Puligny was one of two villages (along with Chassagne) which gained
permission in 1879 to hyphenate the name of its most famous vineyard,
Montrachet, to its own.
The reputation of Puligny-Montrachet is based around its four Grand
Crus. Montrachet labels often boast a noble, triumphant Le in front of its
name, lest you dare confuse it with any lesser wine. It has much to be proud
of, with many considering Montrachet to be the greatest white wine in
the world. At its best it has an intensity, complexity and elegance that make
you wonder how such a wine could be made from mere grapes.
The luxurious and explosive Chevalier-Montrachet is not quite as deep
although it is probably the next best. Only marginally less impressive, and
rather more consistent than Montrachet is the richly textured
Bâtard-Montrachet (also shared with Chassagne).
Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet is equally good, with the focus on honeyed
finesse and exquisite balance rather than richness.
These legendary wines are supported by a host of fabulous Premier Cru
vineyards which can reach Grand Cru quality. Brimming with flavour and
intensity, Le Cailleret and Les Pucelles, which both lie across
the road from Le Montrachet, are prime candidates, along with Les
Demoiselles, Les Combettes and Folatières.
Sandwiched between the larger Chassagne and Meursault, Puligny
produces wines that are more striking than any in the Côte dOr, portraying a
floral elegance alongside a stylish, steely concentration. They are very
different to Meursault: more refined and delicate, and less rich.
Village level Puligny-Montrachet from top growers can be very good
indeed, but is all too often unexciting and disappointing. Grand Crus normally
need at least 8 years before they can be broached, and last for 20 or more.
Premier Crus should generally be drunk between 5 and 15 years of age; village
wines from 3 to 10.
In theory, you can find
red Puligny-Montrachet but it scarcely exists any more and is rarely
worth the price tag.
- 114 hectares of village Puligny-Montrachet.
- 100 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (17 in all). Best vineyards
include Les Demoiselles, Le Cailleret, Les Pucelles, Les Combettes, Les
- 21 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards - Le Montrachet (part),
Chevalier-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet (part) and
- Recommended Producers: Leflaive, Carillon.
- Recommended Restaurant: Le Montrachet (excellent cuisine and good
wine list; also a hotel).