Issue 23

  • 2004 Chassagne-Montrachet “Caillerets” 1er white (90-92)
  • 2004 Chassagne-Montrachet “La Romanée” 1er white (89-91)
  • 2004 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru white (91-94)
  • 2004 Meursault “Genevrières” 1er white (90-93)
  • 2004 Meursault “Perrières” 1er white (91-93)
  • 2004 Montrachet Grand Cru white (92-94)
  • 2004 Pernand-Vergelesses “Sous Frétille” 1er white (87-89)
  • 2004 Puligny-Montrachet “Folatières” 1er white 91

Mounir Saouma and his partner Rotem Brakin established their two-person micro-négoce in 1999. They describe the 2004 vintage as having created wines that are for “fans of finesse and those who love classically styled vintages with superb transparency of terroir. In some senses, the ‘04s were very tricky as the growing season was difficult as well as cool which resulted in a very high levels of malic acid, which understandably took a long time for the wines to digest. It was interesting to watch the wines develop and evolve and it’s amazing how much weight and mid-palate fat they have put on during the course of the élevage.” As I noted in Issue 18, the team likes to work with higher levels of CO2, even with the reds so I would suggest decanting the wines 20 to 30 minutes in advance if you’re going to try them young. The cellar is extremely cold and it wasn’t easy to evaluate some of these samples as there was reduction and gas, particularly in the Bâtard. Otherwise, the quality ranges from excellent to outstanding and it’s clear that the Le Moine team is improving their sources as these are the best whites that I have tasted from them.

2004 Pernand-Vergelesses “Sous Frétille”: A subtle touch of wood frames fruity yet attractively complex green fruit aromas that complement the rich, sweet and admirably dense middle weight flavors that possess excellent finishing freshness and zip. I like the minerality here and it’s rare to see anything from Pernand displaying this kind of concentration. (87-89)/2008+

2004 Chassagne-Montrachet “La Romanée”: An opulently spicy nose introduces rich, full and generous medium full flavors that possess excellent dry extract and a powerful finish yet all is delivered with impeccably style and grace. If this adds complexity with bottle age, it could surprise to the upside as it’s already a beautiful effort. (89-91)/2009+

2004 Chassagne-Montrachet “Caillerets”: White flowers and an intense stoniness can be found on the fresh, elegant, pure and ultra classy flavors that merge seamlessly into an intense and explosive finish that really stains the palate. You can feel the energy of this wine and it really packs an impressive finishing punch. This is a sophisticated and very stylish effort that should age well over the medium term. (90-92)/2010+

2004 Meursault “Genevrières”: Moderate reduction cannot completely hide the spicy, even seductive aromas of brown nut butter and ripe orchard fruit that dissolve into sweet, pure and gorgeously detailed middle weight flavors that exude minerality on the impressively transparent and long finish. This is a wine of finesse that is really quite fine. (90-93)/2011+

2004 Meursault “Perrières”: A background note of pain grillé frames ultra pure and perfumed high-toned aromas redolent of white flower and wet stone that reappears on the hallmark dry extract-infused flavors that are almost aggressive in their intense minerality, all wrapped in a powerful and exceptionally long finish. This has that extra dimension of the ‘wow factor’ going for it. In short, very impressive. (91-93)/2011+

2004 Puligny-Montrachet “Folatières”: (from vines of approximately 100 years of age). Background toast hints show off white flower and green fruit aromas and rich, elegant and intensely mineral-infused flavors that are delicious yet bone dry and exceptionally long. This is also a very classy effort built on a base of finesse rather than power. 91/2009+

2004 Corton-Charlemagne: (from vines in Pernand). Mild reduction and pain grillé set off green apple, pear and white peach aromas that merge into rich, concentrated and very powerful full-bodied flavors that possess superb levels of dry extract and a strikingly long and driving finish that really stains the palate. This too finishes bone dry and will require extended cellar time to see its apogee. (91-94)/2012+

2004 Bâtard-Montrachet: (from Chassagne vines). This was heavily reduced and while the rich and very powerful flavors were big and muscular, there was so much lactic influence on the flavors that this wine was impossible to accurately judge. Not rated.

2004 Montrachet: Arguably the freshest nose of the bunch with an elegant, airy and high-toned nose that offers incredible breadth, from naturally spicy ripe orchard fruit to floral notes to limestone nuances that continue onto the much more reserved yet superbly intense flavors that are still linear on the fantastically long finish. Like many ‘04s, this is unusually detailed for a classic Montrachet and at present, actually resembles a fine Chevalier though the material is so impressive here that I suspect it will begin to broaden once in bottle. (92-94)/2012+