Domaine Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 2014
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Translated, Les Pucelles means ‘the virgins’ - so it’s fitting that my tasting notes from an October 2015 visit to the Chavy estate have the phrase ‘wonderful purity of fruit’ underlined.
The genial Alain Chavy, a trusted supplier and friend for over eight years, has run his domaine since 2003, one of two created when his father Gerard’s estate was split between his two sons.
Les Pucelles vineyard lies across the road from Bienvenue Batard Montrachet - just outside the village of Puligny - and is renowned for wines of great elegance, which is how the Chavy style is best summed up.
Alain’s recently extended underground cellar is unusual for a Puligny Montrachet estate, as the area’s high water table typically dictates that cellars are close to ground level.
The Les Pucelles soils - a complex mix of mineral clay and limestone rock - require an intelligent producer to get the best out of this most famous of Puligny-Montrachet’s premiers crus.
Always welcoming and interested to discuss market developments both home and abroad, Alain’s wines reflect his knowledge and passion, with the Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 2014 being a fine example.
Subregion: Côte De Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Lithe and minerally
Drink With: Baked oysters
On our last visit to Domaine Alain Chavy during a beautiful French Autumn, this wine was the star of the show, even eclipsing the Chevalier Montrachet on the day.
The aforementioned purity was clear on the nose, with a wonderfully fine elegance that translated to the palate too.
Another virginal quality - patience - paid off as well, as I was rewarded with attractive pressed flower scents, enhancing the citrus fruit as it opened in the glass.
The palate was attractively feminine - finely judged acidity, lithe in the mouth with superb minerality.
The wine was not marked by oak and I was amazed by its delightfully fresh acidity - a perfect partner for poultry or succulent seafood in a rich sauce.
I’m confident you’ll enjoy this excellent Puligny-Montrachet and will be as excited as me about its long-term possibilities.
Roger Barlow, Jan 2017.