Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Chassagne-Montrachet 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 89-91
Étienne and his sister, Alix de Montille, purchased the estate in July 2012. Not only will Étienne be able to see all of his projects come to fruition, but both siblings bring incredible savoir-faire when it comes to transmitting the terroir into the finished wines. In the hands of two of the most respected winegrowers in Burgundy, Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet is at last realizing its full potential.
The de Montilles are aiming high. They plan on reducing the production of cuvees by 20 percent to give greater focus to the Chateau’s highly pedigreed line-up. The modern winery built in the 1980s, although not as attractive as many old Burgundy cellars, has proved to be almost perfect for making wine in the minimalist, gravity flow method that both Étienne and Alix prefer. In addition, only indigenous yeasts are used and the wines are lightly fined with egg-whites and bottled unfiltered. The preference is to allow a longer barrel-aging period so that the wines will settle naturally. But for anyone who is already familiar with the de Montille family, there is no strict recipe per se, just incredibly high standards. Every vintage is treated uniquely, and the wines reflect that individualized care.
A Côte de Beaune village of Burgundy most famous for its beautifully textured and powerful whites, Chassagne-Montrachet reaches farthest south in the Côte d’Or, save for the village of Santenay. It has three Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet overlap with and are (confusingly) shared with the village of Puligny-Montrachet. But Chassagne-Montrachet bears sole ownership of the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru.
The beauty doesn’t stop there as the village has a great many outstanding Premiers Crus wines and village level wines. Most famous Premiers Crus vineyards include Les Chenevottes, Clos de la Maltroie, En Cailleret and Les Ruchottes. Also, village level wines offer many lovely examples of what Chassagne-Montrachet has to offer, but at more approachable price points and perhaps less demand of waiting.
The best sites in Chassagne-Montrachet have complex soils of sedimentary rock and limestone (with less marl). Whites, which are by law composed of 100% Chardonnay (as in all classified white Burgundy from Côte d’Or), have steely power, bright and concentrated citrus, stone or tropical fruit characteristics and attractive textures ranging from plush to tactile, grippy and mineral-driven.
There is some fine Pinot Noir produced from the village. These wines tend to be high-toned and earthy, with wild herb aromas and suave tannins.
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.