Puligny-Montrachet should somehow represent the pinnacle of white Burgundy – but during the last one or two decades the producers of Puligny have been seriously challenged by estates from other appellations.
Things are however changing, and new talented estates appear and old prominent estates reappear with a improved quality, a revived style and a new dynamic attitude.
In reality this is how Burgundy works – after a dormant period new generations take over, and new estates are formed based on old or retired domaines.
If there are great vineyards – the potential is there.
Domaine Jean Chartron – unfolding a great potential
I have tasted quite a few bottles of Domaine Jean Chartron over the last years, and seen the quality improve and blossom – and found the wines very interesting – and notching the top end wines in some cases. I therefore decided to visit the estate, to check out the range in the 2017 vintage.
To be honest I was surprised how far Jean-Michel Chartron have reached quality wise .. the 2017s are tremendous wines, and is confirming Chartron as one of the new top contenders strongly supported by a lineup of great vineyards – it does help with a Grand Cru or two.
Vineyards creates and forms estates … and make no mistake, top 1er crus and Grand Crus are quite crucial to establish the history, image and position of a top estate.
Domaine Jean Chartron has a strong historical background being established in 1859, and with a quite unique portfolio of vineyards, that include three famous clos … that sort of outlines the vineyard collection – Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Pucelle, Puligny-Montrachet Clos du Caillerets and Chevalier-Montrachet Clos des Chevaliers.
The vineyard portfolio was once larger and even more prominent, with larger plots in Puligny-Montrachet Caillerets and in Chevalier-Montrachet. But time and circumstances have reduced these holdings somewhat.
The estate has after a rather problematic period in the 1980s and early 1990s entered a more stable period under the leadership of Jean-Michel Chartron, and this has improved quality tremendously over the last few years.
Gone is the Chartron et Trébuchet negociant venture (1984 – 2004) and Jean-Michel Chartron has introduced new vineyards in Rully and the estate is again expanding in a revived form – with new plots in the main appellations.
Domaine Jean Chartron – the style
Taking the 2017s from Domaine Jean Chatron I find a fine portfolio of whites – and a few exiting reds. The style is focused, pure and relatively tight with a good acidity and freshness. The wines have a good expression of minerality and freshness – true Puligny character if you like – without a very strong producer “signature” like for instance Domaine Leflaive.
The wines are balanced and pure … with the terroir expressed in a clear and natural way.
Bottom line I see progress and the style is getting more and more defined and refined … putting Chartron firmly on the new map of Puligny.
The tasting notes – from tasting on May 31st 2018
I did not taste all the wines produced at Chartron – but the following were sampled on May 31st 2018.
Domaine Jean Chartron, Bourgogne “Clos de la Combe Blanc” 2017
While there is great interest for the Grand Crus – a lot can be seen from the lesser wines – including the ability to produce pure and detailed wines even from the lower end appellations. The Chartron Bourgogne Blanc is a deligtful wine – fresh and vibrant with a nice little mineral touch .. nice balance and purity. Crisp and vibrant.
(Drink from 2020) – Good – (85 – 87p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Rully Montmorin 2017
I do like Rully as an affordable alternative … they have it all to a certain degree, and I don’t think of Rully as a serious compromise. The Rully Montmorin is a lovely and drinkable wine – fruit is airy and quite effortless offering all the fine qualities of the vintage. A bit on the generous side but feeling crisp and vivid. Nice minerality and a acidity is keeping things on track. A very appealing wine.
(Drink from 2020) – Good+ – (86 – 87p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Saint-Aubin Les Murgers des Dents de Chien 2017
This is a magnificent terroir .. from the backyard of Montrachet. Minerality is stony and the acidity is fresh. An interesting and edgy terroir – showing the most mineral and vivid side of Saint-Aubin. A lovely match for the vintage.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good – (89 – 90p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Benoites” 2017
A classic Chassagne – pure and quite cool – a bit on the rich side with a lovely saline impression. A very good glass – perhaps not the utmost in definition and detail – but gets the job done – and then some!.
(Drink from 2025) – Good+ – (87 – 88p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Puligny Montrachet 2017
More edge than the Chassagne-Montrachet elegant and effortless with a lovely mineral touch and a airy rather cool fruit. Classic Puligny feel .. with a nice detailed minerality. Showing well with a lovely freshness!
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (89 – 90p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 2017
The Puligny Les Folatiers 2017 is charming with a effortless elegance – as often with this vineyard. The fruit is slightly sumptuous and generous with some exotic notes – it’s elegant and rather classic Puligny .. showing very well indeed.
(Drink from 2027) – Fine+ – (92 – 93p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Corton-Charlemagne 2017
The Corton Charlie is intense, long and quite tightly knit. The nose offer quite exotic white orchard fruits – cool yet with a nice genrosity. Lovely chalky minerality – fine balancing acidity – quite filigree and vivid. An impressive Charlie in the making.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Fine – (93 – 94p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Batard Montrachet 2017
The Batard-Montrachet is from the middle lower part of the vineyard – just on the border between Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet – but as the estate located in Puligny. The nose is airy and vivid – notes of apple, peach and almonds. Fine hint of citrus infused minerality .. lovely depth and complexity – although not rivalling the magnificent Chevalier-Montrachet. An intense yet refined Batard in my view – the 2017s are truly delightful when harvested in time.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Fine+ – (94 – 95p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
Domaine Jean Chartron, Puligny-Montrachet Clos du Caillerets Rouge 2017
Last but not least of the regular cuvées the Puligny Clos du Caillerets Rouge 2017 the only red 1er cru in Puligny-Montrachet these days. Caillerets actually used to be planted with mainly pinot noir, but today only Chartron have maintained this fine tradition. This is a special wine – with a classic “white” Puligny minerality – citrus and mineral driven – creating a lightfooted and vivid red Puligny. A rare treat .. lovely to taste a red 1er cru from this appellation.
(Drink from 2027) – Fine+ – (92 – 93p) – Tasted 31/05/2018
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Tasting Notes for this producer
- Visit Domaine Jean Chartron – tasting the 2017s from cask Puligny-Montrachet should somehow represent the pinnacle of white Burgundy – but during the last one or two decades the producers of Puligny have been seriously challenged by estates from other appellations. Things are however changing, and new talented estates appear and old prominent estates reappear with a improved quality, a revived style and a new dynamic ...