Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru wines are those made under the Chassagne-Montrachet appellation, from grapes grown in officially recognised premier cru vineyards. There are a large number of premier cru sites (or climats) within the appellation's catchment area, and wines from those sites are permitted to bear the specific climat name on their labels.

Chassagne-Montrachet itself is a village in the Côte de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy with its own communal appellation, created in 1937. As with every Burgundian commune, the list of premier cru vineyards here is reviewed every few years by the INAO – the French governmental organisation responsible for administration of the nation's appellation system. Burgundy's grand cru vineyards are treated independently and each has its own appellation.

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru wines may be either red (made from Pinot Noir) or white (made from Chardonnay), but it is the whites in particular which have earned the appellation its reputation; it is regarded as producing some of the world's most respected wines. For much of the 20th century, red wines formed the majority of the wine produced here, but the increasing fame of the local Chardonnay led the commune to shift its focus to white wines.

The finest Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru sites are in the far north-eastern corner of the parish, bordering the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru site. Here, the limestone soils are at their finest and richest, bringing minerality to the wines. The vineyard orientation is also at its best, allowing the grapes to benefit from the excellent ripening conditions. White wines from these premier cru sites age well in bottle, developing slowly from a powerful, opulent youth into a complex, elegant style over ten years or more.

The soils around Chassagne-Montrachet are characteristically Burgundian, with a high content of limestone – particularly on the slopes of the Côte d'Or (the 27-mile/45-km limestone escarpment running from Dijon to Santenay). There is a distinct difference, however, between the vineyard sites to the south of Chassagne-Montrachet village and those to the north. To the south, they have a higher concentration of limestone marl and red gravel – soils which suit Pinot Noir better. To the north, the harder marlstone gives way to softer, finer limestone structures, and it is here that some of the world's most-respected Chardonnay is made.

The climate around Chassagne-Montrachet is of continental type, with warm, dry summers and cool winters. While spring arrives earlier than in Burgundy's northern outposts like Chablis, the commune's viticulturalists must still contend with cold spring mornings and the risk of frost damage to their vines.

Many consider Chassagne-Montrachet to be the southern limit of Burgundy, as it is the last of the region's communes to have an unbroken flow of premier cru vineyards, as well as one grand cru vineyard and two others – Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet – which it shares with Puligny-Montrachet. Although it is larger than Puligny-Montrachet and produces nearly twice as much premier cru wine, Chassagne is still slightly overshadowed by its more-famous neighbour.

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru includes 55 climats, not all of which will be bottled separately:

- Abbaye de Morgeot
- Blanchot Dessus
- Bois de Chassagne
- Cailleret
- Champs Jendreau
- Chassagne
- Chassagne du Clos Saint-Jean
- Clos Chareau
- Clos Pitois
- Clos Saint-Jean
- Dent de Chien
- En Cailleret
- En Remilly
- En Virondot
- Ez Crets
- Ez Crottes
- Francemont
- Guerchère
- La Boudriotte
- La Cardeuse
- La Chapelle
- La Grande Borne
- La Grande Montagne
- La Maltroie
- La Romanée
- La Roquemaure
- Les Baudines
- Les Boirettes
- Les Bondues
- Les Brussonnes
- Les Champs Gain
- Les Chaumées
- Les Chaumes
- Les Chenevottes
- Les Combards
- Les Commes
- Les Embazées
- Les Fairendes
- Les Grandes Ruchottes
- Les Grands Clos
- Les Macherelles
- Les Murées
- Les Pasquelles
- Les Petites Fairendes
- Les Petits Clos
- Les Places
- Les Rebichets
- Les Vergers
- Morgeot
- Petingeret
- Tête du Clos
- Tonton Marcel
- Vide Bourse
- Vigne Blanche
- Vigne Derrière
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