This is sufficiently reduced that the nose is tough to properly assess. The broader-shouldered flavors possess an almost painful intensity with plenty of muscle and mouth coating sap that manages to adequately buffer the slightly warm and youthfully awkward finish. I suspect that this will ultimately come together with 5-ish or so years of bottle age but it's not clear that it will ultimately surpass either the Bâtard or the Chevalier.
The 2016 Montrachet Grand Cru comes from purchased fruit that was cropped at eight hectoliters per hectare and filled two barrels, one new and the other one year old. It has a clean and fresh bouquet, quite conservative, maybe missing the bravura of the Chevalier or the class of the Bâtard. The palate is fresh and quite intense on the entry with spicy citrus fruit laced with orang zest, even a tang of marmalade. This becomes more complex as it goes on, and certainly the aftertaste feels very long, the mouth tingling 60 seconds after it has departed. This is a very fine white Burgundy rather than a superlative Montrachet at this early juncture. Drink 2020-2038
There was so little Montrachet in 2016 that six producers decided to pool their grapes, but Etienne Sauzet was not among them. Yields were a meagre eight hectolitres per hectare, but this isn’t over-concentrated in the slightest. Complex, focused and very attractive, with orange zest and citrus notes and beautifully integrated oak framing the underlying power. 2022-30
Etienne Sauzet is one of the great estates of Puligny Montrachet, taking its name from current incumbent Emilie Riffault's great grandfather who founded this domaine in the early 1900s. It boasts 15 hecatres of vineyards, comprising four white grands crus in Puligny and Chassagne and nine premiers crus. Today, under Emilie and husband Benoit's direction, their owned vineyards are fully biodynamic and they are one of the flag bearers for the appellation of Puligny.
Le Montrachet is the most famous white Burgundy Grand Cru coming from a single 8 hectare vineyard which overlaps into the communes of Puligny and Chassagne. Even as far back as the 18th century the wines of Le Montrachet had to be reserved a year in advance - a distant precursor to the en primeur system. The south east facing vineyards give the vines maximum exposure to the sun which combined with the limestone soil produces epic results.