Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2012

The vintage

The harvest began September 17 and continued through the end of the month.

Recalling the 2012 vintage brings on two different sentiments. For one, there is the great satisfaction to have an excellent vintage in terms of quality, especially in red. For another, there is the profound disappointment of tiny yields accompanied by the hail devastation of many vines, from Santenay up to Pommard. The weather was difficult at the beginning of the season but improved around mid-July, which saved the quality of the vintage. Concerning the yields, they are very low, and everything that could have contributed to lowering them happened in 2012: small flowering, poor fruit set, uneven berry size...and unfortunately, hail.

Because of hail, the vintage is dense and unctuous. The tiny yields did not bring on higher alcohols - the levels are typical and between 12.5% and 13% - but they did provide a beautiful texture of viscosity. Very happily, the acidities are sufficient to provide the wines with balance.

The aromas are fresh and profoundly expressive. They offer a lovely aromatic richness of white peach and grapefruit with mineral and floral notes as well as an exotic touch of apricot and even lychee.

The attacks are brisk, yet the wines are voluminous on the palate. The textures are suave with generous material and lovely lengths. The finishes are epic, salty and sometimes even rocky. If the Bourgogne level and village wines may taste well early on (within five years), the crus will live a decade.

Tasting notes

- This is also quite firmly reduced at present. There is good verve and plenty of underlying tension to the unusually big-bodied flavors that display an abundance of both mouth coating dry extract along with ample amounts of the hallmark minerality that helps to shape the intensely saline and beautifully persistent finish. This is quite dry and exhibits slightly better overall complexity than the Corton-Charlemagne. Score: 91-94 Tasted: Jun 15, 2014 Drink: 2020+ Issue: 55   - Allen Meadows

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