hailstorm pummeled vines in Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, and Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet. Left unscathed, Chassagne-Montrachet is the village for White Burgundy in 2014. Steve Tanzer called it “clearly a vintage to buy,” name-checking Chassagne-Montrachet as the lone white village fortunate enough to avoid significant hail.