de Montille (+Château Puligny) – 2016


Tasted in Meursault with Brian Seive, 08 November 2017.

Domaine de Montille, Château de Puligny-Montrachet & Maison Deux Montille Soeur Frères
rue de But
21190 Puligny-Montrachet
Tel: +33 3 80 21 39 14

I tasted in Meursault with wine-maker Brian Seive – we first took a short tour around the cuverie – both the domaine and maison wines are made here. The domaine is about 22 hectares of vines, the grapes all ending up in wooden open-top fermenters with no temperature control. Annually about 400-500 barrels of wine are produced – in 2017 it is 500, but the last few years of frost and hail have seen nearer 300 barrels produced.

The 2017 white’s sugars are almost all done now. Brian like to sulfur the wines as it gets rids of competing yeast and dissuades the malo from starting before all sugar is done. One third of the vintage sees elevage in big barrels, which results in slightly more reductive wine which ferments almost 3 degrees warmer because of the volume effect, and Brian says enhances the mid-palate a little when there’s a nice acidity.

The red cellar is kept extra cold – about 10°C – which also dissuades the malolactic fermentation, Brian preferring that to happen a little later – this is a long-time house preference that goes with the philosophy of fermenting with whole clusters. All the 2017s are now in barrel – the 2016s too – only the Bourgogne is in tank for the reds. All the 2016 whites have now moved into stainless-steel tanks.

I asked Brian about the extent of the frost-related losses – “​We can’t find one single rationale for the distribution of frost in 2016, no single parameter. In the end it was just one of those things, Château de Puligny-Montrachet and de Montille lost only about 20% of the usual total, so compared to many domaines, we can’t complain about that. In 2016 we made 13 treatments vs 8 in 2017, and from one perspective the frost put the brakes on growth, which helped the eventual classicism of the vintage. ​There was a lack of confidence going into vinification because we’d treated so often and the year had been so tough, so I back-pedalled a little on the whole-clusters – this conservative approach was maybe overdone but we could have benefited the vintage in showcasing a more open transparency – ​less stone fruits. I think it is more ‘pinot’ which is maybe a bad thing to say in burgundy! But we expressed the soils well I think. ​If wine is made as a recipe vs with reflection and experience then the wines are less consistent.

The wines…

Great wines from ‘these addresses’ in 2016. On this day I would give the honours to the reds. Some fabulous wines, particularly the classic range of Volnays & Pommards…

2016 Château de Puligny, Bourgogne Clos du Château
‘5 hectares in front of Château which was an orchard when the AOC was made so might have been classed as villages in other circumstances. No frost here. Sulfured recently.’
A pretty and fine purity of aroma. A hint of fat to the texture, but this really kicks of its shoes from the mid-palate with an extended and quite delicious finish. Very yum!

2016 Château de Puligny, St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
South facing with a little more clay from Dents du Chiens above.
Ooh, bright, clarity, faintly reductive – super. Supple, deep flavoured, a little reductive on the palate too, the texture having plenty of richness. Again really a super finish. So super wine!

2016 Château de Puligny, Puligny-Montrachet
Grapes coming from Levron, Baudrières-Nosroy plus about 80% from declassified 1er Chalumaux
A deep nose, with bright points of fresh and ripe citrus, a subtle reduction. More transparent on the palate, great shape and clarity, a mineral impression. Like the previous wines, the finish here is really impressive. This is simply a great villages Puligny!
2016 Château de Puligny, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Chalumaux
Only 0.30 hectares, due to the declassifying of the other 0.80 ha. 60 year-old vines vs 45 in the parcel of the last wine
A little narrower aromatic up top but much more width in the depth – subtle, ripe lemon at the base. More mineral, more mouth-watering, no hard edges or rigour despite the higher level of minerality. Really quite a wine! Delicious finishing with a floral component. Excellent! And quite a step up!

2016 Château de Puligny, Chevalier-Montrachet
Lost about 50%. Around 25% new oak with more lees – a mix of normal barrels and demi-muids. Part not yet racked from barrel – all the rest was racked in August.
Ooh – now that’s a very fine nose, of volume, of complexity, based in ripe citrus but so much more too. Rather calm in the mouth, slowly growing wider, really rocky style, great silky texture. Still some elevage to do as you see a little more rigour in this wine – but then you can see more of everything!

Domaine de Montille whites:

2016 Meursault
Came originally from Chateau Puligny, there are no Meursaults from Château Puligny any more. This a mix of Castets and Petit Charrons.
A good, faintly spiced Meursault nose. Ooh that’s really good on the palate – wide, faintly spiced but with a very fine, slightly acidulated mid-palate and finishing flavour. Nice extra dimension of flavour too. Very tasty!

2016 Meursault 1er Poruzots
Fresher, wider, perhaps purer citrus and faint spice. This is on a relatively subtle level – lots of fine complexity, but today missing a little direction and perhaps intensity too, but the finishing energy and complexity are both lovely and delicious – really delicious….

2016 Meursault 1er Les Perrières
0.45 hectares located in the upper part of the vineyard.
That’s a big, punchy nose, with a little reduction here. A little reductive on the palate too, but with really fine texture and a little extra depth of flavour – this is a little loose today but with great material that I think will come really well together.

2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Le Cailleret
Planted in 1993, this 0.85 hectare parcel directly borders Montrachet. Made a little differently, less lees, less stirring, looking to hold onto the salinity of the backbone of this wine, ‘Otherwise I think I’m miss-representing the terroir as it can become more Meursault in style.’
A nice volume of composed aroma, citrus and modest reduction. Great volume, a fresh, mineral side but balanced by some fat. Really mouth-watering, changing, complex flavour,

2016 Corton-Charlemagne
Purchased in 2004, this 1.02 hectares parcel was originally planted to pinot, sold as Corton-Pougets. In 2005 the higher part of the 35-year-old vineyard was grafted over with chardonnay, and the lower part replanted with chardonnay.
A fresh nose, of slowly growing volume. Fresh in the mouth too, almost off-ripe but the mouth-watering flavour is fine, no hard edges, and really, really mouth-watering… In the finish this is a little floral and absolutely delicious.

