Drunk September 2013, Murano London
See Domaine de Montille Volnay above for further details about the vineyard and owners.
The Domaine's vinification methods aim to produce a chardonnay of purity, transparency, energy and complexity. Harvesting is performed entirely by hand. With the use of pneumatic presses, press cycles can be modified depending on the quality of the grapes, using a very gradual increase in pressure for each low-pressure cycle and limiting the intermingling of musts between cycles. After a brief settling, the must is placed in barrels where alcoholic fermentation occurs. Five to ten percent of new barrels are used, and Etienne and Alix prefer Allier wood that has undergone a long and light toasting. This provenance and type of charring best suits the crafting of fine white wines. The second, malolactic fermentation usually occurs during the spring following the harvest. The first racking takes place at the end of this second fermentation. This marks the end of the barrel aging and begins a second phase of aging, carried out entirely in stainless steel. This phase of aging wine together in larger volumes in stainless steel or enamel tanks helps revitalize and integrate the wine. A rest of three to four (or more) months in tank brings freshness and structure to the wine, giving it a center, as though giving it a spinal column. All the whites finish their pre-bottling stage in this manner and receive, at the end, a light fining followed by a similarly respectful filtration before being bottled. This cycle for white wine making lasts, depending on the cuvée, between 11 and 13 months.
This is an exceptional aged Burgundy chardonnay. Creamy and medium yellow in colour with a beautiful smoothness on the palate - lemons, fruit, fresh bread all dominate the nose. As the French would say, délicieux!