Burgundy Domaine Fontaine Gagnard
In a little over 20 years, Domaine Fontaine Gagnard has become one of the most highly regarded producers in Chassagne Montrachet. Founded when Richard Fontaine married Laurence Gagnard in 1982 and combined their respective vineyards, their daughter Céline is now running the show, with the same modesty and hard work that have become trademarks of her parents tenure.
Vineyards and Vinification
Joining the domain in 2007, Céline farms the 12 hectares of vines that are found for the most part in and around Chassagne Montrachet, including a portion of the smallest Grand Cru vineyard in the Côte de Beaune; Criots Bâtard Montrachet, as well as vines in Bâtard Montrachet and even Le Montrachet itself. Alongside extensive white Premier Cru sites, they also produce reds from vineyards in Volnay and Pommard.
Céline’s winemaking philosophy is a continuation of her parents’ practices and values. They practise lutte raisonnée in the vineyards and all grapes are hand-harvested before fermentation begins using indigenous yeasts. New oak use ranges from 0 to 30% depending on the appellation and the wines go through a light fining and filtering before bottling.
But there are also changes afoot at Fontaine Gagnard. In line with what we are seeing elsewhere in the Côte de Beaune, Céline is looking to extend the time the white wines age prior to bottling; currently they spend 11 months in barrel and are bottled just before harvest, but the intention is to leave the wines for at least another year in tank before bottling to allow them to harmonise and pull themselves together, not to mention giving the opportunity to reduce sulphur usage. Space constraints currently don’t permit holding two harvests out of bottle but watch this space …
We couldn’t help ourselves but list their delicious Bourgogne Passetoutgrains all year round, which comes from two plots in Chassagne and is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. This was for a long time their house wine, the one they didn’t sell but drank with family and friends. Lucky for us, after all the short vintages in Burgundy they thought it expedient to sell a little more than they used to. Delicious red berry fruit, vibrantly leafy and creamy, this is definitely one of life’s simple pleasures.
Keep an eye out for our annual Burgundy en primeur selection, when we offer a range of Céline’s wines, from Grand Cru Le Montrachet to her village Chassagne red and white.