Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru 'Les Pézerolles'
- Burgundy, France
One of my favourite Pommards of the vintage, this is a focussed, mineral, chalky premier cru red that wouldn't look out of place in the upper slopes of Volnay. Crunchy, refined and beautifully balanced, it gains added complexity from one-third whole clusters and 30% new wood.
95/100 Tim Atkin MW for Decanter
Breezily attractive and supple, with a bright, chalky character which recalls the grace of Volnay as much as the power of Pommard, Pezerolles, a vineyard that has been part of the domaine since the 1960s, is in an elevated position in every sense, on limestone rich soils just above the more famous (and expensive) Epenots. A third whole bunch and a third new oak play their part but this vineyard always expresses itself eloquently if not loudly with bright, lifted red fruits, which are transparent to the terroir, giving a crunchy and vibrant profile, with floral, saline freshness and then then a wave of savoury, dark tannin on the finish just to remind you where you are. A Pommard for Volnay converts who don’t want to forget their past...
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.
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