Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
- Burgundy, France
Herbaceous intensity and a whiff of farmyard butter and cereal notes, this shows encouraging initial vibrancy for a Corton Charlie, and an elegance and precision that promises to raise it to amongst the best whites of the vintage. Like a prima ballerina in the wings waiting to spring on stage, you can sense the coiled tension in this wine. Patience is required but will be rewarded.
Tasting with winemaker Brian Sieve at de Montille is always a pleasurable education, and once again we were treated to an impressively consistent set of wines, including the domaine’s best whites since 2014, accompanied by his typically measured appraisal of the vintage and the market. Regarding the latter, Brian suggests that prices are due to stabilize but that demand is relentless and quality high - “your top domaines are going to swing and miss on very few vintages”, and with certain domaines guiding particular crus on a specific trajectory, 2017 could be seen as excellent value in a few year’s time.
Of the vintage, Brian says 2017 is built for serious pleasure, with svelte tannins and juicy structure holding plenty of strawberries and raspberries. Preferring to pick early when grapes still have two thirds tartaric acid, and only a third malic acid, he believes the domaine’s 2017 reds have the supple richness and concentration of 2016 with the quantity, acidity and primary red fruit profile of 2011. Easy to understand, balanced and graceful, with alcohol bordering 13%, 2017 is good news for drinkers and yet he sees nothing to suggest the wines won’t age well.
Etienne de Montille meanwhile begins by quoting neighbour Michel Lafarge who said 2017 is “a mix of ‘59 and ‘61”. In his own reds, Etienne sees a rare vintage with plenty of plush, fleshy fruit and early integration, a sense of floral freshness like 2007, but with tension and spiciness due to their preference for varying degrees of whole cluster. This is allied to a rare intensity of minerality and salinity, accompanied by no harsh, square tannins, and so he is delighted by the sense of harmony in the wines. And then there are the whites… “best since 2014”, without quite the same density and volume, but with same transparency, salinity and vivacity.
Domaine de Montille, Beaune 1er Cru 'Les Aigrots', 2009
From £44.60 per bottle
Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru 'Les Taillepieds', 2017
From £360.00 per bottle
Domaine de Montille Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru 'Aux Malconsorts', 2017
From £450.00 per bottle
Domaine de Montille Bourgogne Blanc, 2017
From £29.20 per bottle
Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru 'Les Rugiens - Bas', 2017
From £567.00 per case
Domaine de Montille, Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Aux Thorey, 2011
From £55.80 per bottle
Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru 'Les Pézerolles', 2017
From £432.00 per case