Topic of the Week 11/22/2019 - Master

Big props to for being the sole champ from last post on Tokaj top vineyards!

This week: Montrachet producers and owners

How many producers make Montrachet? Who is the biggest landowner? And the smallest? Any other anecdotes?

  • I am not sure how many producers make Montrachet but there are several given the approximate 8 ha of vineyard land available.

    Comtes Lafon, DRC, Jacques Prieur, Lucien Le Moine, Domaine Leflaive, Olivier Leflaive, Ramonet, Louis Latour, Joseph Drouhin, Louis Jadot are some of the producers that I am more familiar with.

    The largest landowner is Marquis de Laguiche.  I am not positive, but I think the smallest landowner is Claudine Petitjean.

    For the 2016 vintage, six producers decided to share the limited grapes at their disposal and produce a Montrachet together.  DRC, Comtes Lafon, Domaine Leflaive, Guy Amiot, Lamy-Pillot, and Domaine Fleurot Larose aimed to share the grapes to produce two barrels.  The wine was produced at Domaine Leflaive.  683 bottles were filled, all sharing the same label.  The wines were sold by each property at 5,550 Euros per.

    Not confirmed by a second source, but I read that no Montrachet Grand Cru was present at the Judgement of Paris. 

  • A total of 16 producers, only 5 of which are on the Puligny side (Laguiche, Bouchard, Ramonet, Chauvigny, the fifth one I don't know) . The name derrives from Le Mont Chauve.

  • A few things that seem pop up around Montrachet:

    • The Puligny side is Montrachet (4.01ha), the Chassagne side is Le Montrachet (3.99ha), but it's not a strict rule when it comes to labeling.
    • Montrachet is less subdivided than Le Montrachet
    • Vines run east-west (or if we're being fussy, SE-NW) except for the southern half of Le Montrachet, where the aspect of the slope changes and airflow dictates N-S (NE-SW) as a better orientation.
    • Chevalier-Montrachet is sometimes considered the next best thing/baby Montrachet, but is higher in elevation and is geologically fundamentally it isn't, really. It's simply Chevalier with it's own merit.

    Jasper Morris' "Inside Burgundy", my go-to for all things Burgundy, has a complete list of owners and their parcel sizes, plus a map of their locations. The ebook versions have videos and zoomable maps.

    As much as we love to focus on this vineyard, it's a wine reserved for a particular, ahem, income bracket. If I have a guest sniffing around that neighborhood they usually say "I'd like that" -- points to the Montrachet GC selections -- "but I'd rather spend around this price" and they point to the opposite page of Chassagne 1ers. At which point producer style and vintage come into play and you put that theory into practice. :-)