Bit by the Burg Bug

Once you’re hooked on white Burgundy, there’s no going back.

Today’s Story: Etienne Sauzet

Domaine Etienne Sauzet found its origin in the early 20th century when Etienne inherited and purchased additional grape vines in the village of Puligny-Montrachet. A family endeavor throughout its history, the domaine has operated under four generations and became modernized under Etienne’s granddaughter, Jeanine Boillot, and her husband Gérard Boudot. The efforts by Jeanine and Gérard include improved vinification techniques and a transition to biodynamic farming. Currently, Jeanine’s daughter Emilie and her husband Benoît Riffault produce the wines.

Comprised of 15 hectares distributed on Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Cormot-le-Grand in the Hautes côtes de Beaune, the domaine produces an assortment of white wines. Like many producers, Sauzet offers a regional Borgogne but also produces Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet villages, nine 1er Crus (including the one I am reviewing today), and four Grand Crus. Sauzet’s Grand Cru sites include Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Batard-Montrachet, and Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet.

Today’s Wine: 2010 Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes

100% Chardonnay; 13.5% ABV

When seeking out a white Burgundy to be the first wine for dinner with a good friend, I was very excited to find this bottle which happens to be my first from Etienne Sauzet. In appearance, this wine is a gorgeous, crystal-clear pale gold. As the wine opened up, enthralling aromas of pitted melon, honeysuckle, white florals, flakey vanilla pastry, Manchego cheese, white chocolate, and cotton candy (!) leap from the glass. My eyes, as well as my friend’s, nearly popped out every time we took a sniff. On the palate, we got flavors of stone fruit, lemon zest, baked green apple, white pepper, butter, and seaside minerality. Utterly complex and still way too young, this wine is full-bodied with mouthwatering high acidity that culminates into an oily yet luxurious mouthfeel. I will buy more to lay down.

Price: $160. This is an outstanding value for 1er Cru white Burgundy. Already drinking beautifully, the age-worthiness of this bottle makes it a staple in any cellar. Pair this with shellfish, particularly lobster. It even went well with our Italian sausage bruschetta.

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