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Montrachet

First recorded in 1252 when Pierre and Arnolet de Puligny gifted wines in “Mont Rachaz” to the Abbey of Maizières (source: Jasper Morris MW, Inside Burgundy, Berry Bros and Rudd Press, 2010, pp. 415).

Size: 7.99 hectares subdivided into 3.98 ha on Chassagne side (Le Montrachet) and 4.01 ha on Puligny side (Montrachet).

Current owners: 19 (source: http://www.tenzingws.com)

Le Montrachet: Thenard (1.83 ha); Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (0.67); Prieur (0.58); Comtes Lafon (0.31); Leflaive (0.082); Château de Puligny-Montrachet (0.043); Amiot et Monnot (0.084); Colin Marc (0.08); Blain-Gagnard (0.078); Fontaine-Gagnard (0.078); Petitjean (0.054); Fleurot (0.042).

Montrachet: Marquis de Laguiche (2.06 ha); Bouchard (0.89); Ramonet (0.26); Guillaume (0.27); Regnault de Beaucaron (0.27); Guillaume (Boillerault de Chauvigny) 0.133; de Surville (0.133).

From: Fernando Beteta (www.tenzingws.com)

2009 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru. Its distinct pallor belies an enthralling feminine fragrance of white floral tones that seduces the senses with gentle elegance, rather understated in intensity and attack as it traversed the palate with effortless grace, etching layers of white fruits, clear citrus and exotic elements that yield great clarity and detail, becoming more robust and structured by the end of the evening. Has that same regal demeanour as Montrachet Grand Cru which, perhaps, carries even greater inner definition and seamless integration. Superb. Tasted November 2020.

2010 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru. This wine proffers a deep open bouquet of complex minerals with an attractive white floral fragrance, matched by a rich wonderful depth of fruit on the palate sprinkled with white pepper, exotic spice and traces of vanillin, producing fabulous mouthfeel and length. Combines the power and richness of Chevalier with the delicate finesse of Montrachet. Not surprising, as those who know will understand that the 0.21 ha La Cabotte actually sits within Montrachet itself at its western boundary and was once considered part of Montrachet Grand Cru. Outstanding. Tasted April 2018.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru. This monopole hits the correct notes right from the outset, exuding a gleaming crystalline tone of white flowers and crème de la crème matched by a subtle expanse of refined chalkiness and complex citrus that traverse the palate with superb open sleek acidity, displaying great presence and balance in spite of its understated elegance. Developed a fuller tone over time with further notes of white pepper whilst maintaining its regal poise, supremely confident. Entirely consistent with what one would expect of Chevalier-Montrachet, particularly from the very special 0.21 ha of La Cabotte that, in the old days, was actually classified as part of Montrachet itself. One of the very best efforts of Bouchard. Outstanding. Tasted January 2020.

2012 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru. This is a very special plot of only 0.21 ha wholly owned by Bouchard sited just west of Bouchard’s 0.89 ha of Montrachet Grand Cru that, in the 19th century, was classified as part of Vrai-Montrachet. True to its heritage, this wine exudes superb richness of fruit, layered with silky smooth crème de la crème and icing amidst overtones of white flowers and chalky minerals, full-bodied but never heavy, displaying lovely balance throughout its length. Excellent stuff. Tasted March 2017.

From: http://www.winehog.org

1994 Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru. Tasted blind but still easily recognisable as the Holy Grail of whites. Luminous gold, exuding a classic restrained nose of white tones and distant minerals with a lovely creamy smoothness, its warm velvety fruit teasing the palate with a rounded fleeting intensity before finishing with superb linearity and lingering length. Supremely confident and refined, utterly seamless in every way even as it went on to develop expansive swathes of white floral tones with wonderful flair and balance. Outstanding. Tasted October 2020.

1999 Louis Jadot Montrachet Grand Cru. Most unusual on the nose, recalling pine forest, fig and what seemed like glue that was almost intoxicating on its own, leading to a floral fragrance and characters of aged crème on the palate, still spiked with tight intensity in spite of the understated acidity amidst some restraint. This is a masculine Montrachet, somewhat brooding and quirky, partly because, I suspect, it did not receive adequate aeration and the whites of 1999 are big wines that evolve at a glacial pace. Tasted April 2016.

2002 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Shy at first, taking its time to open up with a deep complex of crème de la crème and chalk laced with elements of glycerine and agar, all the while restrained and backward, eventually developing silky intensity with glowing plummy tones on a base of distinct saline minerals, finishing with exotic spice and white flowers. Rather ethereal in its elegance and poise, very much the Holy Grail of all whites. Outstanding, but still far from its peak. Tasted May 2018.

