From www.winophilia.com (IWC)
Burgundy lovers enjoy debating the merits of vineyards almost as much as they savor the wines themselves. A favorite topic of conversation? Premier cru vineyards that in the right hands produce wines at grand cru quality.
For white wines on the Côte de Beaune, the premier cru Meursault Perrières is widely considered to be of grand cru quality. In Chablis, there’s one long-established premier cru vineyard that consistently towers above the rest: Montée de Tonnerre.
If this vineyard does not quite reach the level of the region’s grand crus in depth and sheer palate presence, it often does in aromatic complexity and class. In a perfect classification system, it would be ranked between premier and grand cru. Why should you care? In a word: value. Because Chablis usually is significantly cheaper than white Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune in the first place, the best examples of Montée de Tonnerre can offer remarkable quality/price rapport. If Chablis is the insider’s white Burgundy, then Montée de Tonnerre is the insider’s Chablis premier cru.
A look at the map quickly explains why. Montée de Tonnerre is situated just to the southeast of the unbroken strip of Chablis grand crus on the right bank of the river Serein (it’s separated from Les Blanchots only by a narrow ravine). It enjoys a similar geographic profile, rich in the same Kimmeridgian limestoney chalk that makes the grand crus some of the world’s most cerebral, complex and distinctive examples of chardonnay. With its brisk citrus character, floral lift and incisive minerality, Montée de Tonnerre is wonderfully aromatic and penetrating in its youth, typically coming into greater harmony and putting on weight with five to ten years of bottle age.http://www.winophilia.com/2010/09/07/montee-de-tonnerre-the-insider%E2%80%99s-chablis/
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