At a few dozen meters from the Montrachet Grand Cru, we enter the universe displaying some of the best terroirs of the Côte de Beaune for Chardonnay. This highly prized grape variety feels at home at Puligny-Montrachet. The soil and sub-soil character helps understand this favourable situation. We also have to underline that the hills that overlook the vineyard protect it from the winds, favouring a well-balanced and steady grape maturing. The climatic hazards are thus tempered. The 27-are vines of the domain are situated in the ancient Clos des Meix, at the very heart of Les Pucelles first growth. It overlooks Puligny-Montrachet, forming a sort of panoramic view of the most beautiful terroirs of the « Côte des Blancs », the slope is very gentle there. Its exposure is very classical: due east. The soil layer is quite deep, one meter or more, but it is fairly easy to work. The vines were planted in 1970. They are in the prime of life and the vine grower has to train them thoroughly to control their yield.
During the harvest, the grapes are first sorted out on the vines, then, if necessary, there may be a second sorting in the winery on a special sorting table. After a gentle pressing, the must is left to settle naturally for about 12 hours. This light racking of the lees enables the wine to keep a good substrate, thus being protected from oxidation and, as a consequence, preserving all its aromatic richness. It is then poured into barrels by gravity and left to ferment. The Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Pucelles is matured in oak casks for 20 months (using 60% new oak).
One third of these barrels have a bigger capacity (that is 400 litres) than the traditional 228 litre 'pièce bourguignonne'. As a consequence, the woody aromas are softened, thus giving a more homogeneous structure to this cuvée. During this period, the wine is left undisturbed except for a few stirrings of the lees. Before bottling, the wine spends about three months in vats in order to homogenize its components. The winery benefits from a four- level structure enabling to handle the harvest by gravity from the arrival of the grapes to the bottling operation, without any pumping.
The sun was 2015's guest star and kept on shining. The vines stored a lot of energy during the whole growth cycle. July was exceptionally warm and dry with temperatures reaching over 30° for 18 days; it was followed by life-giving rains in August. After an early awakening of the nature cycle, flowers could be seen on the vines as early as the end of May. The maturing of the grapes was very fast and we started harvesting on September 2nd. Picking lasted for 6 days with nice weather conditions... The grapes were splendid in the vats as well as in the presses. Les Pucelles 2015 parcel was harvested on September 6th. Bottling was carried out on April 18th 2017, without any filtration.
Displaying a beautiful clear and golden robe, this Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru trumpets its class without prevaricating. The particularly refined citrus and white flower aromas are typical of the great terroirs of this appellation. The palate is rather powerful but it is above all the ethereal and mineral profile of its structure that makes it so classy. Its salty finish is endless. This is the purest expression of a great terroir.