Etienne Sauzet, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Champ-Gain 2016 is no longer available

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Etienne Sauzet, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Champ-Gain 2016

White Wine from France - Burgundy
From a vineyard near La Truffière, and surrounded by a forest, this sheltered site produces quite a ripe, full-bodied wine with rich fruit supported by a firm structure. Low stock: this wine is only available in the 2016 Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet mixed case. 2019–2023.
is no longer available
Code: BU67061

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Côte de Beaune

The Côte de Beaune runs from Ladoix-Serrigny in the north to Cheilly lè Maranges in the south, on the southern escarpment of the Côte d’Or. Beaune is the town at its heart. The most famous wines of the area are white, but many excellent reds are produced.

The soils of the area are predominantly mixtures of clay and limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The hillsides here, split and riven by streams and side-valleys, provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as various aspects ranging from east-facing to south and south-west facing. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle. Soils with more limestone suit chardonnay more than pinot, hence the number of famous white burgundies produced...
The Côte de Beaune runs from Ladoix-Serrigny in the north to Cheilly lè Maranges in the south, on the southern escarpment of the Côte d’Or. Beaune is the town at its heart. The most famous wines of the area are white, but many excellent reds are produced.

The soils of the area are predominantly mixtures of clay and limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The hillsides here, split and riven by streams and side-valleys, provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as various aspects ranging from east-facing to south and south-west facing. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle. Soils with more limestone suit chardonnay more than pinot, hence the number of famous white burgundies produced here.

The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy.

Pinot noir and chardonnay are the two permitted grapes of any significance, though Aligoté is grown occasionally for crisp, mouth-watering whites that are often used to make kir, and some generic Bourgogne or Crémant can be made with pinot blanc, pinot gris and beurrot can be made.

The appellations to be found in the Côte de Beaune are as follows: Ladoix, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton , Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Savigny-lès Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Monthélie, Auxey-Duresses, Saint-Romain, Meursault, Saint-Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay and Maranges

Côte de Beaune-Villages and Bourgogne-Hautes Côtes de Beaune are also made. The former is solely for red wines and the latter includes some whites as well. Both are mostly from vineyards on the top of the escarpment and some represent good value for early drinking Burgundy.

Côte de Beaune wines are generally lighter than those from the Côte de Nuits. Beaunes are soft and round, Volnays fine and silky. Pommards are the exception: due to more clay in the soil, they can be notably tannic and in need of considerable bottle age. The greatest of all white Burgundies, Le Montrachet, is made here between Chassagne and Puligny.
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Etienne Sauzet

Consistently fine from year to year, with trademark richness and elegant class, the wines of Etienne Sauzet are some of the most sought after in Puligny-Montrachet.

It was established by the eponymous Etienne Sauzet when he inherited some vines in the early 1900s; he added to these in the 1920s, and bought vines in several premiers and grands crus vineyards in the 1950s. In 1974, the year before his death, he was succeeded by his granddaughter Jeanine and her husband Gérard Boudot, and they have recently been assisted by the fourth generation of the family to be involved, their daughter Emilie and her husband Benoît Riffault.

In the 1990s, Jeanine shared her inheritance of the domaine with her two brothers – Henri and Jean-Marc Boillot – both of which have their own domaines. Jean-Marc decided to remove his share of the vines from the domaine, prompting Jeanine and Gérard to acquire several new premiers crus and grands crus [either premiers and grands crus or premier and grand cru sites] , and also to launch a négociant business so they could buy in grapes. Bought-in fruit still constitutes around a third of the blend, and includes grapes sourced from three premier cru vineyards. As they assemble the fruit of their own domaine and bought-in grapes, they have to choose either to label the wines separately as domaine or négociant, or to mix them both. They choose the latter course so cannot claim domaine status.

Etienne Sauzet now owns 10 hectares of vines (including a small...
Consistently fine from year to year, with trademark richness and elegant class, the wines of Etienne Sauzet are some of the most sought after in Puligny-Montrachet.

