By Anthony Hanson MW, 18 Jun 2020
Subtle changes have taken place at Étienne Sauzet since Gérard Boudot’s daughter Emilie and her husband Benoît Riffault became increasingly responsible for day-to-day activities. Benoît grew up on his family wine domaine in Sancerre, but his boots today are 100% caked with the soils of Puligny-Montrachet. Étienne Sauzet’s wines have been bio-dynamically cultivated since 2008/9, the wines being some of the village’s purest and most precise examples. “2019 is a very special vintage,” says Benoît, “which I like a lot. The characters of the wines, from each individual plot, are distinctive, which is rather surprising, in such a hot year. It reminds me of 2017, but more concentrated, and we have kept the freshness.” This is a great vintage at Étienne Sauzet, and we warmly recommend that you let us know your wishes as soon as possible, as our allocations cover a wide range of great wines, but volumes are modest.
Puligny-Montrachet, Étienne Sauzet 2019
This comes from twelve plots around the village, with the vines called Les Meix, just uphill from the Domaine, representing about 30% of the cuvée. Most of the blend comes from the Chassagne-Montrachet side, where the deep soils give broad wines. Three plots are on the pebble-rich Meursault side. The wine is entirely barrel-fermented, less than 15% of which being new. This wine brings together the best of “village level” Puligny-Montrachet, and indeed is text-book Puligny at its purest and most vibrant. Colour is pale, green-golden, aromas are lemony and fine. Palate shows elegant, bright fruit, with good concentration and a lively, floral finish (for drinking 2021-2025+).
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières, Étienne Sauzet 2019
These vines grow on stony, well-drained hummocks which filter water away quickly, giving intensely fruity, lively wines. The vineyard was planted in 1987, and we have been buying this wine ever since we first tasted it, even from young vines. It has consistently gained complexity as the roots have penetrated more deeply. Medium deep golden in colour, this is very ripe and fresh. The wine has structure and power, with freshly concentrated fruitiness and remarkable energy on the finish (for drinking 2021-2026+).
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes, Étienne Sauzet 2019
Les Combettes is always on very tight allocation, with 70% of the production coming from 60-year-old vines, whose small berries give a limited, intensely flavoured production. The vineyard is planted on terraces bordering the commune boundary with Meursault, just south of that appellation’s Meursault-Charmes-dessus. This is richly golden in colour, with clean, fine fruitiness on the nose, very elegant. Palate is majestic, with alcohol and fruitiness in perfect harmony, finishing long, complex and vibrant (for drinking 2022-2030+).
Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Étienne Sauzet 2019
This is white Burgundy of particular beauty – less powerful than its neighbour Bâtard- Montrachet, but with exceptional richness and complexity. Colour is deep, golden-green, aromas being tight, when tasted in October, but promising well. Palate is broadly structured and full-bodied, with many-layered flavours and substantial, vibrant aftertaste (for drinking 2022-2028+).
Le Montrachet Grand Cru, Étienne Sauzet 2019
These grapes come entirely from the Chassagne-Montrachet side of the vineyard. They have given an outstanding wine, which has been slowly ageing in oak barrels, 40% of which were new. Lively greengold in colour, this shows thrilling spiciness, with freshness on the nose. The palate is magnificent, broadly built, densely fruity, with gorgeous, creamy texture and spectacular length (for drinking 2024-2035+).