"Les Folatières" 1er Cru de Puligny-Montrachet 2016

 The vintage

The 2016 vintage, an unexpected success!

2016 is the year of extremes, both climatic and emotional! The winter was mild even too warm, without any frost or snow, which favoured early budding. The Spring was wet. The cold and frost finally appeared but late April. As we hoped for sun, it was unfortunately bad timing. After the rain, the negative temperatures of the clear night, the morning sun burned the buds through the ice which had a "magnifying glass" effect. Thus, April 26th and 27th condemned all hopes of a great harvest. The loss was considerable in some of our parcels in Côtes de Nuits and Côtes de Beaune. Therefore, we will not have any Pommard les Cras or Nuits Saint Georges "Aux Saints-Juliens" in 2016. Multiple factors (cloud protection or not, temperatures of -1 or -6 °C, young plants, vines weakened by the hail of previous years, pruning...) explained the uneven impact frost had from a village to another, from a parcel to another. The bad weather continued, it’s a thought rain would never stop and the mildew pressure was continuous and unprecedented. Flowering was late and spread over a period of 15 days, due to the poor weather or heterogeneity in the vineyards. This weather was a stain for our biodynamic farming. But we did not give up and we combined resiliency with efforts to stay true to our vinicultural philosophy. At the end of June, when morale was so low, nature took over again. The sun and heat timidly arrived and settled definitely early July. Volte-face for the weather! Dry, hot and scorching days signed the end of mildew pressure! August 15th, the rain saved our vines from hydric stress and the rain falls in September allowed the grapes to resume their maturity cycle (stopped by heat and lack of water) and restore the balance acidity / sugar. We were definitely relieved when we started the harvest on September 23rd for the Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet, with the sun, beautiful and healthy grapes! The smile accompanied us all the way into our vats! The 2016 vintage is characterized by a clear acidity, a beautiful minerality specific to the terroirs of our whites, and a great balance. Our wines premier cru and grand cru have a good aging potential for this vintage and regarding our villages, they could be ready for tasting in 3-5 years.

Tasting notes

The 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières has a more complex bouquet than the Chalumaux tasted alongside, with subtle walnut and sea spray scents accompanying the citrus fruit. The palate is very well balanced with good depth, fine intensity, just a touch of richness developing on the lightly honeyed finish. I am not sure that this will be for long-term aging but it is certainly a class act.Rating 91-93 drinking 2019-2029   tasting date oct 2017   issue 29th Dec -  234

Neal Martin – The wine Advocate