It was established by the eponymous Etienne Sauzet when he inherited some vines in the early 1900s; he added to these in the 1920s, and bought vines in several premiers and grands crus vineyards in the 1950s. In 1974, the year before his death, he was succeeded by his granddaughter Jeanine and her husband Gérard Boudot, and they have recently been assisted by the fourth generation of the family to be involved, their daughter Emilie and her husband Benoît Riffault.

In the 1990s, Jeanine shared her inheritance of the domaine with her two brothers – Henri and Jean-Marc Boillot – both of which have their own domaines. Jean-Marc decided to remove his share of the vines from the domaine, prompting Jeanine and Gérard to acquire several new premiers crus and grands crus [either premiers and grands crus or premier and grand cru sites] , and also to launch a négociant business so they could buy in grapes. Bought-in fruit still constitutes around a third of the blend, and includes grapes sourced from three premier cru vineyards. As they assemble the fruit of their own domaine and bought-in grapes, they have to choose either to label the wines separately as domaine or négociant, or to mix them both. They choose the latter course so cannot claim domaine status.

Etienne Sauzet now owns 10 hectares of vines (including a small amount in Chassagne-Montrachet), farmed organically since 2006 and which have been biodynamic since 2010. The family has seven vineyard sites in Puligny-Montrachet as well as 6 premiers crus.

Of these, La Garenne has the crispest acidity thanks to high altitude and poor soils. Le Champ Gain is lower down, and has deeper, redder soils, resulting in softer and rounder wines. Wines from Les Referts are bold and ripe, and next door, Les Perrières has younger vines planted on stonier, better-draining soil, but its wines are still powerful. Further up the hill are the domaine’s final two premier cru vineyard sites, Le Champs Canet and Les Combettes, whose excellent balance of clay and chalk soils are reflected in the quality of their wines.

Grapes are pressed in whole clusters using a pneumatic press, before being fermented in casks on their lees, with yeast added only in the most difficult years. Since 2000, a lower portion of new oak has been used for ageing: for premiers crus this is between 20 and 33%, whereas grands crus age in 40% new oak. The wines spend a year in oak then a further six months in stainless-steel tanks, remaining on a proportion of their lees, before the village wines are bottled in December and January, followed by the premiers and grands crus in February and March.
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Burgundy Vintage 2016

It is difficult to compare this special vintage with previous ones: the wines have the aromas of a cool year and the palates of a ripe one. Normally, wines with ripe palates will have less intense aromas, while aromatic wines can have excessive acidity or scratchy tannins. In 2016, we have all the benefits and none of the disadvantages. The only big problem is quantity: 2016 produced roughly half a normal crop due to a severe frost. What has been made, however, is exceptional.

Reds are pure, intense and exquisite, especially in the Côte d’Or, which had the best weather. Combine this with deep colour, ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a fresh finish, and one has something very rare. The ripe character and the quality of the tannins are remarkable.

There is some inconsistency in style – the frost damage is very variable, so that leads to great differences in yield and therefore ripeness – but quality is uniformly high, with medium to long-term ageing potential. An exceptional year.

The...
It is difficult to compare this special vintage with previous ones: the wines have the aromas of a cool year and the palates of a ripe one. Normally, wines with ripe palates will have less intense aromas, while aromatic wines can have excessive acidity or scratchy tannins. In 2016, we have all the benefits and none of the disadvantages. The only big problem is quantity: 2016 produced roughly half a normal crop due to a severe frost. What has been made, however, is exceptional.

Reds are pure, intense and exquisite, especially in the Côte d’Or, which had the best weather. Combine this with deep colour, ripe fruit, sweet tannins and a fresh finish, and one has something very rare. The ripe character and the quality of the tannins are remarkable.

There is some inconsistency in style – the frost damage is very variable, so that leads to great differences in yield and therefore ripeness – but quality is uniformly high, with medium to long-term ageing potential. An exceptional year.

The whites have a similar blend of freshness and ripeness – traits that are usually diametrically opposed. To find them in the same wines is very unusual.

There is a little more variation in style and quality than for the reds. The Côte d’Or was the warmest region, while Chablis was distinctly cooler, with a rainy September, making bright, tense and classic wines. The Mâconnais, spared the frost, was successful too, but 1,500ha were damaged by hail in the south of the region.
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2016 vintage reviews

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