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Amiot Guy’s Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes (Old Vines) 2007 is classic white Burgundy – a wine of grace, precision, and subtlety that bears little resemblance to California Chardonnay. In fact, a wholly different approach is taken in Burgundy towards Chardonnay, where the best producers like Amiot Guy strive to accentuate the ultimate attributes of Chardonnay: charm, elegance, and inherent drinkability. Rather than overlay the exemplary mineral rich flavors of Chassagne-Montrachet or obscure the appellation’s unique terroir with copious quantities of new oak, as is often the case with New World Chardonnays, Guy Amiot captures the complexity as well as the soft, sophisticated, eminent drinkability of Chardonnay in his 2007 Vieilles Vignes offering. The brilliant 2007 Amiot Guy Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes sports a beguiling, golden-hued robe that radiates the glow of morning sunshine. A quintessential Chassagne-Montrachet, Guy Amiot’s 2007 Vieilles Vignes is an outstanding introduction to the wines of Chassagne-Montrachet, Chardonnay’s most famous village. Along with a brilliant robe, the medium-bodied Amiot Guy Vieilles Vignes possesses a mineral rich nose and a wealth of soft, seductive flavors. A cachet of flowers, minerals, and oriental spices well up from the center of this wine and frame the finish of this elegant concoction. Although still in the fresh bloom of youth, the 2007 Amiot Guy Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes has several years of favorable evolution ahead of it; it should reach its ultimate plateau of perfection in 2010 and hold there for several years. We suggest only moderate chilling of this exemplary Chassagne-Montrachet (40º-50ºF), as we have found colder temperatures only numb the elegance and complexity of Guy Amiot’s handiwork. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2013.
As quintessential Chassagne-Montrachet, Amiot Guy’s Vieilles Vignes provides what may be the ultimate accompaniment to fresh fish and sophisticated shellfish classics. Poached salmon, sole, and flounder are some of our favorite fish with this wine, especially when accompanied by a savory cream sauce. However, crab, scallops, and lobster offer superb companionship to a bottle of Amiot’s Chassagne-Montrachet, too. Artfully prepared crab dips; scallops sautéed with butter, white wine, and fresh herbs; and stuffed lobster tails, constitute several of our favorite complements to serve with Amiot Guy’s 2007 Vieilles Vignes. For those who prefer meat or crave the classics, Suprêmes de Volailles (Breast of Chicken with cream) and Escalopes de Veau (Sautéed Veal Scallops with mushrooms and cream) are two tried and true French favorites that shine in the company of this Vieilles Vignes Chassagne-Montrachet. And if good old-fashioned sipping is more to your liking, Amiot Guy’s old vine Chassagne-Montrachet provides plenty of pleasure on its own as an aperitif, without a morsel to prop it up . . . so as you like it. Bon appétit!
Domaine Amiot is one of Burgundy’s finest producers of white wine, fashioning a rich portfolio of outstanding white Burgundies from the commune of Chassagne-Montrachet. Guy Amiot, the present owner and guardian of the domaine that bears his name, represents the third generation of renowned growers at this estate. However, most critics are quick to point out that over the last two decades Guy has taken his splendid domaine to the next level of quality and placed it firmly in the top echelon, alongside the very finest producers in Burgundy.
Guy’s forbearer, Arsène Amiot, an adopted Parisian, began the estate in 1920 after falling in love with the golden slopes of Chassagne-Montrachet, the world’s finest commune for Chardonnay. Arsène’s initial purchase in the tiny village of Chassagne-Montrachet accounted for a mere 2 hectares or approximately 4.5 acres of vineyard, but what jewels Arsène had acquired. These original parcels were remarkably well chosen and still form the core of the domaine. In fact, Amiot’s holdings included vineyards in Les Vergers, Le Clos Saint Jean, les Caillerets and les Dents de Chien, all of which were later to be designated as Montrachet Grand Cru, the mark of the world’s finest and most expensive white wines.
Pierre Amiot, one of Arsène’s sons took over the family business in 1936. He acquired several additional vineyard jewels for the domaine, such as La Maltroie, Les Champgains, and Les Macherelles. Under Pierre’s direction, Amiot’s production began to be sold directly to individual connoisseurs and savvy restaurateurs. After the Second World War, the acquisition of prestigious parcels like Les Chaumées or Les Demoiselles added further to the estate's very well-established reputation, both in France and abroad.
In 1984, Pierre Amiot passed away after a lifetime of producing estate bottled Burgundies and the torch passed to Guy, the present owner. Guy has taken the family estate to an even higher level. After completing studies in oenology, Guy gained considerable experience working in some of France’s greatest vineyards. He combines modern winemaking methods with a traditional knowledge of Burgundian viticulture. Moreover, he has wisely decided to retain old vines (Vieilles Vignes) and focus on bringing out the individual character and terroir in each of the wines he fashions, favoring the production of wines that are aromatic, rich and balanced, as illustrated by the remarkable quality of the wines he has produced from 1985 until present.
In 1992, the fourth generation of the Amiot family, Thierry, entered the family business and began building a new wine cellar whose elliptical vaults are ideal for the natural aging of the wines. Indeed, it is good to know that the future of this great estate is assured and remains in the hands of another capable Amiot.
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