Burgundian Whites: E. Sauzet
We returned from our recent Burgundy trip brimming with enthusiasm and excitement for our producers, the quality of 2013 and the positive development of the 2012 vintage. We tasted at numerous Cote de Beaune cellars, however, a particular highlight was a visit to Domaine Etienne Sauzet. Their stunning vineyard holdings from Bourgogne Blanc up to Montrachet produce wines of scintillating quality that impressed and captivated all of us, even in the tricky post-lunch tasting slot – quite a feat!
We have been lucky enough to have a close relationship with this estate for almost a generation. Gérard Boudot, resident winemaker and son-in-law of Etienne spoke to us about the importance of a vineyard’s altitude and aspect when making white Burgundy, in particular the Garenne vineyard which picks up a cooler wind from the north and is usually the last parcel to be picked. This is an estate that truly understands their terroir and the intricate detail of Burgundy myriad vineyards. What impressed us on our recent visit was just how pliable and expressive these wines are, even at a relatively young age. They possess wonderful freshness, a citric character and a rich, saline palate – undoubtedly a wine lover’s style of white Burgundy.
The vineyards have been organic since 2006 and biodynamic since 2010 and there is a clear emphasis on minimal intervention. This leads to a pure, mineral quality that is the hallmark of the Domaine’s style. These wines have the rare ability to be impressive on all levels; the Bourgogne Blanc Tufera offers pleasure and value in equal measure, while the Pulignys are reference points for their respective vineyards. But it is perhaps the Puligny Village that is the real benchmark of this estate’s quality – this is consistently excellent, always brimming with intense white fruit, rapier like precision and wonderful freshness. It is by anyone’s standards, a very fine Puligny indeed.
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