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Puligny-Montrachet

Puligny-Montrachet
Puligny-Montrachet is a small, renowned village and appellation in the south part of Côte de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy. It is one of the most famous wine areas for the production of Chardonnay in France and the world. Originally the village's name was Pugliny and in 1879, together with the neighbouring village of Chassagne, was allowed to add the name of its most famous vineyard Montrachet to its name. The appellation has an iconic status, with its white wines accounting for more than 99.5% of the production, leaving only 0.5% for red wines made from Pinot Noir.

The area under vine covers 95,5 hectares made of 17 Premier Cru vineyards and 4 Grand Cru. An interesting fact about the boundaries of two of the Grand Cru vineyards including Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet, is that they share them with the village and appellation of the Chassagne-Montrachet. The other two Grand Cru vineyards Chevalier Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet are in Puligny. The indisputable success of the Chardonnay in Puligny-Montrachet and the area around lies in the terroir, as the French say. The climate of the region is continental with warm and dry summers and cool long winters. The dominant soils are brown limestone or soils where limestone alternates with marls and limey-clays with different water retention and depth. The best vineyards have East and South-East exposure with an altitude between 230-320 metres above sea level.

The style of the wines is remarkable and very recognisable as they are concentrated and well-bred with bright gold colour, greenish highlights, which are becoming more intense with age. The nose reminds of ripe grapes, marzipan, amber, lemongrass, green apple and hazelnut. Often they are described as milky, with butter and hot croissant scents. The distinctive mineral aromas of flint are common, as it is the honey, where body and bouquet blend into a subtle harmony.

The specific terroir of Puligny-Montrachet can be compared to its neighbouring appellations on the north with Chassagne and south with Meursault. It has more mineral and firmer structure than the more accessible wines from Chassagne and the more perfumed wines of Meursault. The notable Premier Cru vineyards which achieve a Grand Cru quality in good years are Les Demoiselles, Le Cailleret, Les Pucelles, Les Combettes and Les Folatières. Although the white wines dominate the entire appellation, a small vineyard near the tiny village of Blagny produces an excellent and rare red wine from Pinot Noir.

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