To start with the conclusion – we both expected more from this wine – 2004 Puligny Montrachet from Carillon. However, it did have its interesting points, the first of which was a very bright green-yellow colour with plenty of viscosity. The clarity suggested quality and a lack of filtration which we had seen before in more expensive white Burgundies. The bottle was brought in from a cold conservatory and, not unsurprisingly, the nose was a little shy but we could detect citrus (grapefruit) notes and a subtle freshness that was attractive. As the wine warmed, the creamier aromas started to show and the notes became more complex. Richard suggested it had a lanolin bouquet. This wine really illustrated the importance of temperature; the not realising of the full potential of more complex white wines when they’re too cold. The taste was of lemon sweetness, developing into a nuttiness as the evening progressed and the front palate was of a big wine with some weight in the mouth. So far so good, however – and here’s the disappointing bit – it lacked any real staying power in the mouth and rather faded away to its dry finish as did our expectations.
We dived into references about the vintage which proclaimed weather problems of rain and hail leaving the wines with higher than average acidity. Someone even claimed it was the ‘worst vintage’. Perhaps that was the reason for the lack of punch. Now my colleague needs even more convincing about the qualities of Burgundy. This was £30 about five years ago. [Richard: this came from the Wine Society as part of a ‘mystery’ burgundy case, something they no longer offer, unfortunately. I suspect the £30 (which I’d written on the label) was the retail price and that I got it for rather less. Not a bad wine but the same amount spent on something from, say, Australia would surely have been superior.]