Shameful Nuits and lovely lunch

Nuits should not be like this. No Nuits I really like, be it Mugnier, Chevillon or a one off from Dujac, is anything like this in personality. I think this was the first vintage made by de Montille from vines they got from Dujac (correct me if I’m wrong, Jeremy) and if the comparison is made de Montille should hang their heads in shame.

The only good thing about this experience was the lunch we chose to have it with. The was cracking. I’ll put a picture and a few words after my acerbic rant about the manifest failures of de Montille when they made this wine.

Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru aux Thorey 2006 from de Montille is rubbish!

Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru aux Thorey 2006, Domaine de Montille

Well, the nose is acceptable, but hardly inspiring. The fruit moves from ripeness to soup in perception all too easily and there is not the energy and vigor I’d expect from the vintage, appellation or producer. It just seems a bit stewed and flat on the nose. By arse, what an awful palate! The fruit is over-ripe and there is no tannin to speak of. What sort of freaking Nuits has no tannin? A bad one, I fancy. There is a shade of rigor in the form of acidity, but that’s only slightly spiky and does nothing to make up for the absolute lack of structure. What were they doing when they harvested and made this wine? It’s just so lacking village and vintage character. I cannot believe freak weather conditions so utterly ruined this wine in the vineyard, I think poor decisions were made when to harvest it and poor decisions were made in the winery. I’ve had the odd rubbish bottle from de Montille, but none so utterly removed from what it should be. Totally awful – I couldn’t bring myself to finish the bottle. That’s a pretty damning judgement on a supposedly good vineyard from a supposedly great producer. Only worth selling to people who don’t know better.

WP_20120819 1Lunch, on the other hand, was a real cracker – charged with character and enjoyment value that the wine lacked. It was a steak pie from the Manydown Farm Shop. Just look at how throbbing full of meat it was! The meat was really, and I mean really seriously, high-grade, and the sauce was rich and tasty. I love Manydown’s chicken and ham pie, which is crazily stuffed with high-class chicken, but this was so good I wonder if it eclipses that in my mind as best pie I’ve ever enjoyed. A cracking pie, someone like Keith Prothero (or anyone who enjoys food but has no culinary ability) should score some of these for when his wife is out playing golf.

  • Very disappointing, David. But where did you learn to write English, with your ‘vigor’ and ‘rigor’? We’ll be tasting at de Montille tomorrow.

  • Tom Blach

    This belonged to Moillard-Thomas, I think, I don’t think Dujac ever bottled any?
    I’ve had some very disappointing modern Montilles though they certainly did much better in 07 than 06. The wines of the father, though, almost never disappoint and are to me the apogee of expressive Volnay and Pommard. In fact I think I might open a Pezerolles 79 at the weekend.

    • I have a magnum of Dujac aux Thorey 2005. I vaguely thought the vibes went from Moillard to de Montille via Dujac but I could be wrong.

      I remember drinking an awfully large amount of 83 Volnay Taillpieds which providing incredible pleasure. I love the alcohol level in de Montille pere’s wines. They certainly age well.

  • Tasted at de Montille today. Very impressed. The Nuits-Saint-Georges 2011 from cask was very good. No problems at all. No lack of vineyard character. The notion that de Montille has deteriorated in recent years is just plain wrong. Etienne de Montille is doing a great job. Maybe you had an unlucky bottle, David.

  • Tom Blach

    Thanks David-I wonder why Dujac parted with it?
    Peter, I think  a lot depends on the winemaker that year. For some reason Montille hasn’t always held on to his staff for very long.

  • Jeremy Seysses


    We co-owned it with Etienne de Montille as it came with the rest of the Moillard vineyards when we acquired it in 2005. We decided not to keep any (a decision I occasionally regret) as we want to remain centered around Morey and Nuits felt a bit far.

    I have not tried the 06 Thorey in a while, but my recollections don’t match David’s experience.

    And David, your complaint about lack of tannin is perhaps not quite pertinent here. While the wine should have “some” tannin, like almost any red, the northern side of Nuits has nothing in common with the South, which produces very much more tannic wines. As a recent producer of Damodes (négociant wine), I was surprised to find that here were some grapes it was near impossible to overextract.

  • I’ve looked into this further and I’ve had this wine twice before, both times I liked it. Either this was a dodgy bottle or it was in a really unfortunate stage of development.

    That being said, I’ve still had more unfortunate de Montille wines recently than I would like. I’ve got a couple more in the wine fridge (an 06 Pommard 1er cru and an 07 Volnay 1er cru) and I am going to open them soon and taste them with my palate set to its most throbbingly analytical. We shall see!

  • Tom Blach

    The interesting question, of course, is the extent to which even the most throbbingly analytical palate can penetrate the secrets of a genuinely closed wine, if indeed that’s what it is rather than an unrepresentative bottle. I have come to believe that it’s impossible.