A new, prestigious appellation had come to enrich the range of wines at the Domaine: a Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Abbaye de Morgeot“.

This Premier Cru is situated south of Chassagne-Montrachet, one of the 5 villages making up the prestigious “Côte des Blancs” near Beaune. Facing east-south-east, “l'Abbaye de Morgeot” is considered one of the best terroirs of Chassagne-Montrachet. Its deep soil, composed of clays and limestone, is totally planted in Chardonnay. The vines surround a former winemaking cellar now in ruins and that once belonged to the Cistercian monks of the Abbaye de Maizières.

Vintage 2010: small but concentrated volumes

The harvest began in sunshine on 21st September. Lots of students had answered the call and made up a tightly-knit group of harvesters in a most convivial atmosphere. Several nationalities were represented (New Zealand, Bulgaria, Argentina, Canada), especially in the vathouse as there are also many professionals wanting to be trained in winemaking under the supervision of Pascal Marchand.

Harvesting was done quickly, over 6 days, with grape maturity quite homogenous all along the vineyards of the “Côte”.

This 2010 vintage was marked by low yields, essentially due to the weather : frosts in December (with temperatures dropping to minus 19°C) killed off some vines ; then, in the spring, bad weather during vine flowering provoked flower-shatter and berry-shot (with many grapes not developing); finally, the persistent north wind during the 2 to 3 weeks preceding the harvest stopped potential developments of rot due to humidity but also dried up the grapes (less water in the berries, so smaller volume). Delicate climatic conditions that limited quantities but had the advantage of concentrating the grapes!

In the vathouse, Pascal Marchand adapted his winemaking to the vintage. For the red wines, he chose to keep less of the harvest in whole bunches (10 to 15% on average against 20 to 30% the previous year); less emphasis on extraction, macerations a little shorter (3 weeks against 4 in 2009) and pressings were very gentle.

Vintage 2010 thus delivers delicate, very aromatic red wines.

As for the white wines, grapes were crushed less and settling was more accentuated so that fermentations took place with less lees. 2010 is a very good year for whites, with very straight-line and well-balanced wines.

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