Domaine Blain-Gagnard was formed in 1980 when Jean-Marc Blain married Claudine Gagnard, youngest daughter of Jacques and Marie-Josèphe Gagnard of Domaine Gagnard-Delagrange. The couple runs this venerable domaine with the help of their son Marc-Antonin. They now control 20.5 acres of vines in Chassagne-Montrachet, including holdings in three grands crus: Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet.
About the Vineyard
Chassagne-Montrachet lies towards the southern end of the Côte de Beaune and is famous for its white wines, although half of its total plantings are in red. In addition to the Grand Crus, Blain-Gagnard’s holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet include two red premier crus and four white premier crus along with small holdings in Volnay and Pommard. The vineyards are farmed by lutte raisonée (“reasoned struggle”).
Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet comprises the two villages which are the smallest of the Grand Crus in Chassagne and Puligny-Montrachet with just 3.9 acres. The vineyard is located entirely within the commune of Chassagne-Montrachet and sits directly south of Bâtard-Montrachet. Criots is one of the smallest appellations in France and there are only a handful of producers who bottle it.
It’s easy to assume that Criots would have the same richness and weight as Bâtard, its next-door neighbor. In fact, Criots is the most delicate of the five Grand Crus in the vicinity. The wines are more about perfume and delicacy with fine structure and intense minerality, and is from vines planted between 1929 and 1979.
White Burgundy, with its rich texture and toasted flavors, pairs well with white fish and shellfish, and its naturally high acidity can counterbalance cream-based sauces. Oak-aging lends itself well to grilled fish, starches, butter, and toasted nuts.