2011 Domaine Jacques Carillon Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles

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Domaine Jacques Carillon
Chassagne-Montrachet "Macherelles"
1er Cru White 750 ml
Score: 90
Tasted: Jun 15, 2014
Drink: 2017+
Issue: 55

Note: from young vines
Producer note: Though I have explained this in prior Issues, it bears repeating as I still occasionally receive questions regarding the division of the old Domaine Louis Carillon. Effective with the 2010 vintage, brothers Jacques and François (see above) Carillon have officially divided what was Domaine Louis Carillon into two parts. Each brother has now established a new operation and possesses approximately 6 ha respectively (though François has added another 4 ha through his négociant activities). However, the composition of those 6 ha will not be the same. The villages level vineyards, the Perrières and the Macherelles will be split in half. François will retain all of the Combettes and Jacques will keep the Champ Canet, Referts (even though François now also makes a Referts but from different vines) and the crown jewel Bienvenues. Note that there is some confusion over the 2009 vintage as wines were issued under two different labels bearing each of the brother's respective names. I have received emails asking what the differences might be between them and in point of fact there are no differences other than of course the labels themselves. This is because the wines are exactly the same and thus for those who see 2009s bottled under the François Carillon label, they can use the reviews for the 2009 Jacques Carillon wines for guidance. With respect to the 2012 vintage, Jacques describes it as "a beautiful vintage that is both concentrated and mineral-driven though unfortunately there isn't much of it as my villages wine was off 50% and the 1ers were off fully 70% relative to a normal vintage. The problem of course was basically the poor weather during the flowering and two hail storms. Those factors will quickly eliminate any excess yield that you might have been expecting! The weather during June, July and August left much to be desired though late August and September were stable with good overall conditions which allowed the fruit to ripen quickly as the vines were nourishing so few bunches. I began picking on the 17th of September and there wasn't really a lot of sorting necessary as most of the hail-damaged berries had already dried up and fallen off the bunches. Overall I like the vintage and while it's perhaps not classic in style I think people will enjoy the 2012s for their richness and power." It's worth emphasizing again that Carillon has raised his free SO2 level to <50 milligrams in the hopes of preventing, or at least ameliorating the problem of premature oxidation. However levels this high can usually be detected in the wines for the first two years after bottling. Thus, if you want to try any of the Carillon wines young, I would strongly advise decanting them. As to the Carillon 2011s, Jacques noted that they were bottled in February and March 2013. (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, www.madrose.com, Shekomeko, NY; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Charles Taylor Wines, E-mail: charles@charlestaylorwines.com, both UK).
Tasting note: A relatively reserved nose of cool, pretty and airy aromas of citrus, resin, pear and floral nuances gives way to vibrant and delicious flavors that don't quite have the same mid-palate concentration. There is good verve and this too should drink well early on.