Download Complete Winemaker Notes
Michel Colin-Deléger created his eponymous winery in the renowned village of Chassagne-Montrachet in 1987. He has since forged an enviable reputation as one of the finest producers of this Burgundian appellation, crafting distinguished Premiers and Grand Crus wines that offer abundant ripee fruit aromas, concentrated flavors and layered complexity. Although Michel’s sons, Philippe and Bruno, inherited the original Domaine Colin-Deléger vineyards, today Michel still actively oversees the production of wines from his three most prized vineyard sites – Chassagne Premier Cru “en Remilly,” the famous Puligny Premier Cru “Les Demoiselles,” and its neighboring Grand Cru Chevalier Montrachet.
Appellation: Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru Contrôlée
Chevalier Montrachet sits atop the famous Grand Cru Le Montrachet itself. Higher and steeper in elevation than its renowned neighbor below, Chevalier has more small limestone rocks (cailloux), clay, and the bedrock of limestone closer to the surface. Its elevation, pitch, and due easterly exposure make it a perfect “sunbench” for growing some of the world’s greatest Chardonnay.
Grapes are hand-harvested at optimum ripeness in small bins, and carried to the winery for a gentle pressing in the pneumatic bladder press. The must is allowed to settle for 24 hours (debourbage) to allow the gross lees to settle out, and the wine descends by gravity into a single, new custom-made 360 liter oak cask for primary and malolactic fermentations. The must is stirred (batonnage) approximately once a week during malolactic fermentation to allow the yeast cells to “nourish” the wine. After aging of 15 months in this barrel the wine is bottled.
Chevalier Montrachet is an ethereal beverage, often exceeding its rival neighbor, Montrachet, in depth complexity and ageability. Because its soils are leaner with less clay, Chevalier tends to possess more minerality when young, occasionally seeming somewhat austere. Yet patience is rewarded when after 10 to 15 years it blossoms into a perfect balance of pear-apple compote, truffled honey, and wet stones combined with a forest floor, wild mushroom aroma.