2003 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Perfect luminous gold. Utterly complex yet gentle in its entry on the palate, seductive and glowing with almonds, crème de la crème, complex citrus and perfect acidity, superbly balanced, excellent in concentration with a lightness of being. Ethereal. Tasted September 2015 at Le Carmin, Beaune.

2003 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru. Generous bloom of white flowers with lighter tonal textures on the nose though the palate is well layered with nutmeg, white fruits and delicate light citrus, displaying great definition and transparency, perhaps just a tad short which is commonly noted in the wines of this searing hot vintage. Tasted May 2018 in Hong Kong.

2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru. Glistening with a luminous luscious gold, this wine exuded a glowing bouquet of aged crème de la crème with some secondary nuances that recalled yellow melons and peaches. Superbly proportioned, striking a perfect balance between the fruit, complex minerals and understated acidity. Highly harmonious and seamlessly layered, not at all showy, eventually displaying a dash of burnt cider at the side with overtones of coconut, turning a little stern at the finish, maintaining its ethereal poise and elegance throughout. Not an exuberant or characterful Montrachetlike Drouhin’s Marquis de Laguiche, but more placid like that of Baron Thenard. Tasted September 2016 at Etxebarri, Spain.

2006 Domaine Moret-Nomine Montrachet Grand Cru. Still shut in spite of aeration in bottle for almost three hours. The palate has a certain aged feel of recessed fruit and minerals, further shrouded by a sheen of paraffin that imparted a veiled character, rather closed as well though a bit of white fruits did emerge after much persuasive coaxing. Tasted January 2019.

2007 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru. Luminous glow of malt and rye, displaying gentle depth of white fruits with a mild intensity shrouded within traces of mint and white flowers. Almost ethereal. Very well-integrated and proportioned. Very lovely throughout its superb length. Impeccable pedigree. Tasted May 2018 in Hong Kong.

2007 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Showing great restraint with clear cool fruit on the nose with recessed chalky tones, offering a glowing palate rich in ripe fruit that displayed great sophistication and balance with transparent textures throughout its lovely lengthy. Superb. Tasted January 2018.

2007 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Rather reluctant on the nose, proffering just some waxiness with traces of oxidation. Got better over time as more of lime, yellow citrus and stony minerals began developing with fair intensity on the palate, revealing great detail along with some graphite elements as it broadened with greater expanse and depth, utterly seamless in transition and linearity though the legendary ethereal elegance of Bouchard’s Montrachet eluded us that evening. Needs far more time in the glass than we gave it. Tasted January 2019.

2008 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Closed even after being double decanted since morning though the palate offered very fine detail of floral characters, white fruits and minerals, tonally rich with excellent purity. It took its time to open up further with an emerging hint of tropical fruits before blossoming into a full-bodied wine, layered with rich minerality, becoming more poised and ethereal over time. Lovely but essentially far from ready. Tasted August 2018.

2008 Domaine Henri Boillot Montrachet Grand Cru. Poured from magnum after having been aired for more than 8 hours. Light golden luminosity. Took its time to unfurl its beauty, yielding at first only gentle tones of white flowers, yellow citrus and chalk, softly rounded with a recessed ethereal elegance. It seemed to turn deeper in colour after three hours in the glass, taking on a distinct phenolic note with a great concentration of creme de la creme on the palate, layered with rich minerally tones in equal measure and laced with sublime acidity that revealed infinite detail with clean definition. Yet one senses that it hadn’t really revealed its full glory, like a beautiful woman who is not in any hurry. Superb, but real patience is required. Tasted November 2019.

2009 Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Rich tones of crème de la crème with some chalkiness and early complexity on the bouquet, though there is an unexpected disconnect with the palate that is still tight and reticent with fruit that is set rather backward, showing mainly minerally tones and icing but not much else, rounded with regal elegance but aloof. Probably going through an awkward phase. Needs time to unravel itself. Tasted November 2017 in Beaune in the presence of its winemaker Fabrice Amiot.

2009 Domaine Baron Thenard Montrachet Grand Cru. Second largest owner (after Marquis de Laguiche) of Montrachet. Established in 1842, this estate used to sell its wines to Domaine Remoissenet but has now stopped that practice. Served a tad too cold initially, this wine started off with a predominant tone of minerals with some faint citrus, quite ethereal, displaying some early complexity. As it warmed to the right temperature, its feminine elegance became evident, turning more chalky with a luminous glow as it slowly revealed further notes of caramel and clear citrus, taking its time in an unhurried fashion like a seductress, maintaining a balanced and gentle poise throughout without any hint whatsoever of its 14% alcohol. If I have a quibble, it would be the relative lack of detail on the palate compared with the Montrachet of Bouchard (though this lies on the Puligny side), and the wine borders almost on shyness. Needs further bottle age. Tasted August 2016.

