2015 Domaine Etienne Sauzet, La Garenne, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru – Price Per Case of 6 btls


Reviewed by Neal Martin (88-90 Points)

3 in stock

SKU: R2FRDW-15BL1461 Category: Tags: , Product ID: 4761


88-90 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate, 30th Dec 2016

The 2015 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru la Garenne has an elegant bouquet with hints of white flower permeating the citrus fruit, certainly a level up from the village cru in terms of complexity. The palate is balanced with light peachy notes on the entry. There is good depth and a fine line of acidity, hints of almond developing towards the satisfying if slightly conservative finish.

Poor Benoit Riffault. The first thing he says to me is that he had just returned from the dentist where he had a tooth extracted. Too much drinking Montrachet? Can rot teeth, you know. So without moving his mouth too much, he explained his 2015s as we descended to his tasting room adjacent to the barrel cellar. “We started picking on 31 August – not the first to pick. For me it was difficult because the sugar potential was good but out in the vineyard, the grapes did not taste right. So I waited. You have to decide if you prefer to go with the high sugar potential [and potentially high alcohol] or try to keep the acidity. The pH was good, not like 2013 or 2014, around 3.18 to 3.26, which is correct. Nothing has been bottled yet. Of course there are warm and ripe aromas in the wines but they do express the terroir, there is the visibility [of each vineyard] there. We used between 15-20% new oak on Puligny La Garenne up to around 30% for the Combettes, depending upon the quantity (under 3 barrels there is never any new oak). The Bourgogne Blanc will be bottled next week and the rest are on the lees, to be bottled next February or early spring. Overall, it was an easy vintage because the grapes were perfect when we picked. I’m happy with the results: a ripe style but not fat with not too much alcohol.”

It was an interesting set of wines from Sauzet that have been given impetus by Benoît in recent years. I did feel that some of the less propitious vineyards did suffer proportionately more than other terroirs, those with more limestone soils or at high altitude. A good example was comparing not just the premier crus but the new parcel in Haut Côtes de Beaune at 450-metres vis-à-vis the Bourgogne Blanc. There was undeniably a great difference between the two and I much preferred the debut. Amongst the premier crus, my pick would be the excellent Puligny 1er Cru Hameau de Blagny, which often is overlooked but excelled in 2015, advantaged by its higher altitude, whilst the brilliant Chevalier-Montrachet shaded the Montrachet to such an extent that I would have poured them the other way round. All in all, a good set of wines from Sauzet, although terroir did sort out the wheat from the chaff.

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