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Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet 2019 £79.00
Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet 2019
Founded in the mid-18th century, this family-owned estate is one of the most historic in the Côte d’Or, with ninth-generation Etienne de Montille now at its helm. Etienne inherited this responsibility from his late father, Hubert, whose tenure lasted a staggering 50 years. While 90% of the region’s production was sold to négociants, Hubert gained fame for his estate-bottled, long-lived and characterful wines. Etienne initially trained as a lawyer but was drawn back to Volnay where he invested in rebuilding the estate. He was a savvy buyer and the Domaine now boasts 37 hectares across 35 separate appellations, making it one of the most enviable vineyard holdings in the Côte d’Or. Etienne was an early advocate of organic farming. In 1995 he introduced these principles to the estate’s vineyards. Biodynamic practices followed in 2005, and the Domaine received ‘Ecocert Bio’ certification in 2012. Today, Etienne works with American-born chef de cave Brian Sieve, who has been with the Domaine for over a decade.
Puligny-Montrachet comes from a 1.1 hectare parcel situated in the Puligny Premier Cru "Les Chalumeaux" and 0.38 hectare in "Levron" and "Baudrières-Nosroy". "Les Chalumeaux" was declassified by INAO when it was replanted in 1975 because the former owner brought in 20cm of topsoil. Since then, the combination of erosion and biodynamic farming have made the vines' roots dive deeper into the original terroir. This gives the Puligny-Montrachet a density and an unusual complexity. The Domaine has practised organic viticulture since 1995 and was certified organic in 2012. Since 2005 it has also converted to biodynamic viticulture.
The 2019 vintage started with an extremely mild winter, except for lower temperatures in the end of January and beginning of February. Spring frosts led to uneven flowering and irregular fruit set, but by July and August temperatures had become hot and dry, increasing concentration levels in the grapes. The summer months were very dry, and the yields were lower than normal due to the lack of water in the vineyards. However, this also resulted in smaller healthy berries and highly concentrated aromas and flavours.
Grapes were hand-picked and selected both in the vineyard and at the cellar. The wine was fermented in 600-litre oak casks (15% of new oak). Ageing took place in 600-litre oak casks for 1 year and then the wine was assembled and moved into stainless steel where it remained for further 5 months. Sulfur was added at bottling and not during vinification. The philosophy is to produce wines with great aromatic, purity, balance, and elegance rather than with power and extraction. Domaine's current style remains faithful to Hubert's natural and idealistic approach. However, Etienne, Hubert’s son, is giving the wines greater aromatic expression and silkier textures, so that they can be drunk earlier, without compromising their ability to age.
On the nose, the wine has notes of citrus oil, white flowers, fresh pastry and beeswax. On the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, layered and succulent, combining charming fruit with mineral nuance.