Drink Date 2020 - 2035
Reviewed by William Kelley
Issue Date 4th Jan 2019
Source Interim January 2019 Week 1, The Wine Advocate
Wafting the glass with a complex bouquet of vine blossom, acacia honey, mandarin oil, ripe pears and hazelnuts, the 2017 Btard-Montrachet Grand Cru is full-bodied, unctuous and dense, with a blockier, more foursquare profile than the lavishly expansive Criots, with more depth and concentration too, concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish. This is quintessential Btard.
As usual, Cécile Fontaine had bottled her 2017s just before harvest 2018, so I had the pleasure of tasting finished wines that will be entirely representative of the bottles that readers can buy. Succulent and defined by site, it's a lovely vintage at this address—which I've been visiting since my student days—and one that plays to the strengths of the domaine's pure, elegant and aromatic house style. Thanks to the generous crops of 2017 and 2018, plans are afoot to extend the domaine's cellars, opening up the possibility of longer sur lie élevage. Perhaps more space will permit other refinements of technique, too? My suggested drinking windows for these wines err on the side of caution, as in the past Fontaine-Gagnard has suffered the scourge of premature oxidation, a problem that Céline is the first to acknowledge, but they are beautifully balanced wines so in a perfect world they might well mature in the cellar for quite a lot longer.