Morgeot is a huge premier cru that spans the southern end of Chassagne Montrachet as it borders Santenay, though Justin’s small parcel only accounts for four barrels. This has a wonderful bouquet of white almonds, blossom and lemon. It has some nice richness beneath the bright, fresh and approachable frame.
The Girardin family have been establish vignerons in Burgundy for centuries. Justin Girardin has recently taken up the reins from father Jacques (brother of famous négociant Vincent Girardin) at the family’s 17 hectare domaine. Their holdings stretch from Santenay to Savigny lès Beaune, through Chassagne Montrachet and Pommard. The estate follows organic practices, although it is not certified. Justin is a modest young man with an endearingly quiet approach to wine – he gingerly crafts the wines in the vineyard, and makes minimal interventions in the cellar. As a result his range of Santenays are a fascinating portrait of one of the Côte D’Or’s lesser known villages, and well worth exploring. It is so exciting to discover a domaine following the transition from one generation to the next, when ambition and quality are on the up. Justin’s wines offer excellent value with no compromise in quality.
The white wines of Chassagne Montrachet can be difficult to distinguish from Puligny. At their most typical they are slightly fleshier and more hedonistic, but are often just as mineral and refined making the two almost inseparable. When distinguishable, they offer notes of honeysuckle, lime blossom and honey. Many have become quite approachable when young. It is larger than Puligny with vineyards totalling over 330 hectares. Though it shares both the grand cru vineyards of Le Montrachet and Bâtard Montrachet, it has sole ownership of the miniscule Criots Bâtard Montrachet. Similar to Puligny, Chassagne also grows Pinot Noir, which can be austere when young. A small amount of red Chassagne is also made.