Les de Montille Rouges…

​2016 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
About 2 ha – one ha in the bottom of Volnay, the rest between Puligny and Meursault. Now in tank, will probably bottle in March.
A nice depth of red cherry – attractive. Good volume, the texture is good, just a suggestion of tannin framing the wine. But young and with very nice fruit – this will be a friendly wine.

2016 Beaune 1er Sizies
1.62 hectares – ‘A clay wine’ – one-third whole cluster. Lost about 40% to frost. The malo only finished in August.
A little more depth of aroma. Fresher, more overt fresh red fruit – super, but the structure says ‘wait’ the tannin that wraps around this wine will need a modest amount of time to start fading. The finishing flavour is delicious and fresh with a little floral component. Excellent.

2016 Beaune 1er Grèves
Older vines compares to Sizies, one-third whole-cluster with 20% new oak. At least half the volume was lost in 2016.
Ooh, that’s a nice nose of ample volume and agreeable dark red fruit – yes! Big in the mouth, a little drag of tannic texture but almost no grain. This is impressively big wine. That you can almost chew in the finish. Super potential, with a twist more energy this would be grand vin!

2016 Volnay 1er Mitans
0.72 hectares. 2/3 wc one-third new oak.
The nose is actually rather tight. Lots of volume a little more energy vs the Grèves – a bright rather floral flavour style, long, long, on a concentrated line of flavour. Impressive stuff! The tannin only really shows in the finish today…

2016 Volnay 1er Champans
On third whole clusters and oak.
The nose has a tight width but a beguiling depth of aroma. Brighter, fresher, more dimension of flavour. There’s some tannic presence but this is really a special – bravo!
2016 Volnay 1er Taillepieds
1.51 hectares. ‘Flagship of the house and the oldest vines with 65 years, like all vintages 100% whole cluster, some gravel over the limestone here.’
Quite a deep colour, a little more open – mainly the spicy herby whole cluster notes. Supple, a little edge of fat, of plushness to the texture. Micro-grained tannin with just a twist of astringence. Spicy-complex in the finish. And what a volume of flavour in the finish. Great wine!
2016 Pommard 1er Pezerolles
One third wc and oak. On the north side of Pommard above Grands Epenots. Lots of limestone, less iron and clay than many climats here. Not so old – about 25yo vines. This partly frosted, but Grands Epenots below was completely lost!
A fresher, darker almost black fruit nose – I love the transparency. Fresh, cool personality, lithe, growing concentration – the tannin growing and enveloping the palate at the same time. Great wine again and a little more accessible than the Taillepieds.
2016 Pommard 1er Les Rugiens-Bas
1.02 hectares. Also 1/3 wc but about 40% new oak. much more iron in the soil. A little older vines than Pezerolles, nearly 50 years-old. Chunks of limestone here and a little chlorosis in the vines. Possibly called Cuvée Hubert in the future – it was only bottled in magnums with that name in 2015.
A good volume of transparent fruit but despite its transparency, it also has weight. Lots of volume, lots of muscle, but lithe and moving with an extra quality of depth of flavour. I don’t see it at all addresses for this wine, but here is a grand cru style of extra depth.

2016 Nuits St.Georges 1er Cru Aux Thorey
De Montille got 5 ha in the Côte de Nuits from Thomas-Moillard, including this Aux Thorey – 0.73 hectare of vines.​ Two thirds wc and 50% new oak. 100% limestone in this part of the vineyard.
Tighter up top but a very fine depth of dark fruit on this nose. Wide, a super expanse of flavour, slowly growing tannin, the grain a little larger than the Côte de Beaune wines, but really a different style here, almost a little spice to this flavour. It’s really showing superbly well.

2016 Corton Clos du Roi
0.84 hectares of vines.​ Older vines – about 70.
A freshness and depth of aroma but not really so open. There’s a little overt wc flavour showing in this wine – probably the first one, though also super fruit with a great intensity behind. Last thought is the tannin. This is super wine – I like this a lot….

2016 Clos de Vougeot
One third wc and 50% new oak. More clay and moisture retentive soils. About 50 yo vines, some parts with more younger replacements. ‘I used to make 100% wc but it was rustic and tannic taking a lot of time to lose its angularity, hence a little less now.’
A nice volume of aroma – top to bottom impressive – though a little narrower. Great on the plate – slowly growing volume, and with that, presence, the tannin likewise growing in volume, faintly saline. Complex, and proper CV!

2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts
2/3 wc 55% new oak
A nose that has parallels with the CV but with a more relaxed and open base of aroma. More width, more dimension of flavour – freshness of fruit and really mouth-watering flavour. This is structured – à la CV – not a voluptuous Vosne. But what achingly fine finishing flavour – bravo!
2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Malconsorts Cuvée Christianne
What this parcel doesn’t have, is the upper part of Malconsorts that is all on limestone – there’s more clay and silt here. 2016 was the first year where the vinification of these Malconsorts was not identical, the first wine extracted a little less to manage the chalk a little better. 2/3 wc and a little more oak. Malos finished in October.
Still not the biggest of noses, but a clarity and pure complexity that is not the same as the last wine. Volume again, but more depth of supple flavour, the tannin really grows but the mouth-watering complexity is held in check by the slightly blocky tannin today… really great wine for all that!

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