Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Meursault Les Porusots Premier Cru 2012
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.
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.