2006 Pommard Les Rugiens Hubert de Montille

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Average critic rating : 90.5 points



The de Montille 2006 Pommard Les Rugiens – which I last tasted just before its bottling – displays site-typical rich meatiness and smoky, "ferrous" character, with abundant but reasonably fine-grained tannins and formidable grip. Dark berries and burley tobacco, peat and iodine give this a metaphorically very dark hue. It has plenty of structure, but less vivacity than the corresponding Taillepieds, and it will be interesting to see whether in the long run this proves to have more tannin that it needs to get where it's going over the next decade. I would in any event grant it a 3-4 year head start. ||Domaine de Montille – for more about whose generational change and impressive recent expansion consult my report in issue 171 – has now completed the renovation of old cellars in Meursault that house in addition to the estate's wines those of Deux Montilles, the white wine negociant project of siblings Etienne and Alix de Montille (for a report on which, see my issue 186 coverage of 2007 vintage white Burgundies). The de Montilles began picking in Volnay on September 25, followed by harvest of Pommard, Corton, and then Beaune. "The sugar levels were around 13% potential alcohol and they kept going up," reports Etienne de Montille, "but I didn't taste that much difference in the ripeness of the fruit." Meanwhile, rot was threatening, and diligent triage as well as gentle, watchful vinification followed. But de Montille – who sees the vintage as combining aspects of 2000 and 2002 – persisted in his recent fidelity to whole-clusters and stem inclusion, with the top cuvees hovering around 50% vendange entier. Incidentally, de Montille had the estate's new cellars scrupulously searched and tested for signs of TCA; has installed a system for removing chlorine from the water used there; and (in a move that will affect an even larger portion of the production at Chateau de Puligny, which he directs) will be employing DIAM composite corks for the bottling of several (relatively) less-expensive wines, starting with vintage 2008.||Various importers, including Beaune Imports, Berkeley, CA; tel. (510) 559 1040; also, a Thomas Calder Selection, Paris; fax 011-33-1-46-45-15-29 Wine Advocate.December, 2009

Domaine de Montille is now without doubt one of the finest producers in Burgundy. This is a domaine with considerable history: Hubert de Montille inherited the domaine in the 1950s. A pioneer of domaine bottling, he is one of the grand old men of Burgundy. His son, Etienne has been in charge since 1995, having assisted his father here since the early 1980s. Etienne moved to fully organic farming in 1995, and the transition to biodynamics began in 2005; at the same time the domaine expanded into the Côte de Nuits, with some exceptional plots in Nuits St Georges and Vosne, including a very special parcel of Les Malconsorts – Cuvee Christiane - from vines just under La Tache.

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