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    from 2018
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96 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

An all but an invisible touch of wood sets off exceptionally pure, perfumed and notably spicy aromas of various white orchard fruits, citrus, floral, jasmine tea and a hint of tangerine rind. The super-rich and full-bodied flavors possess seemingly an endless reserve of dry extract that completely drenches the palate before culminating in an almost painfully intense and explosively persistent finish. This is a big wine yet it dances across the palate; indeed I would go so far as to say that the 2012 Montrachet is less in the DRC style than usual and for two reasons: first is that there is virtually no exoticism to the nose and secondly the mouth feel is markedly less opulent than usual. To be sure, this is not a wine of finesse in the proper sense of the term but at the same time it's not nearly as robust as usual either. I can't wait to see this beauty in 12 to 15 years times as it's absolutely packed with upside development potential. 


The Story

The Montrachet family consists of grand five Grands Crus grown in the two villages of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. These two share the Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet appellations. Chevalier and Bienvenues belong to Puligny, Criots belongs to Chassagne. These Grands Crus are the most southerly of the Côte-d'Or, and lie between Meursault in the north and Santenay in the south. Their origins go back to the Middle Ages - the work of the Cistercian abbey of Maizières and the Lords of Chagny. The wines of Montrachet (pronounced Mon-rachay) came fully into their own in the 17th century. There is no argument : this is the finest expression of the Chardonnay grape anywhere on earth. The Grand Cru appellations date from 31 July, 1937.


The underlying rocks date from the Jurassic, 175 million years BC. Exposures lie to the east and the south. Altitudes: 265-290 metres (Chevalier) ; 250-270 metres (Montrachet) ; 240-250 metres (Bâtard, Bienvenues, Criots). In the " Climat " of Montrachet, the soils are thinnish and lie on hard limestone traversed by a band of reddish marl. In Chevalier, the soils are thin and stony rendzinas derived from marls and marly-limestones. In the Bâtard " climat " soils are brown limestone which are deeper and, at the foot of the slope, more clayey. 


The power and aromatic persistence of these lofty wines demands aristocratic and sophisticated dishes with complex textures : « pâté » made from fattened goose liver, of course, and caviar. Lobster, crawfish, and large wild prawns, with their powerful flavours and firm textures, pay well-deserved homage to the wine and match its opulence. Firm-fleshed white fish such as monkfish would be equally at home in their company. And let us not forget well-bred and well-fattened free-range poultry whose delicate flesh, with the addition of a cream-and-mushroom sauce, will be lapped up in the unctuous and noble texture of this wine. Even a simple piece of veal, fried or in sauce, would be raised to heavenly heights by the Montrachet's long and subtle acidity.

Serving temperature : 12 to 14 °C.





Vintage 2012

2012 was beset by unusual weather that didn’t spare the vines! A mild winter, spring-like March, cool spring with frosts, summer-like May, cooler, wetter June, a variable summer with heatwaves, hail and storms… Because of the cold damp spring, some of the vine flowers didn’t set and form fruit, there was millerandage (where the flowers aren’t fully fertilised and give small berries) and high pressure from mildew and odium. Temperatures went right up during the short periods, over-heating and scorching the berries. This weather caused a significant fall in yields, without, however, impacting on the quality of the grapes, as well spread out bunches with small berries guarantee concentration and intensity.
All in all, the grapes achieved good ripeness in aromas and good sugar to acidity balance. The white wines are characterised by their finesse and concentration. The reds set themselves apart with their lovely colours, ripe and silky tannins and their harmonious mouthfeel


Latest Pro-tasting notes

16 tasting notes

Tasting note


Deep, Green-Yellow and Healthy


Long, Pure and Flavorful


Raspberry, Vanilla, Voluptuous, Honey, Mineral and Buttery


Intense, Complex, Fresh and Refined


Warming, Balanced, Concentrated, Well-Integrated, Full-bodied, Vigor, Refined and Silky tannins


Sophisticated and Outstanding

Written Notes

The Punisher seemed to think the 2012 DRC Montrachet was still quite young, but I was enthralled with this admittedly still wound-up wine.  Its deep, buttery nose had great stony spice and musk.  It was rich, decadent and intense and yes, a bit young, but still quite showy.  It had a strong finish.  Someone commented that it was great but ‘just young’ (96+).

  • 96p

A bit subdued at first, the 2012 Montrachet needs a little time in the glass before its explosive personality bursts forward. Dense, rich and exotic to the core, the 2012 is one of the more flamboyant Montrachets in recent memory, even though there was no botrytis that year, so the 2012 retains a good sense of freshness as well. There is a real sense of phenolic intensity in the 2012 that is impossible to miss, while the wine's richness is deftly balanced by enough acidity to keep things lively for such a big wine. The low yields of the vintage produced a concentrated, opulent Montrachet that will drink well for decades. Sadly, two hail storms and the severe selection that followed took with it about half of the normal production.

  • 97p

Full yellow-gold. Multifaceted, terroir-driven nose and palate combine lemon zest, hay, honey, medicinal herbs and menthol. Thick, rich and deep yet somehow taut, showing terrific sappiness and concentration intensified by a medicinal herb element that reminded me of B&B. Much more about soil character than primary fruit. Finishes with a honeycomb note and yet this splendid wine is less extreme in its ripeness and impression of alcohol than I would have expected from the 2012 vintage. Should be very long-lived.

  • 95p
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Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy

Vintage Quality

Above Average

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