The exact meaning of ‘Les Caillerets’ is uncertain but it is an old French word for stones, and the soils of this first-growth vineyard are very pebbly. The JNG parcel, barely more than one hectare facing south-east at 300-310m at the southern end... ‘gives a beautifully balanced, precise wine with marvellous purity of fruit and a long crisp finish’ (Norman & Taylor, Great Domaines of Burgundy). Grapes are hand-picked and sorted, then gently pressed, settled and transferred to barrels for natural fermentation followed by 18 months maturation in Tronçais and Allier oak, one-third new. The final wine is a selection of the best barrels.
Jean Noel Gagnard handed his eponymous Domaine to his daughter Caroline Lestimé in 1989. She had studied business in Paris, before returning to the village to take over the reins of the family estate, and had to handle male chauvinism at its most rampant. Nonetheless, she has followed her own convictions, and enhanced (rather than diminished) the reputation of this fine producer. In the vineyard, she uses no fertilisers or herbicides, but has not taken hold of the biodynamic bible.- James Halliday
The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er Cru has the most backward nose of the domaine’s Premier Cru. Les Caillerets demands the most coaxing, opening almost reluctantly with crushed rock, pressed yellow flowers and lemon verbena scents. The palate is taut and linear, very fresh and focused. The propitious terroir really shows though here, with a brisk and lightly spiced, complex finish. Very persistent in the mouth, this is a superb showing that may warrant a higher score in the future.
93 points, Vinous (October 2021)
The total here is 1.06ha; two-thirds are in En Caillerets and one-third is in the lieu-dit Les Combards. The blend is superb, opening with citrus aromas before developing hints of tropical fruit and flowers. On the palate there is weight and substance, developing a buttery elegance that bodes well for future ageing.
94 points, Charles Curtis MW, Decanter (October 2020)
The whites are full-bodied, powerful, and fat, with aromas of almonds (green or toasted, depending on the age of the wine), ripe apples, white flowers, and honey, The finish is remarkably long.
The reds are deeply colored, full-bodied, and often quite fleshy, with classic aroma of cherry or kirsch and blackcurrant. Their firm structure is reminiscent of a wine from the Côte de Nuits.