Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru “Les Ruchottes” 2011
Ramonet is one of the legendary producers of white Burgundy. Some call him the Jayer or DRC of white Burgundy. The wines are near impossible to find, though if you do get your hands on the current release, the prices are quite fair. At auction, well, expect to pay.
Old Vines, Gross Lees
Les Ruchottes was Pierre Ramonet’s first vineyard purchase, back in the 1930’s. It is also Ramonet’s finest premier cru along with Caillerets. The vines here are amongst the oldest in Ramonet’s stock, though that will eventually change since in order to increase the average vine age Ramonet practices repiquage, meaning that eventually all the vines in a certain plot must be entirely ripped out and replaced as they are all too old. This is an expensive process, but contributes to the very high quality of Ramonet.
Risks are taken here too, with no temperature control and the commencement of fermentation before the gross lees entirely settle. There is little batonnage as a result to prevent taint from the suspended gross lees. Fermentation is in tank and wood.
Remarkable Wine, Not Yet Ready
This wine is not even close to ready, with a very closed nose. However, tasting the wine reveals a concentration and level of dry extract that has few peers in white Burgundy. Caramel and indian spices, density, and fine texture. The length is already extended. While I very much enjoyed this wine today (I opened one of a six pack in order to see where the wine was in its development), I would not recommend opening another for at least 3-4 years. These truly are some of the greatest whites of Burgundy.
Excellent to Excellent+