2009 Domaine Baron Thenard Montrachet Grand Cru. This wine exuded a quiet bouquet of gentle crème de la crème with lifted minty tones, thoroughly seamless on the palate where highly delicate white floral tones and gentle soft citrus dominate with understated richness and body, almost ethereal in its elegance though not quite reaching the degree of inner detail that I have come across from Drouhin’s Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet. Tasted December 2017.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Powerful, glowing with notes of tropical fruits, intense citrus, enamel, vanilla and crème de la crème with a hint of steeliness. Lengthy and elegant. Not showy at all. Great mouthfeel. Already highly complex even in its youth but still tight. Quite outstanding. Tasted September 2015 at the domaine.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Highly lifted floral complex on the nose, matched by excellent concentration of gentle pomelo, clear citrus and minerals that exuded lightness and real delicacy with a lovely feminine balance and proportion, still tightly-knit with a bit of sternness that enhanced the complexity. Although Bouchard’s 0.89 ha of Montrachet lies on the Puligny side, it is actually bordering on the Chassagne side of this hallowed plot, and this is very well reflected by the wine’s minerally balance. Consistent with my memories of a similar bottle tasted within the domaine’s cellars in 2015. Superb. Tasted April 2016.

2011 Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet Grand Cru. Rather reserved and shy on this occasion. There is butterscotch, crème de la crème and minerals in a fine balance but it feels rather lightweight and awkward without having quite fleshed out, lacking the ethereal quality and potential complexity of a Montrachet from a top vintage. I suspect this underwhelming display was due to inadequate aeration. Deserves a better showing. Tasted May 2016 in Hong Kong.

2011 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru, poured from double magnum. From the largest owner of this sacred plot veering towards Puligny, this wine displayed a deep lifted bouquet of complex  tropical fruit with a hint of caramel, raw nutmeg and gentle earthy tones, richly layered with lovely proportions, structured with subtle intensity and lingering acidity, teasing the palate with some early complexity, turning just slightly stern at the finish with ferrous elements. Truly glorious. Tasted March 2017.

2011 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Beautiful liquid gold. Some lovely opulence on the nose though somewhat reserved, revealing some early complexity on a palate of dense minerals and delicate crème de la crème, quite seamlessly integrated with a fair abundance of white fruits that exude dry intensity, very well balanced. Still rather taut on the whole. Tasted April 2018.

2011 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Montrachet Grand Cru. This wine exuded a most delicate colour and bouquet with a soft glow of floral fragrance, infused with a gleaming tone of white fruits and gentle minerals on the full palate, quite ethereal and seamless as it sat in the glass with quiet intensity, eventually displaying its signature minerally glow that lingered with lengthy persistence. Wonderful stuff. Tasted August 2018.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Enticing, seductive, gentle with complex citrus of controlled intensity. Velvety on the palate, displaying wonderful depth but it’s the supreme balance that holds everything today. Absolutely harmonious. A great wine made to last forever. Truly mesmerizing. Heavenly, yet humbling to know such sublimity is possible. Tasted September 2015 at the domaine.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. As with the 2014, the Montrachet of 2012 is absolutely lifted with an effortless grace, excellent in concentration and definition, detailed with finely etched minerals on both the nose and palate, beautifully balanced with great harmony and elegance, highly persistent, finishing with a mild ferrous trace. Outstanding. Tasted October 2016.

2012 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. This wine opens with a gentle white floral tone laced with cool traces of vanillin and icing, revealing very fine inner detail, proffering fleeting glimpses of nutmeg and exotic white fruits as it exuded gentle intensity. Highly poised with a superb ethereal refined elegance before receding in a demure finish. One experiences the very essence of Montrachet. Tasted September 2019.

2013 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Lying firmly on the Puligny side of Montrachet (ie. more northerly), this flagship white is blessed with generous lifted aromas of white flowers, pines and peaches with a faint suggestion of sweetness that hinted at delicacy and harmony, matched by a gleaming tone of gorgeous minerality, incense, supple crème de la crème and understated acidity, open and almost ethereal with great purity and precision, finishing with excellent mouthfeel. Wonderful. Tasted April 2016.

2014 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Beautiful lifted bouquet with rich luxuriant notes of crème de la crème and white flowers, yet ethereal with subdued minerality and acidity, displaying very lovely balance, gentle intensity, great elegance and concealed power, revealing greater detail and definition as it sat in the glass, infinitely persistent in its finish. Outstanding. Tasted October 2016.

