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Ric arrives at Dom. Jean-Claude Ramonet

October 31, 2018

Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet is the undisputed king of Chassagne. Started at the turn of the twentieth century by Pierre Ramonet, it has been said Pierre hardly ever ventured outside of Chassagne, preferring to tend to his vines and the wines in his cellar, things that he was familiar and most comfortable with. And legend has it that he paid for his plot of Montrachet Grand Cru in the 1970s with cold hard cash at the lawyer’s office. Nowadays, the estate is largely run by one of his grandsons Jean-Claude Ramonet (his brother Noel having entered into semi-retirement since 2013), and the labels have been sporting his name since. Producing some 120,000 bottles annually from various holdings in Chassagne, Puligny and Saint-Aubin, it has been reported that Jean-Claude, who had never received any formal training in oenology, makes his wines through intuition and feel. The wines are aged in barrel for 12-16 months, utilising 10% new oak for village, 25% for premier cru, and between 50%-75% for grand cru. When we visited on the morning of 25 October 2018, I found the estate itself to be unmarked, modest and unassuming. In spite of our modern age, there is a certain Old World feel that pervades through the place: machines and equipment that appear to have seen better times, and cellars that are neat rather than aesthetically pleasing. Domaine Ramonet likes to vinify only from older vines. The extensive line-up of 2016 that we sampled demonstrated amply why Domaine Ramonet is so highly revered: the whites are rich, plump and wonderfully textured with fine precision and elegance. They sing of the unique Chassagne terroir but in the language of Ramonet. I cannot imagine anyone being tired of drinking such wines. And, lest we forget, Domaine Ramonet also makes a series of Chassagne reds generously layered with delicious fruit, fine acidity and minerality with reasonable complexity. They will never be grand cru but they are immensely satisfying.

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2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Bouzerons. An aliqote village. Clear clean tones on both nose and palate, underscored by yellow citrus and fine acidity. Good clean sharply-defined finish.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Bourgogne Blanc. Gentle green fruits and citrus on a bed of fine acidity and dense minerals, finishing with spciy white peppery tones that imparted good mouthfeel.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassage-Montrachet. Full rounded bouquet of warm white fruits. Medium-bodied, displaying excellent presence of white fruits with good levels of ripeness, well layered with excellent base acidity. Good balance, finishing with Ramonet’s classic minerally signature. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Puligny-Montrachet. Distinct tone of white fruits, warm ripe  and rounded. Nicely layered with very fine acidity and subtle minerals. Long.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er. Lovely nose of delicate peppery white floral tones while yellow citrus dominate on the palate with superb freshness, integration and definition, layered with a deep vein of delicious fruit, finishing well. Highly elegant and feminine.

20181025_120400.jpg2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Boudriottes 1er. Reticent with just a gentle glow minty though there is ample bloom of ripe gentle citrus and white flowers on the palate. Very soft and gently rounded, revealing very finely detailed minerals, just a tad short.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeots 1er. Quite effusive in light tropical fruits and white flowers. Rather fullish with a firm minerally tone. Excellent integration. Lovely.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er. Highly lifted in white fruits with early complexity. Highly seamless and rounded, displaying fine concentration amidst gentle saline tones. Distinctly feminine. Lovely. Not to be confused with the domaine’s monopole Clos du Caillerets 1er, a walled section within Les Caillerets itself since 2014 leased from FICOFI.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1er. Layered bouquet of white flowers and lime. Rather full but delicate, displaying very fine concentration and understated intensity that imparted excellent mouthfeel. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Bienvenues-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru. Lifted in dense white floral tones and fig on the nose, highly seductive. Medium-bodied, displaying seamless integration between gentle saline tones and white fruits with a fabulous depth of understated sweet intensity, poised and elegant with superb balance, finishing with great length and persistence. A flirtatious beauty. Very lovely.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru. Great effortless lift of intense floral tones and minerals, displaying excellent presence with superb layering, definition and detail of white peppery tones and understated fruit, seamlessly integrated with very fine acidity and controlled intensity within a highly supple pliant structure. A real seductress. Superb.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Montrachet Grand Cru. This Holy Grail of all whites is poised with ethereal elegance, exuding an ample floral bloom with a fine density of plump oily textures. Superbly layered and integral with fabulous depth of fruit and controlled intensity with a finely detailed structure, superbly proportioned and balanced with plenty held in reserve, displaying a very natural seamless flow of energy throughout its length. Absolutely wonderful. Ramonet’s plot of Montrachet lie on the Puligny side, adjacent to Bouchard’s.

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2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge. Good colour. Lovely bouquet of soft red fruits, ripe raspberries and red plums. Amply rounded and fleshy with very fine seamless acidity and supple tannins, displaying great elegance. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeots 1er Rouge. Lifted tone of complex dark fruits, cherries and currants with a fleshy cool elegance. Medium-bodied. Softly textured with good definition, highly seamless, tapering to a superb lengthy finish of sublime acidity and glorious fruit. Quite superb.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Clos Saint-Jean 1er. Highly lifted nose of ripe red cherries and red fruits with early complexity, superbly nuanced with ayers of glorious fruit, fabulous tannins and sweet incense, displaying great linearity at the finish. Outstanding.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Clos Boudriottes 1er Rouge. Lifted tones of cherries and red fruits, wonderfully ripe. Open on the palate, totaly seamless, displaying superb concentration with fine supple tannins that exuded fabulous intensity. Brilliant, almost hedonistic. This is an absolute pleasure.

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2016 Domaine Ramonet Montrachet Grand Cru

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