Micro-négociant and éleveur extraordinaire Mounir Saouma describes 2014 as “a fantastic vintage for white wines in the old style, with low alcohol, high acidity and low pH. The wines are crisper than the fatter 2013s.” Saouma noted that the grape skins in 2014 were ripe even if they didn’t show that quality early on. “But now you really feel the stony dry extract in the wines. The long time on the lees really extended the wines’ finishes. The 2014s show perfect typicity of vineyard and vintage.” Saouma’s wife Rotem Brakin, also a trained winemaker, described 2014 as “pure emotion, effortless: in contrast to the 2012s the ‘14s are not obviously powerful.” As a general rule, the 2014s I sampled at the beginning of June, still in barrels, had alcohol levels between 13.3% and 13.5%, acidity of 4.5 to 4.7 grams per liter, and pHs n the 3.15 range.

Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
(Saouma combines wine from the upper and lower parts of this grand cru to make this bottling): Wonderfully vibrant aromas of lemon, crushed rock and lavender sea salt. A juicy, penetrating wine of great intensity and nobility; pure, deep and palate-caressing. This could not be more different from the Batard-Montrachet. Utterly seamless in the mouth, boasting outstanding concentration to its flavors of citrus peel, pear and liquid stone. Displays impeccable balance from the start but this incredible wine is just at the beginning of its development. The endless, sappy finish leaves behind a note of cinnamon. One of my early candidates for wine of the vintage.
— Stephen Tanzer  (95-98)

Montrachet Grand Cru
Aromas of peat, iodine, marzipan and baked bread, with high-toned spices in the background. Huge, saline and deep but still a baby. This monumental wine is still youthfully monolithic (Saouma referred to it as « a project »). Offers powerful citricity for such a thick wine and finishes with outstanding salinity and length. Today the explosive Chevalier-Montrachet is far more expressive.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-96) 

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
(from vines on the Pernand side of the hill): Nose dominated by lime and metallic minerality. Flavors of fresh peach, peat and minerals are lifted by a positive touch of greenness. Wonderfully tactile, sweet, almost viscous wine with outstanding dimension: a real essence of liquid stone. The palate-saturating, extremely long finish shows no rough edges. This potentially sensational wine is still a baby.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-96)

Chablis Preuses Grand Cru
(in a new 500 liter-barrel, still with 15 liters of heavy lees and not yet racked): Bright yellow. Explosive crushed rock minerality gives thrust to the aromas of fresh peach and white flowers. Densely packed and thick but not hugely ripe or over the top. Boasts outstanding energy to its intense citrus and floral flavors and finishes with almost painful building length. This has the framework to make a classic, long-aging grand cru Chablis. Mounir Saouma will probably bottle this wine in the fall.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-96)

Meursault Perrières 1er Cru
Pungently perfumed scents of flint and oyster-shell minerality: I imagine the Dead Sea would smell like this. Superconcentrated, chewy and thick, but with outstanding inner-mouth tension for such a solid wine. Hints of pineapple and soft citrus fruits are overwhelmed by mineral extract today. With its combination of seamlessness, punch and palate-staining length, this is Meursault Perrières of grand cru class. Finishes very ripe but adamantly dry, with no hard edges–and nearly impossible to spit owing to its tactile dry extract.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-96)

Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée 1er Cru
Bright yellow-lemon. Multifaceted aromas of lemon peel, lime leaf, yogurt, crushed stone and ginger. Wonderfully smooth and refined, with exhilarating limey acidity giving punch and precision to the citrus, mineral and floral flavors. This beauty features all the Chassagne food groups. Finishes with palate-staining gingery length and no rough edges. Delivers a splendid combination of fruit and minerality, not to mention sweetness and cut.
— Stephen Tanzer  (93-95)

Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru

Rather medicinal aromas of clove and menthol. Distinctly old-style, slightly rough Batard, with nothing gentle about it (« not the Giorgio Armani style of Batard, » notes Saouma). Incredibly backward today, with its fruit in the deep background. There’s something a bit rustic about this very powerful Batard, which finishes with serious tannic spine and outstanding length and lift. A bit of a cipher today, this will need extended cellaring.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-95)

Meursault Genevrières 1er Cru
Bright, high-pitched aromas of orange zest, stone and flowers. At once thick and juicy, with a firm spine of acidity running through the orange juice and saline mineral flavors. There’s an oiliness here from strong extract and yet this generous wine has a distinct light touch. A very direct, precise wine with a very long, rising finish.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-95)

Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
High-toned aromas of orange liqueur, dusty stone and peat; I was reminded of lichen on rock. Boasts outstanding texture and sweetness, with the orange liqueur quality carrying through on the palate. Sexy notes of warm stones and peat add a Montrachet-like quality. This very thick wine suggests higher alcohol than the Bienvenues but in fact it’s a moderate 13.2%, according to Mounir Saouma.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94

Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets 1er Cru
Aromas of lime, spices, smoky rock and spring water. Intensely flavored but extremely unevolved, showing outstanding focus to its citrus and mineral flavors. Not particularly expressive today–and less harmonious than La Romanée–but wonderfully penetrating. The resounding finish leaves behind a flavor of saltwater. This premier cru is as strict as a Montrachet today.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er Cru
Alluring aromas of peach, apricot and flinty minerality. Fat and silky on the palate, but with lovely vinosity and lift to its fresh orchard fruit and spice flavors. Strong acidity gives cut to the middle palate. Finishes very dry, youthful and long, with terrific purity to its lingering fruit.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Meursault Charmes 1er Cru
Pale bright yellow. Wonderfully pure aromas of white peach, nutmeg and flowers. Fresh and energetic on the palate, with the lively stone fruit flavors lifted by ineffable spicy high tones. At once fine-grained and energetic, this captivating wine finishes with explosive rising length and lemony lift. Very Charmes and very 2014.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Chassagne-Montrachet La Grande Montagne 1er Cru
(from a high, rocky vineyard): Bright yellow. Inviting aromas of peach, fresh apricot and marzipan. Juicy and penetrating, with vibrant acidity giving the saline stone fruit flavors a distinctly sappy impression. Compared to the Rémilly, this is already showing seductive sweetness and an extroverted personality (Mounir Saouma refers to this site as a « happy » premier cru). For all its density and thickness, this wine boasts terrific definition and verve. Finishes fruity, salty and very long.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru
(Saouma refers to this wine as Tête du Clos but that designation does not appear on the label): Medium yellow. Pungent, complex scents of slightly exotic stone fruits, mandarin orange, kumquat and minerals complicated by smoke and hazelnut nuances. Quite powerful, even a bit youthfully brutal, but not dry, with its complicated fruit and mineral flavors accented by a subtle wild herb quality. The finishes is lightly tannic, long and gripping. Superb potential here.
— Stephen Tanzer  (92-94)

Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru
Very expressive aromas of citrus fruits, flowers and sweet oak. Surprisingly open to inspection today, offering fine-grained flavors of citrus fruits, minerals and sweet oak. Pungent acidity emerges with aeration, contributing to the wine’s intensity and definition. Finishes very suave and long, with terrific stony, mineral-driven energy.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-94)

Corton Grandes Lolières Grand Cru
(from the east side of the Corton hill, like the Corton Blanc): Aromas of mango, ripe peach, smoke, wet stone and lichee. Fat, viscous and sweet, conveying a sexy salinity to its peach and ginger flavors. Wonderfully silky but not a fruity style. Compared to the Corton Blanc, this is thicker, saltier and deeper-pitched.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-94)

