Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2018
Wines from Puligny-Montrachet are 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.
White Burgundy, with its rich texture and toasted flavors, pairs well with white fish and shellfish and its naturally high acidity can counterbalance cream-based sauces. Oak-aged Chardonnay from warmer climates lends itself well to grilled fish, starches, butter, and toasted nuts.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
There are ripe elements of white and yellow flowers, apricot, mango and banana, but also terrific cut, a seashore, mineral note and a long toasty finish. The lingering aftertaste of ripe fruit, mineral and spice indicates this white's potential. Best from 2023 through 2030.
The 2018 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatières reveals aromas of citrus oil, yellow orchard fruit, blanched almonds and fresh pastry. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and fleshy, this is the tightest-knit wine in the range, holding the most in reserve—even in this forward, demonstrative vintage. I consider that a good sign, and would pick this as Chavy's finest 2018 premier cru.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.