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Wow, what an exciting example of Puligny Montrachet! Nice complex aroma of stone, lime, and smoke.

This must be what the critics mean by breed and purity. Beautiful green tinged gold color and absolutely clear as a diamond.

Perfect balance between acidity ,minerality, and fruit. A complexity of flavors ranging from nuts, pear, lemon, and stone and other things I can't decern. Elegant but muscular. A nice long finish. A signature Montrachet and one of the best I've ever had. Wish I had more of this big surprize from the 1999 vintage. 97pts for me

I think I paid $50 for this and it tasted better than some grand crus.
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Original Post
Dear Montrachet61,

Glad to hear about the great Carillon wine. And I would guess from your moniker that you are a Burgundy lover like myself. White Burgundies to me are in a class of their own. My epiphany was a 1982 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet "Les Referts" tasted 1995. While I appreciate our own domestic Chardonnays, they don't quite have what I am looking for. I believe that is because they are often grown in too hot a climate and too far South in CA. I have found some lovely Oregon Chardonnays, but the Oregonians have largely given up Chardonnay to the Californians as the average consumer thinks they are thin and tart. The trick is to age them for around 5-7 years. I will never forget tasting a well-cellared bottle of 1988 Argyle with Craig Eastman at the winery a few years ago. It was amazingly pure, had not turned yellow or maderized, and had that minerally stony thing one often finds in Puligny.

I would watch some of the new Chardonnays coming from the Great Lakes region, as I see you are from the Midwest. I have tasted some excellent examples from Ontario and New York. Our soils are glacial, mineral rich, and we are at a good latitude so the vine's natural vegetative cycle matches the seasons. The lakes have a moderating effect on the winter, making it possible to grow vitis vinifera in selected sites near the lakes. I harvest my Chardonnay here in SW Michigan on the same days they do in Burgundy.

Thanks for your notes. I will look for some at Sam's in Chicago next time I visit.

James G. Lester
Wyncroft, LLC

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