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Exploring the premiers crus surrounding Montrachet

Touched by Montrachet's halo, the premiers crus around the prized climat can yield wines of comparable complexity at a fraction of the price. Charles Curtis MW guides us through the sites worth exploring, for both drinking pleasure and value, in Puligny, Chassagne and St-Aubin.

Understanding the nuances of the premiers crus surrounding Montrachet may seem complicated, but it can yield significant dividends if it leads you to wines that resemble the grand crus at a fraction of the price. Here we examine some of the premier crus (and even village-level wines) that fit the bill.

This article includes:

  • Puligny-Montrachet premiers crus
  • Chassagne-Montrachet premiers crus
  • Saint-Aubin premiers crus
  • Village-level wines worth looking out for

Scroll down to see scores and tasting notes for a selection of must-try Montrachet premier cru  wines

Domaine Leflaive winemaker Pierre Vincent explains the vineyards around Montrachet in the following way:

‘Chevalier-Montrachet is typified by a marked minerality and by flinty gun smoke notes.  The clay and limestone soil is very poor and gives a saline note on the finish.

In Bâtard-Montrachet, below Montrachet, the soil is much deeper, and the higher clay content gives a very opulent wine.

In Bienvenues-Bâtard Montrachet, on the other hand, thinner soils produce wines with abundant energy.

In [premier cru Les] Pucelles, one finds similarities with Chevalier-Montrachet. However, the Clos du Meix is different – it is a little bowl or depression that is cooler and more humid. Leflaive has all three sectors: Grande Pucelles, Petites Pucelles, and the Clos des Meix which is more austere. Montrachet, however, is a synthesis of all of these and gives a wine that is so concentrated that served in an opaque black glass one might mistake it for red wine.’

See also: Exploring Montrachet and the surrounding grands crus

Puligny-Montrachet premiers crus

Charles Curtis MW’s must-try Montrachet Premier Cru and village wines:

Wines are ordered alphabetically by score. Wines from the 2020 vintage may not have completed maturation at the time they were tasted.

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