Pale color. Knockout highly nuanced nose combines white peach, spices, noble Puligny herbs and flowers. The wine’s superb richness is buffered by strong saline minerality and a distinctive note of powdery chalk. Finishes bone-dry and very long, with terrific purity and grip. But there’s nothing hard about this beauty, as it’s balanced from the start. A real essence of dry minerality.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2028
Robert Parker 91-93
The 2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru les Folatières is much more aloof on the nose compared to the nascent les Perrières, doesn’t quite get out of second gear. The palate is fresh and vibrant with a keen thread of acidity and goes some way to make up for the sulkiness of the aromatics. Especially towards the finish, where it delivers Meursault-like hazelnut and walnut notes. Give this 3-4 years in bottle and it should rise phoenix-like. Winemaker Benoît Riffault has quietly steered Etienne Sauzet towards more consistency and pedigree. Bottles from the 1990s and 2000s were besmirched with premature oxidation issues that tarnished the reputation that had been built up over the years; however, speaking around, it would appear that whilst nothing can ever be guaranteed, there is far more consistency and reliability. And in Benoît they have a talented, often sanguine vigneron who seems adept at taking things in his stride, taking vintages as they come. And I must admit, upon departing the domaine I reflected upon the wines I had tasted and dwelled upon what an impressive portfolio they have accumulated (both from their own vines and contract agreements). Settling down in their tasting room, I first asked Benoît to adumbrate the growing season… “The 2014 vintage was not too difficult compared to 2012 and 2013. We had good flowering and not too much hail in Puligny at the end June. The hail was not too hard and there were dry conditions afterwards. Around July 10 we had some rain and that was good because some of the vines were on the limit [of hydric stress]. After that, August was not so good. However, it improved towards the end. The maturity was good with fine maturity of grapes with no rot. It is a balanced vintage with good fruit, a very Burgundian vintage in the spirit, no more and no less. It is my idea of a classic Burgundy. We started picking on September 11. The whites were put directly into barrel and racked after 12 months, then put into stainless steel to mature on the lees for six months. We have moved to a reductive way [of élevage] that I think allows the wines to age.”
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2032