Beginner's Guide to Montrachet Wine | What You Need To Know

Montrachet Wine Beginner's Guide

Around the globe, Montrachet wines are highly sought-after by connoisseurs and wine lovers, touted as some of the world’s best and most expensive white wines. 

So, let’s explore everything you need to know about Montrachet wine. 

Table of Contents

What is Montrachet Wine?

Montrachet pronunciation

Pronounced: Mon-rah-shay

Montrachet is an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC). Montrachet wines are complex, rich, well-structured, and well-balanced. And they produce the finest Chardonnay wines in the world (from 100% Chardonnay grapes).

Where Are The Montrachet Wine Regions?

France Wine Region Map red grapes pinot noir vintage champagne


Let’s begin in Burgundy, containing 5 main wine regions. But let’s focus on splitting Côte d’Or, into two regions:

  • Côte de Nuits – Northern Half – Pinot Noir
  • Côte de Beaune – Southern Half – Chardonnay

While studying to become a sommelier to aid my memory of these two regions, I was actually taught the following: Côte de Nuits translates to “slope of night” giving a visual cue of dark, so its the region that produces Pinot Noir. On the other hand, Côte de Beaune – pronounced “Bone” gives a visual cue for white, so this region produces Chardonnay.


So more specifically Montrachet is located in the south of the Côte de Beaune. And consists of 5 Grands Crus grown in the two villages of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.

The Montrachet vineyard is divided between both Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, each of which have adopted the name of their well known shared vineyard to add onto the title of its host villages – a common practice. And consists of 5 Grands Crus grown in the two villages:

  • Montrachet (Both)
  • Bâtard-Montrachet (Both)
  • Chevalier-Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet)
  • Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet)
  • Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet (Chassagne-Montrachet)

Montrachet is the oldest Grand Cru. Plus, it’s higher quality than the other four Grand Crus. And this distinction has been acknowledged by the addition of the name to each Grand Cru and reflected in the price. The Montrachet vineyard is typically known as:

  • “Le Montrachet” for the Chassagne side
  • “Montrachet” for the Puligny side

Montrachet Wine Production

It all begins with the land and terroir. And the Montrachet area is an ideal microclimate protected by encircling hills, creating a perfect balance of sunshine and rain that yields exquisite results. With the region’s finest wines grown from middle to high up on the slopes. So they can benefit from ample sunlight and proper drainage.

Also thanks to the manganese-rich soil (micronutrient), Chardonnay vines are able to have healthy roots for optimal growth.

And most importantly, they are organically made using traditional methods to cultivate the best grapes and wines. Here are the steps:

  1. To protect its quality, the grapes are carefully hand-picked and collected with tremendous care and precision. And then they sorted again for quality at the winery.
  2. Then comes pressing the grapes, winemakers must do it slowly and carefully while ensuring they DON’T use any “old” juice from prior rounds of pressing.
  3. And the next step is decanting the wine for sediments (or débourbage).
  4. Then the wine goes directly into barrels for fermentation and most winemakers apply the malolactic fermentation technique.
  5. Finally, they are aged in oak for 15 to 18 months.

What Does Montrachet Taste Like?

Montrachet Wine Taste Profile

Montrachet wines are full-bodied, complex, rich, and buttery. They also have a balanced acidity and a long finish. Additionally, there are fruity aromas and flavors of lemon, apple, and pear along with sweet notes of caramel and honey.

Plus there may even be some floral notes, along with complex earthy aromas of minerals, spices, and truffle. Finally its finishes with oak aged notes of vanilla, oak, toasted almonds and brioche.

Why Is Montrachet Wine So Expensive?

Montrachet is one of Burgundy’s most expensive wines because of the cost involved at each step in production, from cultivating and harvesting to pressing, aging and bottling.

And most importantly, Montrachet grapes are only grown on a small, specific terroir that is the most optimal region in the world for producing the best Chardonnay. Therefore, Montrachet vineyards have limited yields, thus fewer bottles are produced. It’s all about real estate!

And finally, Montrachet is a NAME BRAND! To put it nicely, Montrachet is one of the most luxurious and expensive wines available due to its unparalleled quality and prestige.

Montrachet Food Pairings

  • Drink on its own!
  • Anything with a creamy or mushroom sauce.
  • Caviar or escargot, of course!
  • Seafood like prawns, salmon, baked oysters or scallops
  • Meat dishes like chicken, pork, and veal with creamy sauces.

5 Best Montrachet Wines (From Most to Extremely Expensive)

Best Montrachet Wines
  1. Domaine Leflaive 
  2. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
  3. Domaine Romanet
  4. Domaine des Comtes Lafon 
  5. Pierre Girardin Le Montrachet Grand Cru

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