There are tales that in days of yore (remember Yore? Lovely girl) at de Montille they had teams of winery workers working in rotation to constantly punch down the grape skins in the fermentation vats so as much tannin as possible was extracted from them. Things have been moderated chez de Montille but my initial taste of this shows the family predilection for tannic wines is still present.
The other thing that the current generation have changed is the alcohol level. De Montille red Burgundies used to have 11.5%-12.5% alcohol which made them decidedly minimalist entities of pure, refined expression (even if they did have enough tannin to turn a field full of cows into leather coats). This claims 13% on the label – such wanton extravagance would scandalise preceeding members of the family.
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Pommard Premier Cru Pezerolles 2005, Domaine de Montille
Oh this smells rather attractive. The nose has a very clear expression of strawberry and raspberry fruit which is scrupulously clean, perfectly ripe, intensely pure and very Cote de Beaune in character. 2005 was a warm vintage but this shows no hint of over-ripeness, it is impeccable in its restraint. There is a good stony character to the nose as well and, whilst I find myself thinking this is quite pretty, it certainly is distinctly intricate. A top bunny set of aromas, all right. Given the pulchritudinous nature of the nose the sudden tannic onslaught of the palate is initially a bit of a surprise. However, whilst these tannins are definitely brawny they are not out of balance with the ample fruit which permeates the palate and makes the overall impression as I swill this around my palate one of structured but engaging sophistication. There is an intriguing, slightly cinnamon like, spiciness present here as well which only adds to the complexity which I feel this wine is engorged with. Clearly this wine is roughly a decade or more away from being at its most beguilingly giving, but as far as my enjoyment extracted from drinking it whilst writing this note goes I’m rather taken with its strapping, well knit vivacity. I feel enlivened drinking a wine so bursting with vital potency.