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Burgundy Wine Cellars

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Type
White Wine
Domaine Borgeot Puligny-Montrachet 'Grands Champs' 2016

Domaine Borgeot Puligny-Montrachet 'Grands Champs' 2016

Appellation
Puligny-Montrachet
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2016
Add To Cart
$82.00
 
SKU: EBOR14W-16
Overview

The ‘Golden triangle’ of great white Burgundy is Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and, arguably the finest of the three, Puligny-Montrachet.   This single-vineyard  village appellation is a wine of great finesse and elegance.  Pure and bright, with glints of white gold. Orchard blossoms and peaches make the bouquet.  Silky and long, ending on both flowers and fruit.

Producer
The Borgeot brothers, Pascal and Laurent, have great 'touch' with Chardonnay, producing classy and distictive village and 1er cru wines in Burgundy's 'golden triangle' of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault. But Santenay is home turf, and their wines from there and the Cotes Chalonnaise just to the south are undiscovered gems and also well worth a look.
Vintage

BURGUNDY 2016 VINTAGE

If that first taste of the 2016 Burgundy vintage really grabs your attention, count yourself lucky. Lucky in the same way that wine makers in Burgundy consider themselves lucky.

The excellent 2016 vintage was a nightmare for them, running a gamut of emotions from depression to despair, then out the other side towards hope and something resembling jubilation. It’s no exaggeration to say that 2016 took its toll on the collective psyche of the region.

After a very mild winter, April was frigid, with early hail in Macon and (yet again) Chablis. Then, on the night of the 26th, a freak frost descended on much of the Cotes de Nuits and almost all of the Cote de Beaune. I say ‘freak’ because it was a winter frost, not an April frost; meaning that it hit higher up the slopes than a spring frost would, touching vineyards that almost never freeze, notably Musigny and Montrachet.

It got worse. May was cool and depressingly wet, with storms when it wasn’t drizzling. It’s then that the first corridors of mildew appeared. It hailed again in Chablis. The mood was like the weather: chilly and grey. And it continued like this until the solstice, by which time the estimates were for an overall 50% crop loss across the region. It was hard to coax a smile from even the most seasoned winemakers.

Flowering took place in mid-June and was a bit protracted. It forecast a late September harvest, 100 days away. And given what had come before, the small crop looked incredibly vulnerable.

But with the solstice came summer. A magnificent July and August, with heat enough to curb the mildew, brought exceptional conditions for grapes. Talk in the cellars turned from tales of woe to the benefits of low-yield vintages.

As always in Burgundy, September makes the wine. In 2016, the perfect amount of rain fell on September 14th, at the perfect time to counter the heat stress that the vines were starting to show. And the fruit then ripened quickly in impeccable dry and sunny conditions.

What in mid-June seemed like a doomed crop was suddenly being touted as the equivalent of 2015, and maybe even better! Low yield years give intensity and concentration. Cool vintages give good acidity and balance. 2016 was both. Not a lot of fruit; but from serious ‘vignerons’, what there was was beautiful.

The wines, both red and white, are fresh, chiseled, with balanced acidity and concentration. The whites are definitely better than the 2015s, which lacked a touch of acidity. They are cool and energetic. Maybe not to the level of the fabulous 14s, but there are many similarities.

As to the comparisons between 2015 and 2016, many commentators cite 1990 and 1991. Both 1990 and 2015 are considered among the finest red vintages in living memory. And the vintages that followed them were both low-yield vintages that suffered early frost damage. Both 1990 and 2015 were hot years; both 1991 and 2016 were relatively cool. Both 1990 and 2015 were media darlings, and still are. 1991 got lost in the blare; maybe 2016 as well. But both 1991 and 2016 are arguably much more typically Burgundian than their world-stage predecessors. Classy and classic, ‘typical’ (in the best sense of the word), the greatest fault of the 2016 vintage could be its irregularity.

