Sunday, August 29, 2010
2007 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières, $150
From the greatest of all Puligny producers, the kind of wine that should be delivered by Grace Kelly. Very vibrant and intense, with a honeysuckle nose, a silky texture and a heart of stone.
2007 Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes, $119
A stunning wine, with piercing high notes that reminded me why Daniel Johnnes compares great Puligny to a violin concerto.
Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Clos des Mouchère, $100
From a privileged site in the premier-cru Perrières vineyard, this is a very rich, fleshy Puligny with a powerful underlying structure.
2007 Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet, $45
A very well balanced, crisp, classic Puligny with a touch of green apple, citrus and stone.
2007 Ramonet Puligny-Montrachet Les Ensegnières, $42
A medium-bodied, complex Puligny from the great maker of Chassagne Montrachet, more elegant and mineral than his wines from the rival commune.
2008 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Puligny-Montrachet Le Trezin, $50
A really intense village wine from high up on the slope the hill where the soil is thin and the vines struggle. Really fine, vibrant
Ms. Kelly brought Montrachet and a meal from the '21' club to Jimmy Stewart in 'Rear Window.'
The first time I remember drinking white Burgundy was in 1985, shortly after I returned to Manhattan after a sojourn at graduate school. The bottle in question was a birthday present from my second wife, a 1982 Carillon Puligny-Montrachet. I'm not entirely sure whether it was a premier cru, from one of the vineyards on the middle slope of the gentle rising hillside adjacent to the famous grand-cru Montrachet vineyard, or a simple village wine from the lowland vineyards, but I was blown away when I tasted the wine and Puligny-Montrachet immediately became my favorite special-occasion white.
Over the years I've learned to love Meursault, Chassagne Montrachet and even select New World Chardonnays, but I've always maintained a soft spot for the wines of Puligny, a small village on the lower slope of the famous hillside known as the Côtes d'Or. Puligny-Montrachet is located in the southernmost part of the region, the Côtes de Beaune, home of the best white Burgundies, made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape. In 1879 the tiny village of Puligny, in an effort to boost its own profile and the price of its wine, attached its own name to that of its most famous vineyard. Le Montrachet had long been hailed as the world's greatest dry white wine; Claude Arnoux, writing in 1728 could find no words in either French or Latin to describe its splendors (an example that wine critics should sometimes ponder) and Thomas Jefferson was a big fan; after tasting the 1782 vintage he ordered an entire 130-gallon cask, according to John Hallman's "Thomas Jefferson on Wine." Must have been some party. More recently, Montrachet was the wine that Grace Kelly brought over to wheelchair-bound Jimmy Stewart's apartment in "Rear Window," along with a meal from the '21' club. I think I'd willingly break my own leg for that kind of delivery.