- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
This 4.5-hectare domaine was founded by the Changarnier family in 1720, 69 years prior to the French revolution. The family recently unearthed documents showing that one of their predecessors was born in 1629 in Monthélie, and worked in the fields for the monks of the Citeaux Abbaye. Today, the domaine is owned by brothers Claude and Antoine Changarnier and has been managed by the estimable Fabrice Groussin since 2015. Fabrice runs the vineyards organically and biodynamically, producing 25,000 bottles from 10 different appellations. The whites are fresh and elegant – the use of just 10 - 20% new oak and larger foudres ensures they have a lovely texture that emphasises the village rather than the barrel maker. The reds are equally refined, with grainy tannins and a lovely balance.
We are delighted to have four Monthélie from this fine domaine, two whites and two reds.
The Monthélie white comes from the younger vines of the estate (20 years old on average) which are farmed organically. The wine is partly aged in Austrian oak barrels (15% new) and amphora, which represents 20% of the total blend. The resulting wine displays vibrant citrus fruit and fresh acidity, and is both immediately accessible and suitable for ageing. Monthélie “le Clos” is a classic Côte de Beaune Chardonnay from a single plot which used to be the domaine’s garden. The wine is concentrated but balanced by excellent acidity and is aged in 228L barrels to add complexity and weight.
For the reds, Pierrefitte comes from a lieu-dit situated at the top of the hill at 325 metres above sea level. It was made using 15% whole-bunch fermentation and 20% new oak. The wine has lovely depth and power, its flavour accentuated on the finish by a lively acidity. The Meix Batailles 1er cru is 200 metres south of Pierrefitte but on a totally different type of soil. The Meix Batailles has deeper limestone clay soils which produce wines with greater richness than the chalky marl of Pierrefitte. Fabrice didn’t use any whole bunches for the Meix Batailles, but aged the wine in 20% new oak for 12 months. It is already more supple and forward than the Pierrefitte.
The fruit for Monthélie `Pierrefitte` is sourced from a 0.46-hectare block of 70-year-old Pinot Noir vines located on hillside slopes at 325 metres above sea level. The vines have a south, south-west exposure and the soils are predominantly chalky marl.
2019 was an exceptionally warm vintage with periods of intense heat during the summer. There was very little rainfall from January to August, which impacted the water reserves for the vines and resulted in beautifully concentrated grapes. The harvest began on 13th September.
All of the fruit was harvested by hand into small, 11kg crates. 80% of the grapes were destemmed and underwent a pre-fermentation maceration at a cool temperature for five days. Fermentation was soft and slow, lasting 20 days, with gentle pump overs performed in the first few days, and two punch downs performed during mid-fermentation. For the final five days of fermentation, the tanks were sealed and kept at 28°C, to extract maximum flavour and tannin. Only a very small portion of SO2 was added, before the wine was racked to French oak barrels, of which 25% was new, where it remained for one year. It spent three months in tank before it was lightly filtered and bottled.
Deep ruby red in colour, the nose displays intense aromas of black cherry and blackberry with hints of toast, vanilla and black pepper. Elegant and fresh on the palate, with a core of black fruit and round, silky tannins. The chalky minerality leads to a bright, lifted finished.