Once called by wine writer and Burgundy expert Clive Coates the “greatest white wine commune on earth,” Puligny-Montrachet produces some of Burgundy’s most desired, respected and flavorful white wines, particularly from one of its most famous vineyards, Montrachet.
Red wine is permitted to be produced in this historic space, but its production is more a thought than an action. Both red and white are entitled to the appellation, but white is sovereign. The Chardonnay wines are beyond description; possibly the finest expression of the grape, they carry rich, refined mineral notes and crisp, unparalleled acidity.
The soil of Puligny-Montrachet is known for itsconsiderable levels of limestone. Its sloping façade allows for ample sun, and inoculates the vineyards from potentially highwater tables, thus forcing the roots to grow long and strong. Such roots yield optimal vines, which then yield prized wines. Climate is warm and dry in the summer, with standard winters that give way to early springs.
In 1984, the government agency tasked with regulating French agriculture, or Institut national de l’origine et da la qualite (INAO), took the step of designating the land surrounding the village into 17 Puligny-Montrachet premier cru vineyards. The advantage is that wines from the area are permitted to carry the Premier Cru appointment on their labels, thus adding to their prestige. While certainly welcomed, the exceptional quality of wines from Puligny-Montrachet was far from obscure. Still, this honor underlines the area’s impressive role in fine Burgundy wine production. Top Producers: Domaine Leflaive, Verget