White Burgundy - 2003 - Chassagne 1er Cru Caillerets - Amiot, Guy

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Tasting Notes

Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils
2003
Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Caillerets"
1er Cru White 750 ml
Score: 88
Tasted: Jul 01, 2005
Drink: 2007+
Issue: 19
Note: from two parcels, one of 30 year old vines and another of 70 year old vines planted on le vrai chardonnay
Producer note: Thierry Amiot told me that 2003 isn't a "bad millésime but it didn't seem very interesting at first. The élevage wasn't linear or regular - each wine had its own personality and we had to treat each one individually. We started the harvest on August 18th but we harvested over the course of an entire month as we tried to harvest each parcel at its optimum ripeness level. Yields were quite low at around 32 hl/ha in white, mainly because Chassagne was really hit hard by frost, especially in the lower lying vineyards. Sugars were in the 13.5% range but I think they were that "low" only because the vines shut down; otherwise, we might have seen sugars in the 15%+ range. The vines jump started again around the 19th of August because there was a big storm which hit St. Aubin and while no rain fell in Chassagne, all the water ran downhill from St. Aubin and flooded our vineyards. This helped enormously and essentially unblocked the vines. Because of the reduced yields, I used a bit more new oak than usual as well as more SO2 and I bottled with slightly higher levels of gas. As to acidification, we did acidify but it was bit by bit and only until I could taste it and then we stopped immediately. There was no point in trying to deny the impact of the vintage and all the acid additions were meant to do was ensure a clean and healthy fermentation environment. The wines will probably drink well early but it won't surprise me if they wind up aging reasonably well." Like many domaines did, Amiot bottled his whites with decidedly higher gas and SO2 levels. (Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, CA; Boston Wine Company, Boston, MA; Lea & Sandeman, H&H Bancroft, Rare & Fine Wine, House of Townend, all UK).
Tasting note: Sweet, vanilla and spice-infused oak notes frame very fresh and higher-toned peach and white flower fruit aromas that give way to toasty, intense and long flavors that display much more of the classic minerality than any of the prior examples. This is a powerful wine that departs from its normal character but remains attractive in its fashion - just don't expect a typical Caillerets experience. I suspect this will age for up to a decade.