Domaine Bachelet-Monnot, Puligny-Montrachet
|Country & Region||France, Burgundy|
|Appellation(s)||Puligny-Montrachet, Batard-Montrachet, Chassagne Montrachet, Maranges, St Aubin|
|Producer||Marc and Alex Bachelet|
|Founded||Marc and Alex Bachelet formed their domaine in 2005. They are the third generation to make wine.|
Everyone is on the lookout for Burgundy’s next white-wine star (i.e., the new Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey), and brothers Marc and Alexandre Bachelet, who created this property in 2005 from their father’s and uncle’s land, are quietly making a solid claim.
-Jon Bonné, Punch, June 8, 2016
In 2005 Marc and Alex Bachelet formed Domaine Bachelet-Monnot with the aid of their Uncle Monnot and father. Given the combination of exceptional vineyards, an excellent vintage, and the brothers’ attention to detail in the vines and in the cellar, the first release of the domain’s Puligny wines garnered immediate recognition, locally as well as internationally. In the conservative world of Burgundy’s top communes, such rapid rise to prominence is as rare as it is telling. The brothers do the Côte de Beaune’s rising generation proud.
The domain farms just over twenty hectares (50 acres) of vines. It is a mix of family-owned vineyards and long-term leased vineyards. Marc and Alex’s grandfather was a vigneron and created Domaine Bernard Bachelet et Fils in Chassagne-Montrachet. Their father, Jean-François Bachelet, made wine for most of his professional life at this domain.
Following his studies at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, Marc did internships at Domaines Lucien Muzard in Santenay and Parent in Pommard, as well as stints in the southern Rhône and in Australia. After similar studies, his younger brother Alex did internships at Domaines Nouveau in the Hautes Côtes and Bouzereau in Meursault, as well as at Monteillet in Côte-Rôtie. Both boys worked five harvests at their father’s domain prior to embarking on Bachelet-Monnot.
The seat of the domain is the family homestead in Dezize-lès-Maranges, just southwest of Santenay. In the vineyards, no herbicide is used and the rows are plowed regularly to manage weeds, aerate the soil, and cut the horizontal roots to encourage deep growth. In the cellar, the percentage of new barrels used is roughly 25%; the wine is aged for twelve months before being racked into tank (or, in the case of the reds, concrete vats) for another six to eight months of ageing on the lees before bottling. This, to one degree or another, is the general pattern of élevage for all of the wines made here of both colors.
Total annual production is around 8,300 cases roughly divided equally between red and white wine. In addition to the wines below, the domain makes a small amount of Santenay and Meursault.
Thanks to Jeff Bramwell for the photos.
|Bourgogne Blanc||Chardonnay||From 3.3 acres of Chardonnay growing in the Bourgogne-classed vineyards within the commune of Puligny, which gives this wine noteworthy pedigree. Average age of vines is 50 years old.|
|Maranges 1er Cru La Fussière blanc||Chardonnay||Maranges got its AOC status in 1989, and Jean-François Bachelet was a leading advocate of this during the deliberations (prior to 1989, the wine was sold as Côte de Beaune-Villages). This wine comes from just under 2 acres of vines averaging 35 years of age. They grow in the most calcareous zone of Fussière.|
|Saint Aubin 1er cru En Remilly||Chardonnay||En Remilly is the first of St Aubin’s vineyards you encounter on the right when driving up its narrow valley, and it grows on the southwest-facing flank of the Montrachet hill (which helps explain why En Remilly is one of the best vineyards in the AOC). The Bachelet brothers farm just over one acre here.|
|Chassagne-Montrachet||Chardonnay||Think white flowers and finesse when tasting this wine. It’s a representative blend of the commune, with grapes from five parcels that have feet in all of the geographic zones. The vines total just over six acres and the parcels are La Canière, Le Chêne, Les Benoîtes, Le Pot Bois, and En Journoblot. Average age of vines is 35 years old.|
|Puligny-Montrachet||Chardonnay||Think lemon fruit and stony depth. In descending order of acreage, this comes from four old-vine parcels: Les Corvées, Les Meix, Les Houillières, and Noyer Bret.|
|Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Hameau de Blagny||Chardonnay||Think stones, big time. These vines grow quite high on the slope, significantly more so than Folatières. Production averages 1,500 bottles, or five barrels.|
|Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Les Referts||Chardonnay||This vineyard is down-slope within the premier cru band, adjacent to Meursault’s Les Charmes, and typically has more weight than Folatières. The brothers farm just over one acre here and the vines average 50 years old.|
|Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Les Folatières||Chardonnay||Folatières runs along the upper slope of the premier cru band, on the same contour as Chevalier-Montrachet. The Bachelet-Monnot parcel is in the northwest corner, up near the premier cru of Les Truffières. As such, wines from Folatières gravitate toward minerality, and those from this domain bend particularly in that direction. The boys farm just over one acre of vines here that average 50 years of age.
|Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru||Chardonnay||This comes from a third of an acre of vines, planted in 1997. Production averages around 75 cases, or three barrels, in a normal year. This wine demands bottle age.|
|Bourgogne Rouge||Pinot Noir||About half of the fruit comes from the commune of Puligny, a quarter from Maranges, and the rest from the lower part of the Hautes Côtes. Fermented with 20-30% whole cluster, raised in barrel (around 10% new) for ten months, and then racked into concrete vats for six to eight months. Production averages 900 cases.|
|Santenay Les Charmes||Pinot Noir||This comes from an acre and a quarter of vines planted in the early '70s and growing on the south side of the village (bordering the premier cru Clos Rousseau). Production averages 200-250 cases.|
|Santenay Les Prarrons||Pinot Noir||This comes from an acre and a quarter of vines planted in the late '60s and growing on the north side of the village (near the Chassagne border in the upper part of Prarrons). Soil here is notably calcareous. Production averages 200-250 cases.|
|Maranges 1er cru La Fussière rouge||Pinot Noir||At eleven acres, these vines constitute the largest holding of the domain. And the vines are mature, with an average age of 55 years. The site is up-slope and the wine is heavily influenced by the calcareous soils. Deep, dark, direct and mineral, this wine is a terrific buy for premier cru Burgundy. Production averages 1,500 cases.|
|Maranges 1er cru Clos de La Boutière||Pinot Noir||This clos grows at a lower elevation than Fussière and borders Santenay’s Clos Rousseau premier cru. Surface is 3.5 acres and average age of vines is a very respectable 75 years. The wine tends toward red fruit (Fussière tends toward black) and is a structured, old-vine creation. Production averages 800 cases annually.|