Etienne de Montille at Hinawi (Jun 3, 2007)

This Sunday I spent the evening at a wine tasting/cocktail party event held in honor of Etienne de Montille, of Domaine de Montille and Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet. It was perhaps not the best of settings for formal, detailed notes, so I will just say that the whites won big time and that this blogger feels vindicated.

I don't know quite how to express my feelings about the reds. They are elegant enough yet lacked concentration of fruit to offset the tannins and felt a bit sweet at times yet somewhat underripe at the same time. I suspect I might be doing them something of an injustice because this venerable estate, while surely not to everyone's taste, has a track record of wines that take time to mature and don't show well young (although from what I've read the style has changed in recent years). However, at the prices these wines are selling for I'm reluctant to experiment. I would like to think it's just the vintage: If I were to base a vintage estimation based on a comparison between the simple Bourgogne of 2004 and the one from 2002, which I dearly loved, my money's on 2002. Having said that, my favorite of the reds was the Pommard; at half the price, I'd go for it.

The whites are a different tale. I don't think the Clos de Chateau is a giant step beyond generic Bourgogne, since I've been spoiled by Jobard's Bourgogne of the same year, but the two Puligny-Montrachet Premier Crus are everything I love about great white wines. Great structure, fiery minerality (especially the Caillerets), cool elegance and enough fruit to consume the oak that is still obvious.

The Wines

de Montille, Bourgogne, 2004
de Montille, Beaune, Sizies, 2004
de Montille, Volnay, Champans, 2004
de Montille, Pommard, Pezerolles, 2004
de Montille, Corton, Grand Cru, 2004
de Montille, Puligny-Montrachet, Caillerets, 2004
Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet, Bourgogne Clos de Chateau, 2004
Chateau de Pulligny-Montrachet, Chalmeaux, 2004

(all Premier Crus except for the two generic Bourgognes).


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