Tasted with Laurent Martelet in Blagny, 08 October 2020.
Laurent on the 2020 vintage:
“A quite warm for winter was the start, once we saw -5°C in 2019 but never minus in 2020. A year that was certainly very dry – a deficit of rain but also quite seasonal – the recent vintages have been wet in the winter & spring but dry in the summer more like the south of France. In the end not quite on the limit of too dry. Actually, we had a little more rain in the growing season of 20 than 19 but it’s how often the rain arrives that depends on how stressed the vine would be. The sortie of grapes was quite large and was looking like a big volume, but that was balanced by the dryness so we still ended up with ‘correct’ volumes – practically – I’m surprised to say, the drought was helpful. A super balance of sugar and acid – we have concentration too – there’s no comparison to 2003. That said, we started our harvest 14 August with a young vine and then stopped, restarting the 20th and had our paulée already on the 28th”
Laurent on the 2019 vintage:
“Another warm summer. Also not too much water-stress in the vines. Two periods of cold where there was frost; we burnt some straw, but it was mainly an issue in the plains, here on the hillside we were actually warmer. 3rd Sept start to our harvest with one day off in the middle. What has changed in the last years is that we follow the acidity more than the sugars, where we once harvested a parcel and then moved onto the next climat, we now, maybe harvest in the same climat 2 or 3 times and make separate elevage – they are blended in the weeks before bottling.”
“Wines describe the time, the climate of their vintage, I would intellectually aim to make the wine exactly the same each year to highlight not just the climat but the climate too.”
What a great set of wines here in 2019. All the wines are around 13°, indeed just below, the villages just 12.5°. I’m not saying that this makes them ‘better’ but certainly the place and winemaking has had an important effect. One of my top white domaines of 2019.
1.20 ha 400m – 4 blocks of vines, a little like an amphitheatre, with a mix of older and new vines that have been blended together for first time in 2018. Relatively deep soil with up to 35% slope – so steep, next to the woods. Planted between 2006 and 2013. About 300m wide this parcel. The youngest vines are vinified in tank – this the assembly though – no new oak, typically barrels between 2-5 years old. Was racked and assembled in the first part of August – ‘we keep a long time in bulk to clarify as we, 98%, make zero additions, so it won’t be bottled this year.’
Hmm, quite open, silky lemon-citrus with an inviting background of aroma. Mouth-filling, beautifully fresh – the energy is really fine here. Is there a Meursault-ness? Perhaps, what there certainly is, is a good density of completely delicious flavour and ravishing energy. That’s great villages.
‘For us, this is like having to go to the south of France – this is always the first parcel with leaves, flowers and to be harvested. It’s only about 50m lower in altitude than many of the other vines…’ A parcel of 0.80 ha, vines from 1946 account for about 1/3rd, the rest two plantings of about 12 and 5 years old. The lowest vines of the domaine at 280m – the domaine’s vines go up to 400m for the villages parcel. All barrel elevage, but the same proportion of new oak in all the wines – and these are barrels made from the domaine’s forest, dried in the gounds of the domaine.
Now that has a very fine clarity of vibrant lemon-citrus – really super. Mouth-filling, mouth-watering – a certain transparency to the flavour and structure here. Beautiful finishing clarity too – that’s top!
The domaine’s biggest parcel of Puligny, but it’s the smallest cuvée of this domaine. Vines at 350m altitude, two parcels which amount to 0.15 ha, one small part of 90-year-old vines the rest more like 20. Not separately vinified as the old vine part would be a little too small. In 2012 due to frost this was blended with the Chalumaux.
A little extra shimmer of minerality in the core of this wine – perhaps reductive but a beautiful invitation. Yes – wide, a wine once more of clarity of beautiful texture and of minerality. Of delicious, mouth-watering citrus flavours too. Finishing more floral. Mineral doesn’t always mean elegant – but in this case certainly. I simply love this calm, complex wine. Bravo!
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Hameau de Blagny
The big block of 1.7 ha, soil like in Garenne – just above Garenne – stony and poor. By comparison, the Meursault Blagny has much more clay. Could label as ‘Clos’ the walls are there.
Airy, high-toned, a faint reduction that quickly departs the glass with swirling – almost a suggestion of lime for this wine. Big, more energy, less elegance but the energy also seems to endow more complexity too – fine acid fruit, almost a sour-fruit that’s really fine and just a little different in the context of the vintage. Wide waves of finishing interest. I’m loving this wine too – the last remains my favourite, but this I would never turn down. Excellent-plus!
A 5 ha on monopoly – including just a little pinot, planted here in 1932, though producing only 11 hl/ha in 2020! A complete change of terroir – the soil is completely different, here argillo-calcaire is much more balanced towards the argilles – but this clay is rather more white, cold soils – they warm up more slowly and you note that in the speed of vine growth – the fermentations are even longer! Not even a suggestion of suffering in the dryness of 2020 here.
Here is a mineral nose, very faintly reductive – very attractively presented. A faint gas, a little extra in the width – the density – of the flavours. Round but melting with flavour, that’s a very delicious wine – citrus but a mélange of agrumes. Super texture, it changes from hyper-silky to a small caress of tannin on the tip of the tongue. Bravo.