From: Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
BH 91 Burghound.com
Elegant and airy high-toned aromas of essence of red berries and traces of earth and lavender lead to precise, delicious and energetic middle weight flavors that are shaped by relatively-fine grained tannins on the balanced, mildly austere and lingering finish. Blain consistently does well with this wine and even though it's not especially dense, 2017 is still no exception.
Barrel Sample: 89-91
Taste: May 2023, Champion Wine Cellars. This charming 2017 Pommard opens with aromas of nuanced fruit (red plum skin, bing cherry, blackberry) right alongside delightful notes of earth and lavender. Full, lifted aromatics of spices, sweet herb, clove, and hints of mandarin oil, leather, and mocha start to shine as more high-toned red fruit (strawberry, raspberry, cherry pit) begin to unfurl once the wine starts opening in the glass- about 20 minutes or so.
This Pommard comes from just .5 hectares of two village-level climats that lie on the Volnay side of the village: La Croix Planet and Les Combes Dessous. Its floral, herb, and red-fruit character are a reflection of its terroir; being closer to Volnay, a higher content (and a bit of an outlier for the region) of brown clay and limestone soils.
On the palate, this 2017 Pommard is precise and energetic, and yes, still slightly austere- though it becomes silky with decanting, and we recommend doing so for about 30-60 minutes. Fine-grained tannins shape its developed fruit, spice, floral and foresty nature with finesse, the finish long, and the overall impression is one of elegance. This Pommard exhibits the consistency that Blain has become renowned for, reinforcing its position as a representative of its distinguished terroir.
Pairing: This Pommard pairs superbly with roasted game birds, a match that brings out the wine's earthy nuances and enhances the meat's rich flavors. Try it with a dish of duck breast, grilled to perfection, to create a harmonious balance between the succulent meat and the wine's acidity. A mushroom risotto (or any dishes centered around mushrooms) rich in umami will complement the wine's complexity, while black truffle-infused dishes will echo the wine's earthy and slightly gamey undertones. We’re sharing a recipe inspired by both these notes below, check it out and enjoy!
Risotto With Duck Confit
By Jonathan Reynolds
About. Pommard is a celebrated region of Burgundy, one that brings us wines of substantial character and depth, particularly when it comes to its distinctive Pinot Noir. Among these notable offerings, one stands tall (and ready to drink now), a testament to the depth of Pommard's pedigree and its winemaking prowess – the 2017 Blain Gagnard Pommard.
Pommard wines are renowned for their full and robust natures, traits that lends a unique stature to its reds, standing in delightful contrast to the finesse and aromatic allure of wines from the neighboring village of Volnay. The 2017 Blain Gagnard Pommard, however, is a marriage of both these worlds. It carries the density that is a trademark of old vines, while also expressing beautiful aromatics of flowers and herbs, courtesy of its vineyards' proximity to Volnay.
Domaine Blain-Gagnard, the home of this exquisite Pommard, is nestled in a corner of Chassagne-Montrachet, a charming testament to the winemaking traditions of the Gagnard family. The domain was created in 1980 when Jean-Marc Blain, a Sancerrois, wed Claudine Gagnard of the renowned Domaine Gagnard-Delagrange lineage. The duo met while studying oenology at Dijon and have since been at the helm of the domain, assisted by their son Marc-Antonin.
The vineyards of Domaine Blain-Gagnard largely belong to Claudine's relatives and a few are the result of strategic purchases. Planted with 55% Chardonnay and a mixture of Pinot Noir and a small parcel of Passetoutgrain, the domain boasts of 20.5 acres of vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet. These holdings include prestigious grands crus like Le Montrachet, Batard-Montrachet, and Criots-Batard-Montrachet.
The 2017 Blain Gagnard Pommard, being a “Red Burgundy”, has a universal appeal when it comes to pairing with food. Its high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, and low tannins render it a versatile companion for a variety of dishes. The earthy and occasionally gamey character of red Burgundy is a classic match for roasted game birds, grilled duck breast, and dishes rich in mushrooms, black truffles, or umami.
This 2017 vintage comes with an impressive score of 91 from Burghound.com. The critic notes its elegant and airy high-toned aromas of red berries, traces of earth, and lavender leading to precise, delicious, and energetic middle-weight flavors. The review mentions that the wine is shaped by relatively fine-grained tannins on the balanced, mildly austere, and lingering finish. Blain consistently excels with this wine, and the 2017 vintage is no exception.
This offering from Domaine Blain-Gagnard presents a delightful journey through the Pommard's legacy. With its depth of flavors—black cherry, blackberry, and dark chocolate—and scents of violets, menthol, and wild herbs, the wine leaves a firm and powerful finish that demands some time in the bottle to reach its peak. Thus, the 2017 Blain Gagnard Pommard is more than a wine. It's a narrative of its terroir, a legacy passed down generations, and the meeting point of density and delicacy.
When we consider Jean-Marc's perspective on the 2017 vintage, this Pommard stands as a testament to Domaine Blain-Gagnard's adaptability to vintage variations and their dedication to producing consistently outstanding wines. Despite the challenges of an early harvest, frost threats, and the changing climate, the 2017 Blain Gagnard Pommard remains an easy vintage for restaurants, a delight for the palates of Pinot Noir lovers, and a notable entry in the Domaine's repertoire.
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