Dom. Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes Premier Cru 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 92-95
The history of this domaine dates to the beginning of the 20th century, when Etienne Sauzet inherited and bought several plots of vines in the village of Puligny-Montrachet. The vines passed through the family to Jeanine Boillot, Sauzet’s granddaughter. Jeanine and her husband, Gérard Boudot, managed the domaine, making many modernizations including improved vinification techniques and biodynamic farming. Today the domaine has been passed to their daughter Emilie and her husband, Benoît Riffault, who continue to produce white wines that are among the most sought-after in all of Burgundy. Although the winemaking techniques have been modernized, M. Sauzet’s traditions of estate-bottling and of aging the wines on their lees for 10-12 months to “nourish them” are still respected and result in superbly finished, fruity, and full-bodied wines. After four generations, Sauzet is still synonymous with high-quality, elegant, Burgundian Chardonnay.
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.