Remember, this was a tough one for Burgundy. For some producers, it was the fourth consecutive year that their vineyards were damaged and their yields were low. There had not been a ‘normal’ crop since 2009, so their cellars were empty. And when we talk of 50% crop loss, that’s an average across the region. Some areas had zero crop.

So when we get excited about the quality of the 2016s, we need a little restraint as well. Not everyone did the meticulous vineyard work that was necessary to get through the horrible start. As always, if you want to find the best wines, you need to know the best producers. Another important consideration in a low-yield vintage is the shortage of grapes, which means that the big negociant houses can have trouble sourcing fruit. Be careful with negociant wines in 2016. Buy from tried-and-true producers.

Appellation

PULIGNY-MONTRACHET

COTE DE BEAUNE

Many think of Puligny-Montrachet, along with Chassagne-Montrachet, as the most perfect expression of the Chardonnay grape. As always of course, it depends on who makes the wine. But one thing is certain, the premiers crus do have pedigree, with most of them bordering the north side of the grands crus. The village wines are produced mainly in the flat-lands to the west of the village itself. Plots which adjoin the hamlet of Blagny produce a red wine, but in tiny quantities.

Produced only in the commune of Puligny-Montrachet, appellation Puligny-Montrachet includes 17 premiers crus. The commune of Puligny-Montrachet also produces 4 grands crus

Wine

Red wine is fast disappearing from Puligny-Montrachet due to the world-class reputation of and subsequent demand for the whites. A well-made one should be brilliant greeny gold color, becoming more intense with age. The bouquet brings together hedge-row blossoms, grapey fruit, almonds and hazelnut, lemon-grass and green apple. Milky and smoky mineral aromas are common, as is honey. Balance and concentration are the hallmarks of a good Puligny.

Terroirs

Brown limestone soils and soils where limestone alternates with marl and limey-clay are prevalent. The soils are deep in some places, and in others, the rock is exposed at the surface. Where there are clay alluvia, these are coarser higher up the slopes and finer at the base. Expositions run east and south-east at altitudes of 230-320 meters.

Color

Almost all whites - Chardonnay

Reds - Pinot Noir

Production surface area

1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres

Whites : 206.72 ha (including 96.58 ha Premier Cru)

Reds : 1.26 ha (including 0.27 ha Premier Cru)

Food

Puligny-Montrachet should be concentrated and well-bred. Balance, aromatic complexity, and purity call out for delicate but rich food. Poultry in sauce or sauteed veal with mushrooms. They go well with foie gras, lobster, crayfish, and grilled fish. On the cheese-board, it works with creamy goat cheeses or soft-centered cheeses like Brie de Meaux.

Appellations

Red wines from the defined area of this appellation may use the alternative appellation 'Cote de Beaune Village'

The following climats are classified as grands crus:

Chevalier-Montrachet

Batard-Montrachet

Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet

Criot-Batard-Montrachet

On the label, the appellations 'Puligny-Montrachet' and 'Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru' may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.

The following climats are classified as premier cru:

Champ

Clavaillon

Clos de la Garenne

Clos de la Mouchère

Hameau de Blagny

La Garenne

La Truffière

Le Cailleret

Les Chalumaux

Les Combettes

Les Demoiselles

Les Folatières

Les Perrières

Les Pucelles

Les Referts

Sous le Puits

The following climats are village wines from a single vineyard, known as a lieu-dit:

Au Paupillot

Brelance

Champ Croyon

Corvée des Vignes

Derrière la Velle

La Rousselle

La Rue aux Vaches

Le Trézin

Le Village

Les Aubues

Les Boudrières

Les Charmes

Les Enseignères

Les Grands Champs

Les Houlières

Les Levrons

Les Meix

Les Nosroyes

Les Petites Nosroyes

Les Petits Grands Champs

Les Reuchaux

Les Tremblots

Meix Pelletier

Noyer Bret

Rue Rousseau

Voitte

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