The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Michel Niellon and…Michel Niellon!

Posted on | February 29, 2016 | Written by Crystal Edgar | No Comments

Crystal 2014Here in New York we have been on a weather rollercoaster with very warm days and freezing cold days. I have been juggling Amarone with crisp whites and rosé as I pretend spring is at our doorstep. Today, I’m reaching for white Burgundy. Many wine collectors consider the best white wines of the world to be the Chardonnay of Burgundy produced in the three communes in the south part of Côte d’Or—Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.

While Meursault boasts no grand cru sites, the very best premier cru wines are outstanding, balancing richness with fresh acidity while throwing some white flowers and stone fruit into the mix. Continuing south, we arrive at Puligny Montrachet, which some consider the finest area in the world for white wines. The wines here give you structure, racy acidity and incredible elegance and precision. Chassagne Montrachet is our final destination on this road trip, and the area where today’s wines derive. Stylistically you could say Chassagne falls somewhere between both Meursault and Puligny, offering richness with gorgeous mineral character and laser-beam acidity.

Today I focus on two delicious 2012 offerings from the talents of Michel Niellon. Along with Ramonet, Niellon represents the pinnacle of Chassange. He has just under 15 acres of vines, which include small holdings in Chevalier and Bâtard-Montrachet. Seductive and authoritative, these Chassagne-Montrachets exemplify the legendary reputation it has.

Michel Niellon 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St-Jean 1er Cru $79.99

This premier cru offers bright floral aromas with tangy citrus and green apples. The finish on this wine is delicious, trailing with mineral notes and hints of white peach.

Michel Niellon 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Cru 2012 $79.99

A bit richer in style than the Clos St Jean, this 2012 Vergers offers concentrated citrus on the palate with toasted sesame notes. If you drink the Clos St Jean as an aperitif or with antipasti, this Vergers is perfect for the fish course.

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