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Château Génot-Boulanger Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Vergers 2007

A look at Burgundy this week - and it's about time too, you might say. Although this site majors on the wines of the Loire and Bordeaux I do have a secret, deeply-buried yearning to cover Burgundy in greater detail. This desire has momentarily bubbled to the surface before now, such as the publication of my Burgundy guide last year, or the write-up of my visit to Albert Bichot and a massive tasting of their wines (mainly from 2007), also last year. And of course this site did start up ten years ago with something of a focus on Burgundy, which is why there are so many seemingly random entries in my Burgundy tasting notes archive from 2000 and 2001 (they're all looking rather dated now). In many cases those notes were accompanied by thumbnail sketches of the domaine, vineyard or vintage in question, but I wasn't so diligent in archiving material back then.

This bottle comes from Cadman Wines, and is one of a number of samples from their current list I have been tasting recently. The domaine is based in Meursault, and although it has its origins in the Côte Chalonnaise (proprietor François Delaby owns a very large chunk of the Mercurey vineyard, which once accounted for more than half the domaine), today the focus here is on the Côte de Beaune, the family having stakes in all the principal communes, whereas further north they have interests only in Chambolle-Musigny and the Clos de Vougeot. The wine in question today originates from Chassagne-Montrachet, although I also tasted a 2007 Premier Cru Les Folatières from just next-door in Puligny-Montrachet, also from Génot-Boulanger. This latter wine was in truth the more serious and structured of the pair, and would be my choice for the cellar, but I chose to feature this wine from Chassagne today simply because it is much more approachable right now.

Chateau Génot-Boulanger Chassagne-Montrachet Premier CruLes Vergers  2007

As all Burg-o-philes will already know Chassagne is one of the last gasps of the Côte d'Or, before it peters out with Santenay and Maranges, then giving way to the Côte Chalonnaise. Almost exclusively white the commune encompasses three of the Montrachet grands crus (in whole or in part) and gives us lots of good premier cru prospects. At the northern end, close to the grands crus lies a collection of such vineyards, with Blanchot-Dessus and Les Bondues just alongside Le Montrachet, and then going up the slope Les Chenevottes and then Les Vergers, with Les Chaumées running up to the top. Les Vergers has a decent reputation, described by Clive Coates in Côte d'Or (University California Press, 1997) together with the aforementioned vineyards as "a good composite site". By contrast the vineyard is given only a passing mention in The Great Domaines of Burgundy (Kyle Cathie, 2010), although to be fair this tome, penned by Remington Norman (although this most recent revision is largely the work of Charles Taylor MW), concentrates much more on Burgundy's domaines rather than on the communes.

As for my opinion on the wine, the 2007 Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Vergers from Château Génot-Boulanger has a pale hue in the glass with a great nose, very open, expressive and characterful, with notes of white peach skin, bright citrus tones and also a subtle layer of highly polished cashew nut. On the palate it is bright and fleshy, with a quite remarkable creamy-glossy texture. It carries a massive raft of fruit at the start, the structure of the wine - it has an appealing grip - just dripping with peach. Rich, with piles of flavour-impact packed within a linear, well-defined frame and backed up by almost juicy acidity, this is a really impressive wine, approachable and thus lovely for drinking now. Having said that those who look for more gravity or the grip that demands cellaring should perhaps look elsewhere; this wine is perhaps not one to offer you the cerebral experience that you may be looking for (although that is not to say it doesn't have cellar potential). But if you are on the hunt for a delicious wine which is certainly true to its origins, then this could certainly still be the bottle for you. 17+/20 (16/8/10)

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