Corton Blanc Grand Cru
(from a very sunny site on limestone soil): Ineffable notes of lavender sea salt and high-pitched spices on the nose. Densely packed but with a captivating light touch, with its white peach and citrus flavors accented by spices. There’s an almost exotic quality here but this chalky wine is bone-dry. Like Roussanne meets Riesling, although this is actually Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot Blanc. Finishes very long and vibrant, with a crushed-stone character. Fascinating wine.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Meursault Porusot 1er Cru
Deep aromas of musky ripe peach and nutmeg. Round, saline, broad and very dry, showing a ripe honeyed quality on entry, then turning tighter and more minerally on the end, with a note of iodiney bitterness contributing to the impression of precision. A very backward, minerally Meursault.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne 1er Cru
(these vines were picked late, according to Saouma): Very ripe stone fruits and honey on the rather exotic nose. Then viscous but tight in the mouth, with its ripe stone fruit flavors complemented by rocky minerality. Classically dry and very youthful, this penetrating wine already shows serious palate presence. Finishes with a distinctly tannic impression. In a rather late-harvest style in the context of this 2014 collection.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Chassagne-Montrachet en Rémilly 1er Cru
Powerfully mineral-driven scents of gunflint, crushed rock, smoky oyster shell and peat. Then very dry but with an almost syrupy thickness to the flavors of ripe peach and crushed rock. Bracing acidity gives this chewy wine penetrating nervosité. Still an infant today. This is about as far from New World style as a Chardonnay can be: if you prize primary fruit above all else, this one is not for you.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Chassagne-Montrachet Les Embrazées 1er Cru
Bright yellow. Riper peach and hazelnut on the slightly wild nose. Sweet on entry, then very firm, minerally and surprisingly solid in the mid-palate. Boasts lovely inner-mouth vibrancy but this very backward wine will require at least a few years in bottle to express its inherent complexity. Distinctly rocky and dry on the long finish.
— Stephen Tanzer  (91-93)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er Cru
Very ripe stone fruits and a note of sexy smoky oak on the nose. Thick and rich on the palate; almost oily in texture compared to the Folatières, with flavors of vineyard peach, melon and smoky oak dominating. Not as complex as the Folatières, and in a distinctly weightier style.
— Stephen Tanzer  (90-93)

Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Terres Blanches 1er Cru
(from soil rich in active limestone): Musky ginger, liquid stone, hawthorn and a note of green tea complicated by a leesy quality on the nose. Dense and salty, conveying terrific nervosité to the flavors of lemon zest and minerals. There’s a mid-palate creaminess here but this precise, vibrant, classically dry wine really clamps down on the finish. An excellent vintage for this rare white wine from Premeaux.
— Stephen Tanzer  (90-93)

Meursault Bouchères 1er Cru
(this wine finished its alcoholic fermentation very late): Restrained, reduced nose hints at limestone, marzipan and green almond. Sweet, fine-grained and rich but tight today, revealing only moderate nuance. Best today on the long, piquant finish, which displays almost Puligny-like energy and grip. Fruit in Bouchères can go from ripe to overripe very quickly, so it appears that this fruit was harvested early.
— Stephen Tanzer  (90-92)

Puligny-Montrachet Champ Gain 1er Cru
Very ripe but subdued peach aroma is complicated by notes of iodine, marzipan and truffle. Quite backward and unevolved, in a distinctly dry style. Inexpressive stone fruit and minerals flavors lack éclat today and will need time in bottle. Currently a bit overshadowed by the Chassagne-Montrachet Caillerets and La Romanée that preceded it in my tasting. Finishes dry and long. Mounir Saouma notes that this wine is typically superb ten years after the vintage but it’s holding back more than it’s showing today.
— Stephen Tanzer  (89-92)

Pernand-Vergelesses Sous Frétille 1er Cru
(from exposed limestone soil): Pale yellow. High-pitched aromas of powdered stone and nutmeg reminded me a bit of Corton-Charlemagne. Very ripe but juicy and brisk, showing lovely mid-palate cut and a crystalline crushed-rock finish with a lingering spiciness.
— Stephen Tanzer  (89-91)