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Ric visits Domaine de Montille: 2016 wines

November 30, 2017

DSC_1575On our final day in Burgundy, we paid a visit to Domaine de Montille in Volnay on the morning of 23 November 2017 where we were welcome by its present owner M. Etienne de Montille. This domaine is one of few in Burgundy represented by a proper chateau, in front of which is planted a sizeable plot of Volnay village vines. It was good to see Etienne once again, a highly affable and easy-going gentleman whose partner is Chinese, which explains for the number of Chinese paintings and calligraphy in the chateau’s hall, including a copy of Chairman Mao’s famous little red book on the coffee table. Domaine de Montille was established in 1863 and has remained within the family since, focusing on the wines of the Cote de Beaune. Because of the high water table in the area south of Beaune,  the modest and functional cellars of this estate are housed above ground, where we tasted the 2016 wines from barrel. While most people tend to skip the wines of Volnay and Pommard in favour of the more prestigious communes of the Cote de Nuits, I can assure you that Domaine de Montille is truly a gem of Burgundy. Its whites from Saint-Aubin and Puligny are focused with plenty of delicacy and detail whilst its reds are well-structured and balanced, never overly extracted. Most of all, each individual terroir is well reflected in the wines of Domaine de Montille.

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2016 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet. Village wine. Aromatic with creme and gentle minerals in equal measure, showing good supple acidity, freshness and good delicacy.

2016 Domaine de Montille Saint-Aubin En Remilly 1er. Full bouquet of delicate floral aromas with gravelly minerality, showing good detail on the palate with saline tones and quiet acidity. Harmonious with good zest.

2016 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret 1er. Deeper tones. Lovely soft aromas of crème de la crème with understated chalkiness. Excellent mouthfeel from good presence and  delicate soft minerals showing good purity and definition. Dryish finish. Only 600 litres. No new wood. All the better!

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2016 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er. Strong lifted minerally tones with morning dew, showing good supple intensity and acidity. Well proportioned. Seamless minerally finish.

2016 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er. Adjacent to the north of Montrachet Grand Cru. Deeply aromatic with a feminine floral character. Open on the palate, displaying lively intensity, great elegance, subtle depth with excellent detail and some early complexity. Great stuff!

2016 Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Lifted, deep floral nose. Minerally in body, the fruit seemingly backward with more acidity to the fore, though very well integrated with just a bare trace of ferrous element at the finish.

2016 Domaine de Montille Beaune Greves 1er. Dark with a nose of Chinese medicinal tones and herbs, showing good concentration of dark fruits with dusty textures and forest floor characters, finishing with supple tannins. No de-stemming.

2016 Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepied 1er. Dark. Deep concentration of dark fruits with characters of dry Chinese herbs, showing good suppleness and acidity.

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2016 Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Pezerole 1er. Deep purple with deep aromas of dark fruits and currants. Big but well proportioned, medium-bodied, displaying supple acidity with dryish textures and a unique tone of cigar tone. Good pliant structure.

2016 Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Rugiens 1er. More open, displaying attractive red fruits and currants. Fleshy with good body and supple acidity. Excellent balance and presence. Distinctly feminine. Very successful. One can see why Les Rugiens is in pole position to be upgraded to grand cru status.

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2016 Domaine de Montille Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru. Dry herbal bouquet with dryish textures. Fleshy, showing good concentration of ripe dark cherries with understated minerals, subtle in tannins and structure. Very successful.

2016 Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanee Aux Malconsorts 1er Christiane Ghislaine. Deep purple. Rounded, showing great acidity with a touch of dryness. Medium-full, layered with abundant dark berries, dark cherries and raspberries. Generous in  body, highly seamless with lovely tone and wonderful length. Excellent. A very special wine named after Etienne’s mother, it comes from a plot of Aux Malconsorts that actually slips well inside La Tache. So, essentially, one is drinking La Tache without the hefty price tag.

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After the barrel tasting, we adjourned to the chateau proper for an exquisite lunch hosted by Etienne himself, where we had more wine:

2007 Delamotte Blancs de Blanc. Great creamy smoothness with excellent depth of green fruits and fresh citrus, detailed with good lift.

2013 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 1er, poured from magnum. Lifted bouquet, highly intense with notes of creme and floral characters in stunning detail, layered with great presence and superb acidity on the palate, maintaining good minerally delicacy throughout its length. Quite glorious.

2000 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret 1er. From a plot just next to Montrachet Grand Cru, this wine is more delicate than the preceding Folatieres with well defined complex minerals and white citrus with excellent inner detail and lovely floral characters, perhaps just a tad short but very lovely.

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1996 Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Rugiens 1er. Decanted and served blind, this showed an evolved colour with well-developed red fruits and plums amidst a mild medicinal tone. Open, supple and fleshy.

2005 Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Rugiens 1er. Decanted and served blind. Slightly darker than the preceding 1996, displaying an attractive rosy fragrance with red fruits, open with a deeper streak of dark currants with some bright spots. Full-bodied but quietly intense. Still yet to peak.

20171123_140948.jpg2005 Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. First vintage ever produced. Only 2 barrels and never released commercially. Subtle notes of sweet nectarine with lifted tones of creme and chalk, substantial in body with fine detail, showing good delicacy. Very special indeed. What a great privilege to have tasted this.

1996 Ch d’Yquem. Rich and luscious, displaying aged nectarine and apricots of understated sweetness and acidity.

With such wonderful wines and food, we were properly hammered by the time we finished lunch at 3.00 PM. Domaine de Montille may not be the first name one thinks of in Burgundy but it is truly a star estate, very much a connoisseur’s wine. Be sure to look out for it. Thank you very much, Etienne, and thanks to FICOFI as well.

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