“Gorgeous” New Puligny-Montrachet: “the Grace Kelly of Wines”

“Puligny-Montrachet is where Burgundian Chardonnay is at its most complete,” writes Clive Coates MW. The tiny town, covering over less than one square mile, has made highly sought-after wine for nearly a thousand years. Today most consider it, as Coates puts it, “the greatest white wine commune on earth.”

What makes this tiny corner of Burgundy so special? On the ground, it’s a combination of soil content (limestone, clay, and other minerals), slope, and exposition. In the glass, Puligny is a white Burgundy with added structure, more tension, and a beautiful, angular elegance. Or as Jay McInerney puts it, Puligny is “the Grace Kelly of wines.”

Winemaker Gérard Thomas owns a tiny sliver of land in Puligny-Montrachet — just over a hectare, or about half of a Manhattan city block. Thomas’s Puligny 1er cru has the richness and concentration of neighboring Meursault and Chassagne, but adds a sort of lively raciness only found in Puligny. This is brisk, energetic wine backed up by a rich and tension-filled core.

The 2017 Puligny “La Garenne” from Thomas is fresh and young — the youthful tension keeps it brisk and quite energetic. But beneath is a smooth, powerful core with good richness and excellent length. Jancis Robinson found “Toasted nuts, saline and mineral on the nose…gorgeous apple fruit that has just enough ripeness” calling it “Powerful yet retaining the Puligny sense of lightness.”

Serve this with a chicken roasted with rosemary and garlic; enjoy over the next five years.


Thomas Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru 2017
bottle price: $65

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