The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.
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.
1988 VINTAGE in Burgundy / 1988 has been a good vintage in Burgundy, with enough quantity to offset the revived demand of our foreign and home customers.
Good summer weather meant an early harvest of excellent quality for the reds. Rich and well structured, these wines which were a little rough in their youth today offer a wonderful opportunity to drink quality mature Pinot Noir, the best will continue to improve. The great whites can be put in the same category as the reds : full, round, well balanced and are very good to drink now.
The nearly geat year
As anyone knows, what we need in Burgundy is warm weather all the time, with the exception of a few showers now and then just to keep the leaves green, and at the end of the season to help the vine continue to produce sugar and to lower acidity.
The spell of cold that we had at the beginning of September interrupted a long period of sunshine and stopped for a while the maturing of the grapes: rain only came during the vendange itself, too late to ensure their perfect ripening.
The last days of the season were, as always, the most breath-taking, with marvellous summer-like weather in the second half of September. Harvesting as late as possible was beneficial, as it nearly always is: there was no rot on the superb bunches of grapes, a deep colour, and an excellent balance of the various elements.
During the summer of 1988 and until the very end we had only one half of the average rainfall. This deficit was difficult to overcome and, with the hot weather of August and most of September and the happy flowering of the grapes in the middle of June, we have been just a hair's breadth from a great vintage.
All the good winegrowers who had pruned carefully and not indulged in high yields easily obtained from 12 to 12.5 potential degrees of alcohol, which indicates very good quality; and although the lack of rain slowed the ripening, it had the advantage of keeping the individual grapes small, giving concentration, tannin and colour to the wines.
After the first "décuvage", the overall impression is that the red wines have structure and tannin, with a beautiful vivid colour, the depth of which is really only seen in good vintages.
The acidity is medium to high and it is obvious that we will have a "vin de garde", which will mellow only after a long period of ageing in cask and bottle.
It is difficult to compare 1988 with another vintage, as precocity usually means that the vines have had plenty of sunshine and produce mellow and soft wines; however, the `88 will compare more with a very good vintage picked in October, like 1978 or 1952.
The great whites will be put in the same category as the reds: good structure, power and a lot of firmness.
In the Beaujolais, the news is excellent too: good colour, perfect ripening and overall abundance.