The Paquelin family – of especial interest to historians because Charles Paquelin kept a vigneron’s diary during the period of the French Revolution – produced wine in Chassagne- Montrachet from at least the early 18th century. In due course a Mlle Paquelin married a M Coffinet, and subsequently a Mlle Coffinet married Jean-Noël Gagnard’s father. The domaine really came into its own under first Jean-Noël (born 1926) whose name it bears, and since 1989 under his daughter, Caroline Lestimé. Her sons Nicolas and Philippe are waiting in the wings, with the latter working at the domaine.

Viticulture & Vinification

Caroline has fine-tuned the holdings, increasing the number of premiers crus bottled under their own names, and purchased more land where possible, including vineyards in the Hautes-Côtes overlooking St-Aubin. Since the turn of the century she turned her attention to viticulture, with organic certification from 2014.

The white wines, which do not see a large amount of new oak – 30 per cent for most of the cellar – seem relatively old-fashioned when young, but benefit from bottle age.

For the reds, Caroline is keen to emphasise the fruit rather than the tannins, producing a consumer-friendly village Chassagne-Montrachet known as Cuvée L’Estimée – a play on her own name. This is an attractive, perfumed, middleweight red Chassagne made from destemmed grapes from various village vineyard sites, with minimal extraction of tannins. It is deliberately fresh and appealing for relatively early drinking.


My favourite white wine in this cellar, ahead even of the grand cru, is the Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets Caroline’s Caillerets is mostly at the southern end of the vineyard on classically pebbly soil, supplemented by some from the upper-slope sector known as Les Combards, which makes up a quarter of the blend. This is the most complete of her premiers crus, combining density of flavour with intense minerality, and will keep for a decade or more.

White Wines

Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 0.36
Chassagne 1er Cru Caillerets 1.06
Chassagne 1er Cru Blanchots Dessus 0.13
Chassagne 1er Cru Petits Clos 0.32
Chassagne 1er Cru Boudriotte 0.48
Chassagne 1er Cru Clos Maltroye 0.34
Chassagne 1er Cru Maltroie 0.29
Chassagne 1er Cru Champs Gain 0.23
Chassagne 1er Cru Chaumées 0.59
Chassagne 1er Cru Chenevottes 0.49
Chassagne-Montrachet Masures 0.61
Chassagne-Montrachet Chaumes 0.29
Chassagne-Montrachet Pot Bois 1.27

Red Wines

Chassagne 1er Cru Morgeot 0.77
Chassagne 1er Cru Clos St-Jean 0.33
Santenay 1er Cru Clos de Tavannes 0.3
Chassagne-Montrachet L’Estimée 1.47
Click here to view all wines from Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard
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