Expensive wine 47: Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 2006
During the publicity blitz for the Cheap Wine Book and the Kickstarter project (Q&A explaining how Kickstarter works; Kickstarter link; What the book is), I did a virtual talk show with a group in Napa Valley. One of the questions I got was why I drink only cheap wine; what did I have against expensive wine?
The Wine Cumurdgeon is so misunderstood.
I don't have anything against expensive wine. I even drink it myself when the occasion arises. My point is that we expect everyone to drink expensive wine, whether they want to or know anything about it instead of realizing the limitations involved. It's like learning to drive — you don't start with a Lamborghini, do you?
In fact, I told the people on the show, I look for the same thing in expensive wine that I look for in cheap wine — value. And the Sauzet ($50, purchased) delivers on this count over and over and over. It's chardonnay from the French region of Burgundy, and specficailly the area called Puligny-Montrachet. In this, the wines are elegant and always in such balance that it's almost impossible to believe.
Sauzet is just one of many excellent producers from the area. The 2006, which I've tasted three times, has changed — and for the better — each time. Always, it's a mix of green apple fruit, spiciness (cloves or white pepper?) oak nestled in the background, and the minerality that defines this wine.
This would make a lovely gift for The Holiday That Must Not be Named, as well as for any dinner with someone you care about.