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Ric arrives at Domaine Etienne Sauzet

October 26, 2018

We had the distinct privilege of visiting one of the kings of Puligny, the Domaine Etienne Sauzet, on 24 October 2018 where we were welcomed by Benoit Riffault (married to Emilie Boudot, grand-daughter of Etienne himself who passed on in 1975) who takes charge of the winemaking there. Occupying only 10 hectares of vines scattered throughout Puligny with some additional buy-in grapes (but this has reduced significantly as the domaine has expanded its direct holdings), Etienne Sauzet is highly sought after for its delicacy, power, elegance and precision, a recurring theme as Benoit took us through an extensive line-up of its portfolio, culminating generously in Montrachet Grand Cru. Deploying about a third of new oak for its premier cru and slightly more for grand cru, production has been entirely biodynamic since 2010. I was mightily impressed by the 2017 whites, an outstanding vintage to rival the whites of 2014. In fact, Benoit summed it up succinctly, saying that 2017 is an amalgam of 2010, 2012 and 2014, wines that carry superb ripeness, acidity and structure. Merci Benoit, for your time and generosity.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Bourgogne Blanc. Beautiful full bouquet of white citrus and dense minerals with traces of grassy elements. Deft and lively in spite of its full body, teasing the palate with its fine acidity and fleeting intensity, imparting great freshness. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet. Blend of 12 village plots. Classic nose of gravel minerals, grassy elements and nutmeg. Lovely fullness and vigour, yet poised with delicate crisp acidity. Cleanly focused, displaying good depth and understated intensity, finishing well.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 1er. Slightly forward bouquet of white fruits though more minerally on the palate with traces of white pepper. Rounded with excellent texture and mouthfeel. Fine elegance.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Hameau du Blagny 1er. Crisp clean nose of white fruits and fig, nicely lifted. Highly supple and seamless with great purity of fruit, caressing the palate with luxurious oily textures amidst understated intensity. Very lovely.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts 1er. Apricot, peaches and pears dominate on the nose though the palate is infinitely more minerally. Gentle in depth, displaying good density of fruit with crisp acidity, very cleanly focused, finishing well.

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2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrieres 1er. Highly effusive in intense yellow citrus. Highly supple and deft, displaying superb balance between fruit and minerals, rather understated in intensity with traces of earth. Very well integrated, transgressing the palate with great linearity and cohesion. I like it.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Champ Canet 1er. Good intensity of honeysuckle and fig on the nose, producing lovely aromatic lift. Beautiful minerally palate, quite full, poised with quiet intensity and acidity. Drinking very well.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er. Wonderful rich bouquet of creamy chalkiness and understated minerals. Rather full-bodied. More forward with more density but the balance is immaculate, beautifully proportioned with delicate yellow fruits. Wonderfully textured, rounded and poised, finishing with lasting persistence. Gorgeous.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Highly refined and poised on the nose. Medium-full. Open and rounded with quiet elegance and sheer refinement, displaying plenty of quiet charm, ease and understatement. Regal, befitting its status.

2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru. Nicely layered with gentle yellow fruit and minerals on the nose with a quiet lift. Very rounded and smooth on the palate, displaying great detail and definition throughout with a lovely deeper vein of minerality that was very seamlessly integrated. Resplendent with an ethereal feel. Flows through palate entirely as an absolute entity, never out of place, finishing with lasting persistence. Superb.

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2017 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru

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