The 2014 Burgundy vintage is quickly gaining recognition as a great white vintage. Neil Martin has released his report for the Wine Advocate, stating categorically that ‘the white 2014s are extraordinarily good. They are often brilliant.’ Allen Meadows will release his Cote de Beaune report later this year, yet he mentioned that during his visit Erwan Faiveley and Bernard Hervet described 2014 as a ‘great vintage in white’. The whites are vibrant, and wonderfully energetic, possessed of delightful minerality, balanced, elegant and extremely rewarding, Martin calls them ‘electrifying!’
Following his report, we have been looking for the leading white wines which deliver the vintage’s splendour, at a sharp release price. The wines that stood out in terms of price versus points were Domaine Joseph Drouhin’s Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres and Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Garenne, two of the highest scoring 1er Cru wines in 2014. They have been awarded 93-95 points and are priced at £220 per case of six. In the world of leading white Burgundy, that represents fantastic value for money.
The eponymously named Joseph Drouhin was founded in 1880 and is run today by his grandchildren. The maison is one of the most respected wine producing names in Burgundy and with holdings in some of the most exceptional vineyards in the Cote d’Or. Robert Drouhin, the current owner and director has guided the Domaine to new heights and his children are amongst the most intelligent of the current wine dynasties, they were one of the first to introduce biodynamic practices. Their philosophy is to let the personality of the grapes drive the wine, with oak usage only for harmony. Their practices and dedication to excellence are reflected in these wines, awarded 93-95 points for the superb price of £37 a bottle.
The village of Puligny Montrachet needs no introduction, occupying the very summit of great white wine. Producers tend to ensure the wines display elegance, rather than intense fruit, incorporating less oak and allowing the wines’ natural beauty to shine through. Les Folatieres is the largest Premier Cru in the village. It is known for a full, meaty personality with lots of minerality and plenty of weight and of 2014 Folatieres, Martin says ‘white flowers and nutmeg accompanying the citrus fruit… There is a simmering sense of energy here.’
Clos de la Garenne lies next to Les Folatieres, owned by the Duc de Magenta, famed for peach, almond and spiced flavours, lending itself to a ripe and velvety finish. This is reflected in Martin’s tasting note, ‘This actually puts the Meursault Perrières into a hat — a really superb Puligny from Drouhin, with a killer saline aftertaste.’
These are two wines that should be secured in 2014, offering the very best of the vintage at an excellent price point. Both can be drunk next year and will ignite the senses, while being capable of ageing for ten years and more, developing extremely complex flavours. To put this into perspective Domaine Leflaive Bienvenue Batard Montrachet Grand Cru was also awarded 93-95 points and costs £1,500 per case of six.