2014 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. Aired for five hours in bottle, this wine is still relatively shy, showing only a delicate floral bouquet with quite an ethereal charm though it has greater impact on the palate, producing a sensual mouthfeel that yielded very fine detail, appropriately full, superbly balanced with a highly refined elegance that merged seamlessly with a quiet glowing minerally finish. Doesn’t call attention to itself. Far from ready but it holds tremendous promise. Tasted November 2019.

2014 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Grassy tone with an overlay of morning dew. Again, there is something inherently feminine about Bouchard’s Montrachet, an expansive floral beauty, full-bodied yet highly enticing with great acidity and a wonderful sense of lightness from the open minerality and delicate intensity, unceasingly teasing, drawing one in sip after sip. Superb and, with time, may surpass the 2011. Tasted April 2016.

2014 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Shy at first, displaying some icing, some floral notes and yellow citrus with gentle traces of nutmeg and lime with stern minerals, then opening up, developing greater fullness, rounded with fine intensity of flavours yet maintaining a certain deftness, finishing with great persistence. Yet to exude true elegance and finesse of a Montrachet Grand Cru, for I certainly wouldn’t have known if blinded. Tasted July 2017.

2014 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Discernible early complexity on the full bouquet, exuding toffee, coconut and dense petroleum. Smooth and placid, poised with delicate cool refinement but somewhat reticent at this stage though its natural balance is absolutely impeccable. Will be slow to develop but it could turn out to be one of the great Montrachets of this century. Tasted April 2018.

2014 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. This wine showed a distinct pallor that went well with its reserved ethereal poise which belies an immense depth and layering of complex citrus, itself already a kaleidoscope of fleeting intensity tinged with ember and earthy chalkiness, all very subtly presented in gentle feminine proportions with effortless grace and elegance in spite of its fullness, superbly balanced, finishing with a lovely burnished tone. One is truly tasting the distilled essence of Montrachet, really one of the few occasions where its promised magic comes through. Outstanding. Tasted March 2019.

2015 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. This wine sported a rich sheen of crème de la crème and white flowers in full bloom, full and fresh with great acidity though still tight, displaying lovely tension and linearity, growing in fabulous intensity but yet to reveal inner detail. Any Montrachet will need more than a decade to come through and clearly, this one shouldn’t be touched at all. Tasted November 2017 at the domaine.

2015 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru. From the largest land owner of Montrachet occupying the Puligny end, this Holy Grail of whites was truly on form, proffering a gorgeous bouquet of exotic spices and nutmeg that contrasted beautifully against the bright gleaming chalkiness in the mouth, imbued with a cleanly-defined intense minerally depth that shone with great detail, exuding controlled power across the palate as it built up to a climactic finish with excellent linearity. Still tight but what a treat nevertheless. Outstanding. Tasted September 2019.

2016 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Lovely tones of crème de la crème and chalk with gentle deep aromas of white flowers and morning dew. Deeply aromatic with lovely delicacy, almost ethereal, already showing some very early complexity. Full, sophisticated and elegant. So much promise here. Tasted November 2017 at the domaine.

2016 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Deep bouquet, boasting a complex of white flowers and dense minerals but somewhat introverted, lagging behind a more involving palate that held great concentration of fruit, richly layered in crème de la crème and splashes of exotic spice throughout its considerable length. Excellent, and likely to develop faster than the 2014. Tasted April 2018.

2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Montrachet Grand Cru. This Holy Grail of all whites is poised with ethereal elegance, exuding an ample floral bloom with a fine density of plump oily textures. Superbly layered and integral with fabulous depth of fruit and controlled intensity with a finely detailed structure, superbly proportioned and balanced with plenty held in reserve, displaying a very natural seamless flow of energy throughout its length. Absolutely wonderful. Ramonet’s plot of Montrachet lie on the Puligny side, adjacent to Bouchard’s. Tasted October 2018 at the domaine.

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. Tasted October 2018 at the domaine.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Regal reserved quiet bouquet, displaying a lovely luminosity in the glass as it exudes characters of fresh morning dew with a distilled chalkiness and crème on the palate. Full but transparent, very highly refined with some attractive oiliness within its mid-body, almost velvety with poised elegance. Superbly nuanced. Utterly seamless and integral even at such an early stage. Outstanding. Tasted April 2019.

2017 Joseph Faiveley Montrachet Grand Cru. The bouquet here is thoroughly unique, highly lifted in its perfumed exuberance of varnish, dense white flowers and vanillin that matched very well with very fine white peppery tones, longans, wild flowers and traces of nutmeg on the palate, very gently layered with lovely transparency and fine acidity, superbly proportioned and balanced, finishing with quiet refinement and linearity. Early days still, but already quite outstanding. Only one barrel available annually since 2014, from grapes purchased (from the Puligny side of Montrachet) in exchange for two barrels of Faiveley’s Chambertin-Clos de Beze. Tasted March 2019.

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