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Domaine Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet Les Charmes 2012

Pale gold; medium rim. The nose of tones of fresh green apples, grass and buttery despite a decade's ageing. There is plenty of fragrant, fresh yellow fruit on the second nose and a light blossom note. It tastes ripe, modern, truthfully Puligny with finely tuned oak and tight balance. There is always a fine-boned nervous freshness and a delicate richness underneath the finish. ABV13%.

One wrinkle: is this special ripeness related to this plot of Charmes in Puligny being a continuation of 1er Cru Charmes in Meursault, which shares many of its characteristics, like the light, fine, stony soils.

This clean, pure, elegant Modern style attributes much to Alain Chavy's deepest underground cellar in Puligny - an impressive 5.5 metres deep in a well-known area for its high water table. The benefits are-stable environment for making and ageing and winemaking can be at the lowest level of intervention. All grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in the barrel at no more than 25 degrees Celcius for extra depth and intensity. Lees stirring is minimal, and malolactic fermentation usually starts late due to the cool cellars. Wines are bottled up to 16 months after harvest. Hence, the balance of fruit and fine oak as well as discreet tertiary tones.

2012 may be a difficult vintage, but not so to an experienced maker like Alain Chavy, who has been in Puligny-Montrachet for over 200 years and with solid experience of the finest premier cru sites in the village: Folatières and Clavoillon, plus a smallholding of Les Pucelles. Hence, a great value.


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