Michel Colin-Deléger traces his Chassagne-Montrachet lineage through both sides of his family, having inherited vineyards from the original Colins who settled in the appellation in the 1850s, and from his father-in-law, the great George Deléger. Since creating his eponymous winery in 1987, he has forged an enviable reputation as one of the finest producers of this Burgundian region, crafting distinguished Premiers and Grands Crus wines that offer abundant ripe fruit aromas, concentrated flavors and layered complexity.
Although Michel’s sons, Philippe and Bruno, manage the operations of the original Domaine Colin-Deléger today (now Domaines Philippe and Bruno Colin, respectively), he still actively oversees the production of wines from three prized and neighboring vineyards – Chassagne Premier Cru “en Remilly,” the famous Puligny Premier Cru “Les Demoiselles”, and its neighboring Grand Cru Chevalier Montrachet.
Over the last few decades, Michel has mastered his craft and production of wine follows his exacting standards. During harvest, for example, grapes are sorted both in the vineyard and at the winery. Michel refers to the elevage of his wines as “traditional” for white Burgundy, yet the tiny quantities he is producing call for a few technical tweaks. After a relatively quick pneumatic pressing the juice settles in tank for a night before descending into casks in the cellar. The Chassagne 1er Cru en Remilly sees about 25% new oak barrels of 225 liters, but the Chevalier-Montrachet is in one larger, custom-made, 360 liter cask of new oak. The Puligny 1er Cru Les Demoiselles is vinified in one old and one new custom casks.
Fermentation is relatively slow in Michel’s cold cellar, with malolactic usually finishing the spring after the harvest. Long lees aging is preferred, with only occasional (every other week) batonnage. Bottling takes place in the spring after 15 months of patient aging. Wines worth waiting for.
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