Bâtard Montrachet, Domaine Niellon 2015
**Note: from a small .12 ha parcel on the Chassagne side; 2015 will be the last vintage for several years as the parcel was pulled up in early 2016 - Coutoux estimates that we will not see the Bâtard again until around 2024. As someone who avidly collected this wine for more than 30 years, I am personally very sorry to see it go but will welcome the chance to get reacquainted when it finally reappears!**
A very ripe but not surmature mix of pear liqueur, spice, petrol and matchstick aromas leads to super-rich, round and palate drenching flavors that are dense to the point of possessing a borderline creamy mouth feel, indeed it is almost thick. This isn't quite as complex as the Chevalier but as is usually the case it is more powerful and perhaps even a bit longer as well. I would make the same observation here that this isn't a typical Niellon Bâtard but if I can find it I will buy it anyway.
|Score: 93||Allen Meadows, Burghound.com (67), June 2017|
The 2015 Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru is a valedictory wine as the 90-year-old vines were pulled up after the fruit was picked (see producer introduction). You know, it actually surpasses the Chevalier-Montrachet in terms of mineralité and complexity, very refined with hints of orange blossom developing with time. The palate is very well balanced with a keen line of acidity, good tension and particular fine salinity here that urges you back for another sip. There is just a barrel and a half of this Bâtard-Montrachet so grab one now because it will not reappear for a long time.
|Score: 94||Neal Martin, RobertParker.com (228), December 2016|
(the last vintage for this wine, as the estate pulled up these degenerating old vines after the harvest): Pale yellow with green reflections. Captivating floral perfume to the aromas of white peach and noble herbs. The palate conveys an almost glyceral thickness in the style of the year but its savory umami character gives it finesse and notes of herbs and flowers provide lift. Seems much less exotic in bottle than it was in barrel last year but still in a rather powerful style. This plush, fat, nicely balanced Bâtard finishes with lovely aromatic freshness.
|Score: 93||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, September 2017|
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