Visiting Sebastien Caillat from Domaine Lamy-Caillat was one of my highlights of my trip to Burgundy last month. This micro-Domaine based in Chassagne Montrachet started producing wines in 2011 and are already getting some serious praise from many Burgundy lovers.
Not only is Sebastien one of the most prominent winemakers in Burgundy, he is also a civil engineer by training. Sebastien created a machine that adds a thin layer of wax (0.2-0.5mm thick) on top of the cork to reduce the rate of oxygenation. Sebastien humbly told us how excited he was when he received a call from Aubert de Villaine (co-owner and co-director of Domaine de la Romanee Conti) and was asked if he could demonstrate how to use the machine, the rest is history.
At the back of his dark and cool (very cold!) cellar sits a well crafted handmade table for tasting, on top of which shows 8 rows of soil from different parts of the appellations around the estate. Not to mention he also installed a detachable bucket that functions as a spitoon that can be easily removed and cleaned. Bravo!
This micro-Domaine only has 1.2 hectare of Chardonnay vines in Chassagne Montrachet, 1 village and 3 Premier Cru climats:
Chassagne Montrachet ‘Pot Bas’ – A mere 0.235 hectare plot planted in the 1960s. c. 1,500 bottles per year
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Gains – 0.125 hectare plot with average 38 years old vines, yielding c. 750 bottles per year
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanee – 0.224 hectare plot planted in 1961. 1,400 bottles per year
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets – Vines planted in 1960 and 1982. 3,500 bottles per year
Their wines are modern with a slight struck match reduction, textured with concentrated fruits. The concentration punches above its appellation (think Coche Dury/ Ente in Meursault), with riper fruit profile and fine acidity, especially in 2017. High pressure mechanic press. The wines are aged in oak barrels for 1 years and then 1 year in stainless steel tank with lees. No battonage.
Bourgogne Blanc 2017
This Bourgogne Blanc comes from entirely Chassagne Montrachet appellation grapes. 20% new oak. Pretty minerals, ripe orchard fruits that resembles 2015 but with more acidity and vibrancy. Great concentration for a Bourgogne Blanc. Supple butter and spices, generous body for a Bourgogne. (84-85/100)
Chassagne Montrachet 2015
Lamy Caillat wines are incredibly precise and charming. This 2015 Chassagne Montrachet offers an aristocratic bouquet of neat white fruits, mild reductive struckmatch with modern-styled texture and sweet pear fruits. Lovely fruit density and weight for a village wine. Drinking well now with a decant. (88/100)
Chassagne Montrachet Pot Bas 2017
Sebastien Lamy has 0.25 hectare of vines in this lieu dits ‘Pot Bas’, it is one of the only three village plots located above the Premier Cru slope. 20% new oak. This village offers an intense array of minerals and bright orchard fruits, there are some resemblance to the mineral-driven Premier Cru ‘Les Caillerets’. Cool climate fruits and focused acidity. Great energy and richness. (86-87/100)
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Gains 2017
Sebastien Lamy owns c. 0.125ha of vines in Champs Gains, on average 38 years old. The 2017 Les Champs Gains is one step above the Pot Bas in terms of viscosity. Clay rich soil. Proper 1er Cru weight and buttery roundness on the palate. Fresh white fruits, subtle oak spices and toast. His parcel of Champs Gains is located right below Les Caillerets. Deeply laced flavours and racy acidity. This should drink beautifully over the next two decades. (88-89/100)
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanee 2017
Sebastien Lamy owns the top part of La Romanee, a 0.2242ha vineyard planted in 1961. A windy vineyard that yields sleek minerals and dense fruits. La Romanee offers the highest fruit intensity of all the premier cru vineyards, and this is no exception. High pitched tropical fruits, white peach, and zingy citrus. Great concentration and intensity with beautiful layer of glossed oak. (91-92/100)
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets 2012
The 2012 Chassagne Montrachet Les Caillerets offers good richness but it doesn’t have the fruit intensity of great vintages such as 2014 & 2017. Buttery orchard fruits with supple reduction (this bottle was opened a day ago). Zingy minerals and wet stones of Caillerets, refined creamy and expansive minerals. There was a big frost in May and some rainy season, it was not an easy vintage to manage but Sebastien did very well. Good weight with softer structure that can be approached now. Drink over the next 2 decades. (91/100)
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets 2017
Les Caillerets is my favourite wine of Lamy-Caillat, it expresses the terroir wonderfully with its transparent yet luminous minerality and wet states flavours. 2/10 barrels are new oak. Great intensity of sophisticated pure orchard fruits, lifted spices and refined minerals. Silky white peach and stone fruits with supple minerals. Very satisfying length. (92-93/100)