The 2018 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières has turned out nicely in bottle, unfurling in the glass with scents of white flowers, citrus zest, crisp Anjou pear, white peach and beeswax. Medium-bodied, lively and mineral, it’s fine-boned and elegant, with tangy acids and a saline finish.
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.
(91pts) William Kelley February 2020 Week 2, The Wine Advocate)