2012 Puligny Montrachet La Garenne Etienne Sauzet



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£68.00

Average critic rating : 89.5 points

89

89

A markedly floral and cool nose also features ripe notes of dried yellow orchard fruit but with no exotic nuances. This is quite rich and very concentrated, indeed there is an almost chewy mouth feel to the mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that coat the palate with dry extract before concluding in a lingering if only moderately complex finale. This is delicious and if it can add depth in bottle my score may be a bit too conservative. Tasted: Jun 15, 2014. Drink: 2018+

89-91

89-91

The 2012 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne comes from the estate’s 0.8-hectare parcel close to the hamlet of Blagny. It has a pretty bouquet with hints of white peach and passion fruit at first, though with aeration this ebbs away to reveal stony, Alpine stream scents. The palate is crisp on the entry with pithy fruit combining well with the citrus and bitter lemon. There is a fine edginess here with a touch of lemongrass lining the spicy finish. While this represents a creditable Puligny premier cru, I suggest that the village cru might represent better value and other premier crus offer more breeding this year. ||Etienne Sauzet has been a source of fine Puligny wines since I first dipped my toe into Burgundy. I visited their winery located on the fringe of Puligny that was constructed just over ten years ago: a tastefully furnished facility equipped with a comfortable tasting room, ideal for laptops tired of being precariously balanced between barrels. Sauzet’s policy has been to buy in fruit to augment their own 9.5-hectare of holdings, almost exclusively from within Puligny-Montrachet. The original parcels had been accumulated by Etienne Sauzet in the 1920s and expanded in piecemeal fashion until 1989, whereupon his daughter divided their vineyards for tax purposes. After almost inevitable familial dissention the holdings were splintered to form domains Jean-Marc Boillot (based in Pommard and taking a significant proportion of the vines) and Henri Boillot (Volnay). Together they essentially deprived daughter Jeanine and her husband Gerard Boudot of the lion’s share of their premier crus. Ergo from 1991 Gerard and Jeanine supplemented the family’s remaining vines with out-sourced fruit and set about rebuilding their own portfolio in Batard-Montrachet and Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet. Jeanine’s son-in-law Benoit Riffault, who escorted me through their 2012s, commented that these days the domaine is out-sourcing less than previously. Now approximately 15% of fruit is bought in through contracts and I can imagine that figure might ultimately be zero. Their portfolio did not go unscathed by the difficult growing season. There were one or two esteemed premier crus such as Les Folatieres and Les Champs Canet whereby the triple whammy of hail damage confiscated the wines of their usual breeding. Some of these parcels were up to 80% down and the total crop was depleted by half. Fortunately, they are in the minority. Otherwise, I found that their best wines were brimming over with vigor and tension, encapsulating the mineralite of their terroirs. Sauzet’s wines can sometimes be obscured by sulfur in their youth. However, I did not find such problems here. And I feel that as the domaine as relied less and less on out-sourced fruit, so their wines have become more and more consistent. In 2012 they are crowned by a scintillating Chevalier-Montrachet that ranks as one of the finest that I tasted. If that is beyond your means, then apart from some outstanding premier crus, their Puligny village cru is as dependable as ever. Spotting a couple of palates of village cru destined for “The Wine Society” in the UK, I imagined a lot of satisfied members savoring this superb wine over the next three or four years. N.B. Readers can view Benoit expressing his opinions of the 2012 vintage on www.erobertparker.com. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013

The Sauzet domaine covers roughly 10 hectares in Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet and produces some of the finest white Burgundies available. Winemaker Gerard Boudot has a magic touch and the wines, from the village Puligny to the grand crus, are exceptional across the board.



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