Domaine Vincent and Francois Jouard, Chassagne Montrachet

The village of Chassagne Montrachet is not an exciting place to visit. Many of the growers live behind discreet facades and you rarely come across people in the streets!

The vineyards of Chassagne Montrachet extend some 3 km in a south-westernly direction, crossing the N6 and having a south-easternly exposure. As for family names, the names of the vineyards are complicated, since many of the principal 1er Cru’s are subdivided into several individual climats, and the wine may take either the name of the principal lieu-dit or that of the climat. As to family names, please make sure to verity that you are dealing with the right domaine!

Our family is still struggling to outline the defining characteristics of a white Chassagne. As ever, vine age, yields and the grower are as important as the appellation. Add to this that there is still too much dilute and disappointing Chassagne as elsewhere in Burgundy!

You find domaine Vincent & Francois Jouard next to the church in the centre of Chassagne Montrachet. This is an estate, the roots of which can be traced back before 1820. Contrary to most domaines, this family-run estate only own vineyards in Chassagne Montrachet. In 1990 the domaine, which includes some 11 ha was taken over by the Jouard brothers, Vincent and Francois. Francois is the winemaker, while Vincent works in the vines.

Soustainable viticulture with extensive plowing to avoid chemical weeding. Vinification is traditional with bâtonnage once a week until the malolactic fermentation is finished. All the wines are ages for 11 moths in oak barrels of which some 25-30% are new. Bottling just before the following harvest. The brothers aim for fresh and elegant wines balanced by crisp acidity.

The domaine owns a fine range of white 1er Cru’s, most of which are vieilles vignes (Les Chaumées Clos de la Truffière, La Maltroie, Les Champ-Gain, Morgeot Les fairendes, Les Chenevottes, Les Macherelles, Les Vergers and Clos Saint Jean) in addition to a small parcel of Bâtard Montrachet GC. The biggest production is their Chassagne Montrachet Vieilles Vignes, originating from three different parcels, each of which adds specific flavours. Finally, the domaine also makes some red Chassagne including both village and 1er Cru (Mogeot and Clos St. Jean).

We are a big fan of their Chassagne Montrachet Vieilles Vignes demonstrating elegant fruit balanced by crisp acidity, but we have also very much enjoyed their fairly priced Les Chaumées Clos de la Truffières vieille vignes.