Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 89-92
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 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.