Niellon’s Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge is a fantastic example of what this village, with its clay soils, can do with pinot noir. In the past the village was better known for reds than whites, but commercial pressures have seen many of the red vines replaced with chardonnay. That’s a shame, judging by this wine; it has deep red cherry fruit, a smoky dimension and great length and finesse. Drinks well young but in the past Chassagne Rouge was known for its excellent ability to age.
Niellon is a stellar estate in Chassagne and they are mega-famous for their white wines. But few know that this renowned village was once almost exclusively planted to red grapes and so it is no surprise that when you find a rare Pinot from this hallowed ground, especially one made by a legendary estate, they are usually pretty darned good and also a relative bargain by comparison to the Chardonnays! Niellon’s electrifying red shows perfect balance and it is a few tones darker and more sauvage than this month’s Rebel Child! Drinking already but with sappy tension on the finish, there is no hurry to guzzle this noble creation. But put your hand up now, because stocks are scarce.
Matthew Jukes, Money Week, January 2021
About the Domaine
Where it all began – Robert’s first ever ex cellar purchase of Burgundy was here, 40 years ago. We have followed the domaine ever since.
The name of Niellon is one of the most established in Chassagne. Michel joined his father Marcel in the 1950s and began to domaine bottle all of their wines in the ‘60s. They soon built a reputation as one of Chassagne’s finest domaines, growing from the original 4ha to today’s 7.5ha holdings. The wines are now made by Michel’s son-in-law, Michel Coutoux, who continue to uphold the domaine’s reputation for the highest quality. No herbicides are used, ploughing is carried out to control weeds and a ‘lutte raisonnée’ approach is followed to combat mildew and other vineyard maladies. Picking is early, they want to retain acidity and freshness in the grapes. Fermentations take place in stainless steel before the wines are transferred to barrique, 20-30% new, for malolactic fermentation and ageing. Robert’s first ever ex-cellar purchase of Burgundy was here, five dozen Chassagne village in 1981 and we have worked with the domaine continuously since; with Michel’s Grandson Mathieu Bresson now joining the team and quality rising ever higher we look forward to the next 39 years!