What We Say 2005 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from the Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Les Champs-Gains’ is truly a wine of elegance and finesse. If you are a fan of the highest expression of Chardonnay, this wine belongs in your cellar.
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Mission Codename: A Higher Expression
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exceptional Premier Cru white Burgundy
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Domaine Roger Belland
Wine Subject: 2005 Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Champs-Gains’ Premier Cru
Winemaker: Roger and Julie Belland
While California is well known for the ubiquitous Chardonnay, this grape finds its highest form of expression in France’s Cote de Beaune communes of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, where we find our self today. The Premier Crus of Puligny-Montrachet represent Chardonnay of exceptional finesse and elegance with deeply complex but subtle aromas and flavors. Located about 10 miles south of Beaune along the N74, are most influenced by the cooler and wetter climate and its limestone soil.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep yellow with bright gold reflections through its crystal clear core. When swirled, this wine leaves slow widely spaced legs that descend to the wine below at random speeds.
Smell – Complex and refined, this subtle aromatic wine shows hints of white flowers, toasted nuts, chalky minerality and honey over a base of bright citrus fruits.
Feel – Medium to full-bodied with extremely well integrated and balanced tannins and acidity that support the array of flavors long into the finish. Slightly creamy in texture but not overly weighted with a touch of minerality.
Taste – Deceptively complex flavors hide just underneath generously sweet and lively citrus and peach fruit and subtle fresh honey flavors. A touch of persistent minerality, rich toasted nuts, delicate vanilla and oak.
Finish – Clean and persistent with lingering fruit and other harmonious flavors that emerge and fade into the next flavor.
Conclusion – I wouldn’t call the *2005 Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Champs-Gains’ Premier Cru * austere, as this wine’s sleek elegance and subtlety emerges as you explore its depth of aromas and flavors fully. Extremely well balanced and integrated, this is a delicious Chardonnay that really delivers. Enjoy this wine now or cellar for the next 10-15 years. Pair this opulent wine with simple grilled lobster – it doesn’t get any better than that! Divine…
Below is a recap of Agent White’s and Blush’s recent visit to Burgundy.
… December 2008 – East Central France, Côte-d’Or department …
We began the day early as we wanted to hit the Route des Grand Crus with lots of time to enjoy the food and especially the wine. Zipping through the back roads from our safe house in Bar Sur Aube(south end of the Champagne region) to Dijon at this hour was fast but just outside of Dijon, we started to hit the normal business day traffic. Thankfully, the GPS devise in my handheld spy communicator quickly re-routed us around and soon we were headed south through some of the finest vineyards in all of Burgundy.
The N74, or Route de Dijon as its known officially but wine aficionados know this as the Route de Grand Crus. We slowed down and started taking it all in. The names of each commune and village familiar to anyone who has spent time in the French section of a good wine shop. The vineyards, this time of year, bare, with a slight fog resting in the lower valleys, and along the tops of the hills to the west. A slight drizzle fell creating an almost surreal experience as the fog and low clouds moved with the weather exposing and then rehiding these prized vineyards.
After our lunch in Beaune, Agent Blush and I had the chance to explore some of the smaller communes that overlooked the valley and in particular, the historic village of Puligny-Montrachet with is many Premier Cru vineyards that are famous for exceptional white Burgundy. Puligny-Montrachet is located just about a ten miles south of Beaune. The white wines from Puligny-Montrachet are truly representative of the purity, finesse and elegance that Burgundy is known for.
Quite simply, this is the life. While you may not have been able to join us on the Holiday in Beaune, today’s selection from Domaine Roger Belland will at least give you a small bit of the flavor of the trip!
A votre sante!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the village of Puligny-Montrachet can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Domaine Roger Belland
Agent White on the Route des Grand Crus, France.
True identity concealed.
About This Wine:
Dress: Brilliant, pale gold with green hints.
Nose: Mineral, white blossom and grapefruit.
Mouth: Racy wine, full, complex, lively and persistent. The dominant personality of this wine is the finesse
and the elegance.
Food Pairing: Ideal served with flambeed king prawns, scallops, grilled salmon steaks or sole fillets.
Le Champs-Gains is located at 330 metres of altitude, above the Montrachet and on the Meursault side. It is one of the most famous “climat” of Chassagne Montrachet. Up to some geologists, Puligny’s geographic position confers to its wines a big elegance.
The unspoiled grapes of Chardonnay are pressed thanks to a pneumatic press.
After a natural cold decanting of thirty six hours in thermoregulated stainless steel tanks, the grape-juice ferments at low temperature in French oak barrels in our cellars.
During the malolactic fermentations, once a week, we stir the lees in the barrels, in order to give more body and complexity to our wines.
We bottle ourselves at the Domain, after eight to twelve months of maturation.
About The Domaine:
Roger BELLAND and his daughter Julie represent the fifth and sixth generation of the Domain Belland.
Passionately fond of exceptional wines since six generations, we cultivate 23 hectares of vines, mainly situated in the best terroirs of Premiers and Grands Crus of Les Maranges, Santenay, Chassagne Montrachet, Puligny Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay and Pommard.
In the vineyard: After the pruning, during the Spring, we very seriously accomplish tasks like the disbudding, in order to control the yields, but also to privilege the prophylactic techniques to the chemicals ones of disease protection.
The rows of our vines are all sown with a selected grass, what is a very good thing for the environment. It enables to suppress the use chemical weed-killers, to expand the microbial life of the soils ant to fight against erosion.
This technique also helps to control the yields, and thus to respect better the typicity of each terroir.
Since the month of June, leaves are thinned out of the fruit-bearing zone, in order to aerate the grapes and enable them to get a maximum of sunlight.
Therefore we are resolutely interested in a supervised and mastered viticulture, respectful with the environment.
The harvest: They’re entirely hand-made, like the sorting of the grapes, which is effected in the vine on a sorting table in a very rigorous way.
The grapes are harvested and carried in very small grape boxes, in order that we may vinify beautiful grapes absolutely not spoilt.
In the cellar: Thanks to our modern winery, the macerations and fermentations pass off at low temperature, because we do love round, complex and fruity wines.
After a maturing in French oak barrels in our cellars, we bottle the wines ourselves at the Domain.
Grape variety: Exclusively 30 years old Chardonnay vines
Surface area: 0,45 ha
Terroir: Very stony clay-limestone soil
Working method: Vines sown with grass- leaves thinned out
Maturing: 8 month in French oak barrels- 30% new oak
Production: 2400 bottles/year