Wine lovers (as distinct from those addicted to the effects of alcohol) get their highs from nuances of flavours. They search for new flavour experiences and the imagination plays a significant part in this process. We see a bottle whilst gazing at shelves or read about a wine and think ‘that will be interesting, I’ll buy that’. Hence the amassing of lots of bottles that one day ……
And some times a flavour will stop us dead. These moments live in the memory and become benchmarks by which other wines are evaluated. Friday was one of those moments. Sauzet’s Puligny Montrachet 2011 (Wine Society £39) is not a cheap wine by any standard – but an expensive wine has more to do to impress than one at £6. More is expected of it; this did not disappoint.
The colour was a clear, bright pale lemon with a distinct green tinge; there were some windows. The nose was one that could be experienced time and again – each occasion being different to the last. Initially, slightly white peppery, this faded to be replaced by a freshness of acidity that was restrained, slightly austere and then another change to a very slightly honeyed note as the wine sat in the glass.
The tastes were equally complex. Lemony-lime flavoured immediately, the palate was dry and very long with a very slight vanilla flavour – suggesting some oak contact. We thought of greengages – as these typified the slightly underripe refreshing quality. This was a powerful wine yet lean and restrained in its power. As the wine developed in the glass it became richer in its flavours. A wine of delicacy and finesse.
Personally, if I’m going to spend £40 on wine for a special occasion I’d rather buy this than a bottle of champagne at the same price – but it demands a more serious approach. Perhaps that says more about me than the wine.
[Richard: I really, really dislike those lazy books or articles on the ‘1,000 things to do before you die’ theme. Nevertheless, very good white burgundy is something I’ve never tasted…and I’m getting on. So I was tempted by a half case of Sauzet, one of the best makers in the region. A selection of different Puligny Montrachets and all drinking now or in the next couple of years. This was pretty good for a village wine and Geoff has accurately captured my thoughts.]