Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet Champ-Gain Chardonnay Burgundy White Cote de Beaune 2008

Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet Champ-Gain Chardonnay Burgundy White Cote de Beaune 2008

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Domaine Etienne Sauzet
2008
Puligny-Montrachet "Champs Gain" 1er
1er Cru White 750 ml
Score: 90 Burghound
Tasted: Jun 01, 2010
Drink: 2013+
Issue: 39

Producer note: Gérard Boudot candidly calls 2008 a "surprising vintage. I was frankly very pessimistic at the beginning of September. We had the beginning of some botrytis pressure, sugars were low and nothing was even close to ripe. Finally, on the 13th the weather cleared up, the north wind began to blow and maturities exploded. In fact, what is truly remarkable is that in the space of 10 days, in some parcels we went from under ripe to mildly over ripe. More broadly, this has become a concern in Burgundy as to how fast fruit matures and there is just less and less margin for error. It's gotten to the point where in some vintages if you miss by a day you no longer obtain the quality that you thought you would have. We began picking on the 23rd and it was necessary to sort very carefully as there was some botrytis and as I mentioned, in certain parcels a bit of surmaturité. Potential alcohols were solid at between 12.5 and 13% and there was essentially almost no chaptalization though quantities were down roughly 20% compared to what we harvested in 2007. The malos were long and significant as the change in pH was dramatic. The post-malo pHs came in between 3.15 and 3.2, which is relatively low without being really aggressive. Overall, I like the vintage a lot but in all honesty, it's much, much better than we had any right to expect." Last year I reported on the various changes for premature oxidation that Boudot has instigated and noted that for 2007, he left things basically as they have been. At that time, Boudot told me that that he was aiming for a level between 38 and 40 ppm of SO2 in 2007 but that he reduced to between 37 and 38 ppm because he thought that 40 was noticeable. In 2008 however he told me that he raised it to 40 to 45 ppm and given that the wines had just been bottled, it was quite marked. I have not noted the presence of sulfur in every tasting note but readers should be aware that for the next year or two, they are likely to notice it until it has a chance to completely integrate. (Vineyard Brands, www.vineyardbrands.com, Birmingham, AL; O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com, Justerini & Brooks, www.justerinis.com, Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, Tanners Wine, www.tanners-wines.co.uk, Adnams, www.adnams.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com and Domaine Direct, www.domainedirect.co.uk, all UK; Sequin & Robillard/Vinifera, www.seguinrobillard.ca, Canada).
Tasting note: Despite the presence of a bit of unabsorbed sulfur the nose remains exuberant and quite fresh with intense citrus, white fruit and floral hints serving as a graceful intro to the delicious, delineated and racy flavors blessed with good cut and a real sense of underlying tension on the minerally and balanced finish. Thanks to the generous mid-palate fat, this should drink well early yet age with poise too.