Etienne Sauzet – 2020


Benoît Riffault 2021 Domaine Etienne SauzetTasted in Puligny-Montrachet with Benoît Riffault, 04 November 2021.

Domaine Etienne Sauzet
11 Rue de Poiseul
21190 Puligny-Montrachet
Tel: +33 3 80 21 32 10
More reports with Domaine Etienne Sauzet

Benoît on 2021:
A very small vintage. It was the heat of the week before the frost that has to take a lot of the blame, as early April frosts are hardly anything new – the snow didn’t help either – we have, maybe, 5 hl/ha in the 1er crus. Less high on the hill we have 30-40% of a normal vintage.

Benoît on 2020:
We had more than 2019, less than 2018 but it’s an okay volume here. A very early harvest of course – 22-29 August – only in 2003 did we also finish harvesting in August, we started 1 day later in 2003. The start of the growth was rapid and it stayed rapid! A road that was warm and dry, becoming drier and drier! Things became ready quite early but not too quickly so we had an easier time to harvest, allowing us to follow the maturities – starting low, finishing high. We are happy.

The wines…

I thought this the greatest cellar of 2019s I tasted – the 20s are less ‘easy’ but they are concentrated, sculpted and impressively pure, fluid wines – they are great again – but very different, and all will reward your patience…

Classic cork is used here to seal the bottles but 49mm with different widths and then finished with wax. All the corks are pre-tested for TCA. At this stage, nothing was bottled – Benoît looking to start around March:

2020 Bourgogne Chardonnay
this cuvée from 3 parcels in the commune of Puligny, plus some bought grapes from the bottom of Meursault too. It could be Côte d’Or – the label hasn’t yet changed…
Pretty, fresh, elegant – very inviting. Quite some structure, a little oak flavour too – but I like the shape of this… Wait a little for it…

2020 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Jardin de Calvert
‘We bought a domaine in the Hautes Côtes behind Rochpot after the 2014 harvest – the esprit here is a little like St.Romain.’ 4-500 m of altitude here, made in foudres.
This has a little edge of toastiness – but combined with airy fruit too. Extra fresh, full of energetic agrume fruit and a suggestion of reduction. Slowly melting deliciously over the palate. That’s already much more approachable than the Bourgogne. Excellent Hautes Côtes!

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet Enseigneres
Airy and wide, this time without toastiness. Some gas but a beautifully mobile, fresh, energetic width of flavour. Really mouth-watering in the finish – almost juicy in style with a little extra Chassagne depth in the finish. Also excellent villages…

2020 Puligny-Montrachet
12 parcels in 7 different climats – a large part from Les Meix – approaching one-third. Houlières, Enseigneres, Rue au Vaches and others…
That’s a nose! Some extra orange-fleshed fruit in this mix of agrume – bravo. Vibrant, almost dynamic win. So pure – the epitome of tension – bravo!

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er La Garenne
Direction Blagny with some depth of soil here.
A more composed, deeper nose – lots of class here. More direct, saline style, juicy again, more savoury in style with waves of finishing flavour. Brightly intense, unsweetened citrus finishing, some zesty citrus skin at the end. The villages is the much ‘easier’ drink today but this will be excellent.

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Hameau de Blagny
Ripe yellow citrus with more impact in the higher tones vs the previous Garenne. A little like the Garenne there’s not much sweetness here, though more than that wine – here it’s more of a green-skinned citrus style. Fine and structural finishing, never hard – simply excellent wine!

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Referts
The first wine that blends some floral notes with the fruit. Extra width and intensity – such a clarity, a fluidity to this flavour – mineral, pure, simply great!
2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Perrières
Also some floral notes, wider, perhaps a hint more diffuse than the Referts but elegant and inviting. Similar to the last – concentrated but so pure with clarity to the ample concentration. That’s another special wine.

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Truffières
Narrower, deeper, more a ripe lime fruit here. Mouth-filling, a suggestion of fat but also an element of directness. At first silky then showing a fine grain of tannin. A slight element of reduction but then an impressively growing width of finishing flavour – completely different in style to the previous wines. Super!

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet
Concentrated but vibrant too – the fruit is ripe but the nose is fresh. Direct, cool fruit – tension – a floral accent to the flavours too. Really a lot of finishing concentration – zesty again, only very slowly fading. A great finish and an excellent wine…

2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières En la Richarde
Not the aromatic power of some, but what a gorgeously floral delivery of the citrus complexity. Extra fresh, extra mineral – never any concern about the acidity – it’s just so perfectly packaged. Pure, pure Puligny – the suggestion of barrel in the finish will fade quite quickly leaving great Puligny!
2020 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combettes
Clean, pure – oh yes! Extra mineral – much to compare with the Referts – so mouth-watering, again it’s a juicy wine but the finish has a little extra depth and energy – great wine again!

2020 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
The third parcel away from Pucelles, old vines since 1936 – a small cuvée
There’s a little of the Perrières to this mineral nose. The flavour profile too, there’s just an extra depth of concentration to the clean agrume fruit. That’s just so mouth-wateringly impressive wine which then slowly widens in a compelling finish – a simply excellent Grand Cru!

2020 Bâtard-Montrachet
The continuation of their Bienvenues parcel that runs all the way up to the Montrachet vines of Laguiche.
A more composed, less directly energetic nose. Really wide on the palate melting with extra flavour from the already intensity – mineral, complex, growing even larger in the finish – again, simply excellent wine that just goes on and on…

2020 Chevalier-Montrachet
We’re starting on high and working down, this from a contract in the high part of Chevalier.
Vibrant, floral, a little mineral, a little noble reduction too – it has everything and is simply great! Even after the last wines – next level here. A touch of oak is quickly forgotten as the waves of minerally fresh agrume flavour wash over you with such impressive clarity. The finish is stony and lingering – not growing as impressively as the Bâtard but still sustaining for an age. Bravo – no doubt!
2020 Montrachet
Technically ‘Le Montrachet’ but not on the label
An extra floral here – acacia I think – not as complete and openly complex as the Chevalier but no less compelling. More density but perfectly carried – there’s the energy of the Chevalier but with more concentration than even the Bâtard. Not as instantly the ‘greatest’ Montrachet that I’ve tasted like it was last year but still clearly the most complete wine in the line-up – but you will get more from the Chevalier today – so wait for this, if you must 😉

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