Etienne Sauzet Batard-Montrachet Chardonnay Burgundy White Cote de Beaune 2010
Regular price Sale price $499.00
Domaine Etienne Sauzet
Grand Cru White barrel
Score: 93-96 Burghound
Tasted: Jun 01, 2012
Note: from vines in both Puligny and Chassagne that is almost a 50/50 split and aged in 50% new wood
Producer note: Gérard Boudot described the 2010 vintage as one that "gave us a tiny harvest. The was a lot of shatter and a poor flowering that resulted in an exceptionally high incidence of shot berries, indeed it's the highest that I have seen since 1995. This of course provides many things to the resulting wines which include richness in alcohol along with firm acidities and much better than average concentration. Despite the fact that the growing season was wetter than normal, the low crop load and north wind allowed the fruit to ripen as there was a lot of light even with the cloud cover. After the big thunder storm on the 12th of September we mobilized our picking teams quickly and began as soon as we could, which in this case was on the 17th. There was a bit of sorting but nothing serious as the fruit was generally quite clean thanks once again to the effects of the north wind. Potential alcohols were very good at between 12.5 and 13.4% and thus there was no chaptalization necessary. The grape skins were thick and you had to press slowly and even when you did, the musts were heavy with lees. Given this and the natural high concentration levels I stirred the lees a grand total of two times. Interestingly the malos were long even though there really wasn't a lot of malic acid. For example, the average pH before the malos was right around 3 and afterwards about 3.15, which isn't really much change. Another effect of the excellent concentration is that I wanted at all costs to avoid any sense of heaviness so even with the relatively low pHs I used much less new wood than I typically do. Overall, the wines don't really strongly resemble any vintage in my experience though if I had to choose one I would say that they resemble the 2008s." Over the last several years I have reported on the various changes for premature oxidation that Boudot has instigated and noted that once again he tinkered with the level of SO2. In 2007 he used 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 he maintained that level for 2009 and that will be his goal at bottling for the 2010s. Not surprisingly, at those levels the presence of sulfur is often 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: As is typically the case this is slightly riper than the Bienvenues with a pretty and densely fruited nose of white peach, pear, acacia blossom and background hints of citrus and toast. As is also typical, this large-scaled, intense, concentrated and overtly powerful effort is clearly bigger, richer and more imposing than its grand cru partner. The complexity is simply fantastic as is the persistence of the palate staining finish. While I usually am more impressed by finesse and refinement than power as it's much harder to achieve, the extra depth and stunning length of the Bâtard gives it the nod in 2010. Note that this is also bone dry and will need every bit of 12 to 15 years to arrive at its apogee. In a word, wow.