Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet Champs Gains Premier Cru 2015
This Puligny-Montrachet is typified by aromas and flavors of green apple and lemon and tend to be tauter and firmer on the palate compared to wines from neighboring villages. Aging in a small percentage of new French oak barrels lends accents of toast and vanilla. Structured white wines with high acid and grip, Puligny-Montrachet is destined for long aging.
Thanks to its rich texture and toasted flavors, this wine pairs well with white fish and shellfish. Its natural high acidity counterbalances cream-based sauces.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The sons of Gerald Chavy have split their fathers holdings into two domains. They remain one of handful of growers that still reside in Puligny. Most domains are now owned by outsiders. Decanter Magazine selected both Alain and Jean Louis Chavy as one of 'the most improved domaines in Burgundy. Great vineyard sites, especially the Folatieres. The other other grower in Clavoillons is Domaine Lefaive. Alain owns 6.5 hectares of splendid vineyards. Alain makes restrained style of Puligny with ripe fruit balanced by crisp acidity, which are designed to long aging. Almost no chemicals are used in the vineyards apart for protection against mildew. All grapes are hand harvested, pressed and fermented in barrel at not more than 25 degrees.
A source of some of the finest, juicy, silky and elegantly floral Chardonnay in the Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet lies just to the north of Chassagne-Montrachet, a village with which it shares two of its Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet itself and Bâtard-Montrachet. Its other two, which it owns in their entirety, are Chevalier-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. And still, some of the finest white Burgundy wines come from the prized Premiers Crus vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet. To name a few, Les Pucelles, Le Clavoillon, Les Perrières, Les Referts and Les Combettes, as well as the rest, lie northeast and up slope from the Grands Crus.
Farther to the southeast are village level whites and the hamlet of Blagny where Pinot noir grows best and has achieved Premier Cru status.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.