1er Cru White 750 ml
Tasted: Jun 10, 2019
Producer note: Richard Fontaine’s daughter Céline, who is progressively taking over the domaine, described the 2017 growing season as one where we were “incredibly fortunate not to have suffered frost damage again because everything was in place for another catastrophe. In the end though, there was a bit less humidity and some wind, both of which were critical in avoiding damage other than a bit in the pinot vines in our parcel of Bourgogne. Otherwise we had an excellent, mostly stress-free growing season with an early bud break, good flowering and a fine fruit set. The summer was very warm and relatively dry which meant we had no disease threats and the fruit rapidly ripened. We began picking on the 3rd of September and brought in generous yields in both colors. Moreover the fruit was clean and ripe with potential alcohols that ranged from 12.5 to 13%. Interestingly, despite the higher yields we obtained very good densities. In fact the maturities were about what we obtained in 2015 though the wines themselves are notably more elegant. I love the style as they’re classic, refreshing, and beautifully transparent. In sum, I think of the 2017 vintage as a very pleasant surprise as it gave us both quality and quantity.” I found the quality of the Fontaine 2017s to be quite good and while there was some variability, overall the performance was impressive. Fontaine also noted that the whites were bottled in August 2018. (JAO Wine Imports, www.jaowineimports.com, VA, Polaner Selections, www.polanerselections.com, NY, Los Angeles Wine Company, www.lawineco.com, CA, all USA; Diva Beaune S.A.S., www.divawine.com, Beaune, France; John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Decorum Vintners, www.decvin.com, Bibendum Wine Ltd., www.bibendum-wine.co.uk, Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Private Cellar Ltd., www.privatecellar.co.uk, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Laytons, www.laytons.co.uk, O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com, Private Cellar Ltd., www.privatecellar.co.uk and Majestic Wine Warehouses, www.majestic.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: There is a curious hint of apple cider to the lemon zest, essence of white orchard fruit and matchstick nuances. The medium-bodied flavors possess even better intensity thanks to the citrus-tinged acidity shaping the bone dry and somewhat lean finish. This moderately persistent effort definitely needs at least a few years of bottle age to better flesh out.