Puligny-Montrachet: exceptional white Burgundy wines
This Burgundy appellation produces some of the most famous white wines in the world. In the heart of the Côte de Beaune, between Meursault, Saint-Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet delivers one of the most perfect expressions of the Chardonnay grape, the emblematic variety of Burgundy. The commune also owes its reputation to four famous Grands Crus, two of which are produced exclusively in its vineyards. The appellation also includes rare and confidential red wines, which are made from pinot noir.
General presentation of Puligny-Montrachet
The vineyard of Puligny-Montrachet is located between Santenay and Meursault, in the south of the famous Côte de Beaune, in the Côte-d'Or. This Burgundian village is one of the essential stops on the Route des Grands Crus. Four of the 33 Grands Crus in Burgundy are produced here: Chevalier-Montrachet, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and, shared with Chassagne-Montrachet, Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet.
Here, Chardonnay is king. The appellation offers mainly white wines with vines covering about 210 hectares, of which nearly 100 are classified as Premier Cru. Pinot Noir represents barely 1 hectare, mainly planted around the hamlet of Blagny; half of which is classified as Premier Cru.
This Village AOC includes 17 Premier Cru Climats. They are spread over the top of the hillside, north of the Grands Crus and Chassagne-Montrachet. Among the most famous are: Champ Gain, Clavaillon, Le Cailleret, Les Combettes, Les Folatières and Les Pucelles.
The Village appellation crus are located to the east, at the bottom of the hillside.
Characteristics of Puligny-Montrachet
The white wines of the Puligny-Montrachet appellation are first of all seductive because of their brilliant golden colour with greenish hues. The rich and complex aromatic palette includes white flowers such as hawthorn, dried fruits such as hazelnuts and almonds, and ripe fruits such as grapes and green apples. Mineral aromas of flint and gunflint are frequent, as is the buttery taste typical of Chardonnay, which tends to evoke a warm croissant. After a few years of ageing, honey further enriches this bouquet.
Tender and fruity, the red wines of Puligny-Montrachet are distinguished by their clear, clean red colour, which darkens with age. Red and black fruits dominate the aromas: blackcurrant, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant... With age, notes of leather, fur and musk appear.
The AOC Puligny-Montrachet offers wines with good ageing potential. The white wines age for 5 to 15 years, or even longer in the best years. The reds can be kept for 4 to 12 years, more for the best vintages.
How to taste a puligny-montrachet
The white wines of Puligny-Montrachet Village and Premier Cru are perfect with rich and delicate dishes. They go well with noble fish and seafood: turbot, Saint-Pierre, monkfish, pike, salmon, lobster, scallops... They also accompany poultry in sauce, foie gras as well as goat's cheese, reblochon, cîteaux and brie de Meaux.
The red wines of Puligny-Montrachet AOC go well with grilled red meats, pork, veal, roast poultry and Comté cheese.
For their temperature of service, it is advised to serve a white puligny-montrachet wine at 11-13° and a red puligny-montrachet wine at 15-16°.