The history of the Ramonet family’s wine production in the Chassagne-Montrachet area began towards the end of 1920 with Pierre Ramonet, a young man with high hopes, who began to buy the first patches of land in those places. If Pierre was simply good at buying the most suitable land, or if he was extremely skilled in the transformation of grapes into wine, we could not know for sure, but what we know is that, just ten years after the birth of Domaine, an American customer, Frank Schoonmaker, was so impressed by the level of the wines that he decided to start exporting large quantities (we are talking about three quarters of the entire production).
Since then the Domaine has passed from Pierre in the hands of his son André and, at his departure (2011), in those of his nephews Jean-Claude and Noël, without ever losing the simple, frank and peasant dimension of those who work the land and its grapes, and care little for public relations, aware that for the latter just the excellent quality of their wines. Currently the estate covers about 16 hectares and boasts some of the most prestigious Climat around the Montrachet hill (including Bâtard-Montrachet, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and Montrachet itself) from which 24 different labels are produced.
Despite Noël’s motto being “A Ramonet does everything, in the vineyard or in the cellar, from grafting to bottling”, in reality Noël himself deals more with the commercial part, while Jean-Claude oversteps the main operations of the vineyard and cellar.
In the vineyard there is still a strong debt of gratitude towards the grandfather Pierre, whose choices (which led him to be called the Henri Jayer of Montrachet) were motivated by the attempt to extend the age of the vines as long as possible, in order to obtain naturally low yields. In the cellar the vinification of the whites wines begins with the delicate pressing and racking in cement tanks for static decantation with the subsequent spontaneous fermentation by indigenous yeasts.
The wines are then transferred to barriques of Allier and Vosgi, which give respectively finesse and taste thickness, with a percentage of new barrels rising as it goes from Village wines to Premier and Gran Cru. Speaking about refinement, a characteristic of Ramonet’s wines is that the aging with frequent batonnages can last longer than the usual 12-15 months; so the cellar is equipped to host, in its aging rooms, two consecutive vintages.
This is not the case of Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot, in the southern area of Climat, a handful of meters from Santenay, vinified according to what has just been explained, and aged in 35% new barriques, where malolactic fermentation also takes place.
The 2012 vintage shows a shining golden color, with an olfactory fan that opens on smoky hints, notes of dried apricot, sultanas and cedar peel, followed by hawthorn, chestnut honey, toasted hazelnut, and Mount Athos incense, with final echoes of wet flint and combusted shell. The palate is able to transmit a pleasant agility due to mineral sapidity and balsamic freshness, despite the depth and breadth; all enriched by the return of yellow fruit and combusted shell that accompany the sip up to a long and juicy closure.
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