Domaine Gagnard-Delagrange was created in 1959 with the marriage of Jacques Gagnard to Marie-Josèphe Delagrange. After the death of Jacques in 2009, Marie-Josèphe runs the domaine with the help of their grandson, Marc-Antonin Blain. Marc-Antonin worked in the cellar alongside Jacques for three years and learned the traditional style that Gagnard-Delagrange is known for.
Most of the vineyards of Gagnard-Delagrange have been handed down to their two daughters. The domaine, however, retains 7.4 acres of premier crus in Chassagne-Montrachet as well as two small parcels that Marie-Josèphe tends herself: Chassagne Village and a small vineyard of Passetoutgrain called Les Farges.
Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru is the only red wine produced at Gagnard-Delagrange. The wine takes its structure from grapes grown in Morgeot and its elegance from those grown in Clos Saint-Jean. It is completely destemmed and aged in used oak barrels for 15 months before bottling. Only four barrels are produced.
Tasting Notes Chassagne-Montrachet rouge can have some of the same characteristics found in the red wines of the Côte de Nuits. Also, they can have some of the same tannins and earthiness found in Nuits-Saint-Georges and the premier crus, and can occasionally rival the complexity and longevity found in more famous red wine villages.
Food Pairing Red Burgundy might be the world’s most flexible food wine. The wine’s high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, and low tannins make it very food-friendly. Red Burgundy, with its earthy and sometimes gamey character, is a classic partner to roasted game birds, grilled duck breast, and dishes that feature mushrooms, black truffles, or are rich in umami.
Winemaking & Aging Varietal composition: 100% Pinot Noir Type of aging container: Barrels Type of oak: French Length of aging before bottling: 15 Months
Producer Profile Estate owned by: Marie-Josèphe Gagnard Winemaker: Marc-Antonin Blain Total acreage under vine: 7 Estate founded: 1959 Region: Burgundy Country: France
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 Premier Cru sites are in the far north-eastern corner of the parish, bordering the Criots-Batard-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 Cote 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 Batard-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 neighbor.