We were lucky to be visited by Etienne de Montille last week and taste through a selection of some of the 2015s. Yes, it was special to taste through what are truly special wines, but it as even more special to hear about the Domaine - its history, present and future - from Etienne himself. The de Montille family is Burgundy royalty - even if they never made another bottle of wine. The history of this prominent family figures quite large in the history of Burgundy. However, lucky for us, they continue to produce among Burgundy’s greatest wines in every vintage.
The 2015s are outrageously good. Fleshy and firm, ripe but structured, clearly built for the long haul yet offering plenty of pleasure now, this is a vintage to buy with abandon throughout Burgundy, especially from the best producers. The “entry level” wines are the key. The Bourgognes - both blanc and rouge - are just sensationally good in 2015. They are precisely the kinds of wines you should be buying by the case. And yet, as you climb the quality hierarchy - what is good becomes great and what is great becomes legendary.
Yes, they are that good. Check out the critics’ enthusuiasm:
“The quality here was exceptionally good in 2015 and from both Côtes.” - Allen Meadows
“In terms of concentration of red fruit, they have a very good tannin profile and superb acidity. It will one of those vintages that is top notch. I like the profile better than the 2005 or 2009s and I just love the bright acidity. Without wishing to take anything away, there is a level of red fruit that was lost in those vintages.” - Neal Martin
But what else should you expect from a house like de Montille? The de Montille family is Burgundy royalty, with roots stretching back hundreds of years. The modern Domaine is the legacy of icon Hubert de Montille. Hubert was renowned for making wines that were disciplined and elegant, requiring decades to resolve and reveal their manifold charms. The wines were complex, harmonious, rich, terroir-driven, exacting and yet utterly delicious. They were always wines that looked you right in the eye and said: “This is what I am. Can you handle that?” … A lot has changed at the Domaine since Etienne, Hubert’s son, took the reins from his father. Or at least that’s the conventional wisdom, but it isn’t really true. Etienne has been taking charge since the early 1990s, overseeing most of the winemaking duties since that time. …
“Domaine de Montille is a first class Côte de Beaune domaine and one which is producing some of the purest expressions of Burgundy to be found today.” – Jasper Morris, MW
Etienne has not changed too much from his father’s days at the helm, still producing reds of great finesse, purity and ageability. What has changed is that some of the incredible austerity Hubert’s wines had in youth have been tamed by picking later, as well as dissecting crus into individual parcels, to understand the maturity and quality of the vines in the vineyards. Moreover, beginning in the mid-90s, Etienne converted everything first to organic and now bio-dynamic principles, banning chemicals and pesticides and improving the general health of the vineyards.
The whites are just as exceptional as the reds, with a seductive elegance and suavity that is reminiscent of Roulot. (Makes sense, as Alix de Montille is married to Jean-Marc Roulot, who, for years, made the family’s once lone white Puligny 1er Caillerets.)
I really cannot recommend these wines enough. Buy them. Buy them to the extent that you can. You will be happy that you did. And when I come for dinner, I will be happy you did also!
2015 de Montille
2015 Ch. de Puligny-Montrachet Bourgogne Blanc “le Clos du Chateau”
2015 Maison de Montille Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Sous Fretilles
2015 Ch. de Puligny-Montrachet St. Aubin 1er En Remilly
2015 Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
2015 Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne
2015 Ch. de Puligny-Montrachet Chevalier-Montrachet
2015 Domaine de Montille Bourgogne Rouge
2015 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru "Les Sizies"
2015 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru "Les Grèves"
2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru " En Champans"
2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru " Les Mitans"
2015 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru " Les Taillepieds"
2015 Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru "Les Pézerolles"