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Bottle Size: 750 ml
The 2016 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gains, matured in up to 35% new oak, was showing a touch of reduction on the nose like the En Remilly, although it was far easier to discern the intense citrus and Granny Smith apple scents underneath. The palate is well balanced with a fine line of acidity, lightly honeyed fruit, not a complex Champs Gain but one endowed with nascent energy and there is a pleasant prickle of spice on the finish. Give this a couple of years in barrel to show what it can do.
Located on the fringe of Puligny village, Alain Chavy has quietly gone about making fine white Burgundy in recent years. Still, 2016 posed its own problems. “In May and June it rained and there was a lot of mildew, not only on the leaves but on the berries," he told me. "This meant that I had to do 13 treatments in the vineyard when I usually do around eight. The rain fortunately stopped in July. We were touched by frost, but in Puligny it was not as bad as in Chassagne-Montrachet, where some vineyards were severely affected. We lost around half the crop in the Bourgogne Blanc, a hectare in Enseigneurs and Tremblot, but Les Pucelles was cropped at around 30 hectoliters per hectare and Folatières and Clavaillons were fine. There was 50 millimeters of rain five or six days before harvest. The vines were so thirsty since it had been dry from mid-July and some vines suffered some hydric stress. The berries became enlarged and this gave us the yield and did add some dilution. We started picking on 22 September and finished five days later, employing between 40 and 45 pickers. The 2016s underwent a gentle fermentation, the temperature increased gradually and calmly. It was necessary to chaptalize, the berries coming in around 12° to 12.5° because of the hydric stress retarding the growing cycle. The wines were racked at the end of August and blended, and they will be fined in around two weeks. There were not a lot of aromas before the racking but then they exploded and the wine improved.” This was an able set of wines from Alain, peaking with his premier cru Puligny-Montrachets that I found equal to his barrel of Chevalier-Montrachet. WA91
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