Tasting T1.6 Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard

Once again we have a tasting that focused on one Domaine. In particular, the reason for this, this Domaine produces white wine from arguably one of the best vineyards in the world. Period. That’s right… we are talking about Montrachet. Whilst I try and stop myself writing, using as many paragraphs as I can, an explanation to you detailing quite how excited I was for this tasting we should first look at this Domaine.

This is a relatively young Domaine for Burgundy who were founded in 1985. Today it owns 12 hectares of vineyards located across Chassagne-Montrachet with a few plots in Volnay and Pommard producing red wines. Founded by Laurence, daughter of Jacques and Marie-Josephe Gagnard, and Richard. They have very hands on techniques from March through to July in the vineyard. Once July nears its end they then leave the vines for a whole month (August) to let nature take over. Once harvesting takes place, there is vigorous sorting and only the best grapes are used. Coming through to vinification and ageing, traditional methods are used. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts and oak ageing for 12 to 18 months with anywhere between 15% - 40% new oak being used.

I will keep it short, but for those of you who do not know, this is big… this is a big tasting with some serious wines on show. What really crippled me was that one of the wines was unfortunately corked when we opened it. Yes there were tears… questions about whether life was really worth it anymore and even questions about whether I could continue with the rest of the tasting given that the Batard-Montrachet was the bottle that was corked! Alas, knowing that you… our readers, would be so desperate to read this article… I took it upon myself to get up, dust myself off and crack on. So let’s shall we?

Tonight’s tasters are David, Harry, Kim & Jen.

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 2016

100% Chardonnay, fermentation with native yeasts and ageing in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months. 15-20% of new oak.

Note: Gorgeous aromas of biscuit, vanilla, baked apples and citrus. There is elegance simply exuding from this wine instantly. Creamy and luscious on the palate, smooth and beautifully linear. Those baked apples and stone fruits running nicely through the wine with perfect balance with the racy acidity. Biscuit and vanilla enveloping the mouth with such distinction and depth of flavour. A beautifully long finish, this is outstanding and is drinking so well now. Will certainly evolve over the next 5-8 years if not longer!

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet La Maltroie 1er Cru 2014

100% Chardonnay, fermentation with native yeasts and ageing in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months. 30-40% of new oak.

Note: Butter, baked apple and yeast aromas first off. Really intense nose with powerful stone fruits and vanilla. Silky smooth and luscious on the palate with strong baked fruits, butter and a gorgeous citrus that aids the acidity in cutting through those bold flavours. Long and concentrated on the mid palate with excellent structure and a complex body. Absolutely fantastic finish which just doesn’t seem to disappear. Stunning and an exemplary example of a 1er Cru from Chassagne… drinking so well now and will evolve for another decade.

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru 2014

100% Chardonnay, fermentation with native yeasts and ageing in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months. 30-40% of new oak.

Note: Orange blossom, honeysuckle, stone fruits with hints of vanilla and butter. Right at the moment this is slowly becoming a wine… what I mean by that is it needs time, which at the age of 10 is just mind blowing. There is ample fruit and so much texture with a great mouthfeel and a full, smooth body. At the same time there is a lot of citrus, limes and grapefruit with plenty of acidity. Hence the need to allow this wine some time to grow and fully develop. Perhaps another 5-7 years in the cellar and then start to drink over the decade. Do not get me wrong this is a fantastic wine, it will merely improve with time.

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Criots Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2014

100% Chardonnay, fermentation with native yeasts and ageing in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months. 30-40% of new oak.

Note: Lovely aromas of stone fruits, vanilla, orange zest and honeysuckle. This has elegance and finesse at its core. There is a beautiful cohesion between fruit forward notes and a perfect balance of citrus, truly fantastic. Depth of flavour and concentration is key here with plenty of texture and good mid-palate weight. Structurally this wine is sound with a long, fruit forward finish. So much power and elegance. Drinking beautifully now and will evolve for a decade minimum.

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Le Montrachet Grand Cru 2011

100% Chardonnay, fermentation with native yeasts and ageing in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months. 30-40% of new oak.

Note: Crushed rocks, apples, citrus and stone fruits. Smooth and powerful on the palate with so much pure fruit with excellent citrus and minerality running through the wine. The body is luscious and creamy with such a textured mouthfeel. This is a truly exceptional wine, the balance is spot on with such complexity and concentrated flavour. It is tough to find a fault here, the finish is long and savoury with ample ability. Certainly drinking extremely well now and will only get better over the next decade. Absolute corker!


As you can see an absolutely incredible tasting. I consider myself extremely lucky that I was able to taste these. Unfortunate that one of the bottles that we had lined up was in fact corked… a huge shame but you can’t have everything in life!

These wines are not cheap and I am aware that not everyone will be able to taste these in their lifetime. However, they were exceedingly worth it. Admittedly the village Chassagne-Montrachet (1st one) is only £60 so if you save up then you can certainly grab one of those. I would say that if you ever get the chance, do grab any of these as you will not be dissatisfied.

The scores:

Chassagne-Montrachet 2016 – 95 Points

La Maltroie 1er Cru 2014 – 95 Points

Les Vergers 1er Cru 2014 – 96 Points

Criots Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2014 – 97 Points

Le Montrachet Grand Cru 2011 – 99 Points

Lastly again just to say… these are some epic wines (scores will give you that idea). I hope you enjoyed the article and thank you as always for reading. Do try and get one of these if you can as it really is unbelievably worth it.

Hoping we will be back again next week with another article and I hope you have a good weekend!

Harry Vernau

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