Burgundy is well-known for its 100% Pinot Noir and 100% Chardonnay wines. The French region is considered to be the original home of these grapes and has the best terroir to express their character. The terroir is not just the soil. It’s the combination of grapes, soil, climate, location and human intervention.
The quality of the land is so important that the vineyards in Burgundy are classified by four levels, depending on their location. The four classifications are Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Village Wines and Regional Wines. The most wanted Grand Cru wines are those of the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Bâtard-Montrachet. The price of a Bâtard-Montrachet wine depends on the reputation of the producer and the vintage. Other Grand Cru wines from the region Montrachet are: Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet.
The Grand Cru classification
Only 2% of the vineyards in Burgundy received the Grand Cru classification or the highest level in the vineyard classification of Burgundy. Besides Bâtard-Montrachet, which belongs in this higher price class, there are 36 other Grand Cru wines including La Romanée-Conti.
The Burgundy classification dates back to 1855, which is the same year as the world famous Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Lavalle published his ‘Plan Topographique of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or’ that lists every vineyard from Santeny to Dijon. The vineyards were classified as Tête de Cuvée, Première, Deuxième or Troisième Cuvée.
In 1861 Lavalle's classification was formalized by the Beaune Committee of Agriculture and consisted of three classes. The map was also the basis for the appellation contrôlée system, which was introduced in 1936. Most of the "first class" vineyards of the 1861 classification were then made into Grand Cru.
The terroir of Bâtard-Montrachet
Bâtard-Montrachet covers 11.97 hectares spread among 16 owners. It is located in the Côte de Beaune region, which lies in between the Côte de Nuits region and the Côte Chalonnaise region. If you look at the map you’ll see that the Bâtard-Montrachet vineyards lie at the foot of the Montrachet hill, while the prestigious Montrachet site is above Bâtard-Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet lies even higher on the hill. These three appellations are considered to have the best terroirs for Chardonnay. The land below Bâtard-Montrachet is only classified to make Village Wines.
The Bâtard-Montrachet soils are deep brown and enriched with clay. Drainage is not as effective as higher on the hill. However, the vines' root systems can still make contact with the limestone lower in the soil, which creates healthy and strong vines. The limestone pebbles in the soil add the subtle mineral characteristics for which Bâtard-Montrachet wines are famous for.
Bâtard-Montrachet: Chardonnay of grand cru quality
Bâtard-Montrachet wines are white wines from 100% Chardonnay grapes. They are very opulent and have a bouquet of dried fruit, spices and honey. The wines are very popular with those who love a firm and dry but caressing white wine.
Bâtard-Montrachet wines come at a higher price but they are worth it. Over the years the colour of Bâtard Montrachet wines evolves from gold to warm yellow. The complex wines are perfect for ageing and therefore a good investment for your wine cellar.
A fine selection of Bâtard-Montrachet vineyards
Albert Morey was in 1950 one of the first in Chassagne to bottle his own wines. When he retired in 1981 he divided his estate between his two sons Jean-Marc Morey and Bernard Morey. But instead of splitting individual vineyard plots in half, they decided to divide the different appellations. Discover the wines of Domaine Albert Morey in our online shop.
Already in 1648 Pierre Bachelet was growing vines in Chassagne-Montrachet. The family company produces wine with great respect for tradition and the terroir of the vineyard. They produce both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Discover the wines of Domaine Bachelet in our online shop.
Domaine Blain Gagnard is led by the daughter of Jacques Gagnard and Marie-Josèphe Delegrange, who founded domaine Gagnard Delagrange. The Domaine consists of parcels of Batard Montrachet and Criots Batard Montrachet. The parcels were gifts from her grandparents for her marriage in 1980. Discover the wines of Domaine Blain Gagnard in our online shop.
Domaine Gagnard Delagrange sprung from the marriage between Jacques Gagnard and Marie-Josèphe Delegrange in 1959. When Jacques died in 2009 his widow Marie-Josèphe and their grandson Marc-Antonin Blain decided to lead the domaine together. Today they still produce according to the traditional style of Jacques Gagnard. Discover the wines of Domaine Gagnard Delagrange in our online shops.
This well-established winery has over 150 years of experience. The roots of the company originated in 1834 in the Rhône Valley when Antoine Jaboulet founded the Jaboulet wine company. His two sons inherited the company but decided to divide the company as brother Henry wanted to focus on Burgundy wines. He added the last name of his wife ‘Vercherre’ to the company’s name, which is still known as Jaboulet-Vercherre. Discover the wines of Domaine Jaboulet-Vercherre in our online shop.
Bâtard-Montrachet Leflaive is highly regarded for their Chardonnay wines. The story of domaine Leflaive starts in 1717 and throughout history, each owner did everything in his power to keep improving the quality. Today the domaine is run by Anne-Claude Leflaive who in 1997 decided to switch to biodynamic winemaking. Discover Bâtard-Montrachet Leflaive in our online shop.
Respect for terroir is one of the fundamental values of Domaine Louis Latour, a family company since 1797. They have the largest Grand Cru property in the Côte d’Or with a total of 28.63 hectares. The red wines are described as refined, elegant and distinguished while their white wines are known to be structured, rich and well-balanced. Discover the wines of Domaine Louis Latour in our online shop.
The wines of Domaine Michel Niellon are simply sublime. With only 6 hectares their production is limited, which makes their wines even more exclusive. Michel Niellon began working with his father Marcel in the 1950's. Today he runs the company with his son-in-law Michel Coutoux. Their wines are classically styled with crisp notes of ripe fruit. Discover the wines of Domaine Michel Niellon in our online shop.
The wines of Domaine Paul Pernot are well-known for their true Bâtard style: a rich concentration with a fruity bouquet and good acidity. Their wines age gracefully and belong to the top of Burgundy wines. Discover the wines of Domaine Paul Pernot in our online shop.
Domaine Ramonet was established in the late 1920’s by Pierre Ramonet. Today the company is run by Noël Ramonet and his brother Jean-Claude Ramonet. Pierre Ramonet was a man of the soil and almost never left his domaine. Both their red and white wines are magnificent. Discover the wines of Domaine Ramonet in our online shop.
The taste of Bâtard-Montrachet at home
Are you looking for a white wine that ages gracefully? At Belgium Wine Watchers you find wines from Bâtard-Montrachet, like the Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013, at a fair price.
Discover our selection of Bâtard-Montrachet vintages in our online shop.