Discover Burgundy Jean-Noel Gagnard
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 in News
Langton’s Head of International Buying, Jesper Kjaersgaard met Caroline Lestimé of Jean-Noël Gagnard during his buying trip to Burgundy to taste the Chassagne-Montrachet wines he loves...
Explore our range of Jean-Noël Gagnard wines
Jean-Noël Gagnard - Chassagne-Montrachet
Caroline Lestimé of Jean-Noël Gagnard
When Caroline Lestimé took over from her father, Jean-Noël Gagnard in 1989, the domaine already had a very good reputation. Under her watchful eye, Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard has risen to the very top of the appellation. Today, Jean-Noël Gagnard is considered one of the benchmarks of Chassagne-Montrachet.
With just short of 10 hectares under vine, Caroline holds an impressive nine different Chassagne 1er Crus. She puts a lot of work into the vineyard and her fruit selection is rigorous. The fruit from each vineyard is vinified separately and the wines spend approximately 18 months in a mix of old and new oak. approximately 25% new oak is used for the 1er Crus and 50% new oak is used for the Grand Cru Batard-Montrachet.
At the domaine in late October, I received a joyous welcome by a beaming Caroline. Her passion for wine is almost luminous – even in the face of a challenge – it’s hard not to be caught up in it and carried away. The 2016 vintage was one such challenge for the domaine having been hit badly by frost. Caroline’s exacting fruit selection ensured that her finished wines were excellent. Although low in quantity, the quality of the 2016 wines released is impeccable.
When discussing the 2016 vintage, Caroline likened it to “Sorbet with good freshness and a delicate lightness to its feet.” I can only agree. There’s an ethereal quality, an airiness, to the 2016’s and paired with the body of Chassagne, these wines are absolutely stunning. Caroline manages to produce wines with energy, power and tension but always with a framework of delicacy and lightness that makes me think of jazz great, Wayne Shorter.
The Gagnard homestead and domain
The Gagnard homestead and domaine are located just above 1er Cru Clos De La Maltroye in the middle of the village. Although the La Maltroie is one of my favourite wines from the domaine, the 1er Cru Caillerets is a very special wine and Gangard’s bottling is arguably the benchmark of the appellation with its stonefruit, vibrant energy and clear-cut minerality. It is one that every wine lover should try at least once! Caroline also makes a very limited Batard-Montrachet, of which we receive just six bottles annually. If you are lucky enough to have tried this wine, the memory of its sheer power will most likely still be with you.
Langton’s Head of International Buying, Jesper Kjaersgaard
Previously, I mentioned that it’s easy to get caught up in Caroline’s love for her wines. Perhaps it’s that but my love for Caroline’s wines is second to none. I don’t just recommend Caroline’s wines, I insist you try them! Trust me, you’ll come to love them too. And you certainly do not want to miss the 2016 release!