The 2018 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet has turned out nicely, wafting from the glass with an inviting bouquet of pear, citrus pith, toasted almonds, white flowers and wet limestone. Medium to full-bodied, layered and textural, it’s lively and saline, with good depth at the core.
The 2019 vintage shows promise at this Puligny-Montrachet reference point, defined by low yields, above-average alcohols but healthily low pHs. More concentrated and structured than Benoît Riffault’s 2018s chez Sauzet—revisited from bottle here—these are serious, broad-shouldered wines in the making, and they will repay some bottle age (as well as sympathetic culinary partnerships). What are the rudiments of winemaking at this address today? As I explained last year, hand-harvested fruit is pressed without crushing, the press cycle lasting around three and a half hours and performing “quite a few,” which is to say more than 20, rotations. The must is sulfited at the end of the press and settled for 24 hours, but Riffault retains most of the lees, fermenting in wood with ambient yeasts. The wines are racked to tank in July-August before the new vintage, whereas the premiers and grands crus spend as much as six months on their lees before bottling. All of Sauzet’s wines are bottled with high-quality unbleached and unwaxed cork.
(92pts) William Kelley February 2020 Week 2, The Wine Advocate)
A beautifully layered assortment exhibits notes of plenty of floral influence on the white peach, lemon rind, pear and discreet spice wisps. There is fine richness to the vibrant and highly seductive middle weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract that serves to buffer the moderately firm acid spine shaping the attractively long finish. Sauzet has an excellent track record with this wine and 2018 should only serve to enhance it.