Background on the area
You may or may not be aware of this wine or region. It is pronounced “mon-rashay” and is considered to produce some of the most exquisite Chardonnay’s in the world. The community of Puligny-Montrachet is in the eastern Burgundy region. Prior to the addition of Montrachet in 1879, the village was known as Puligny. The Mont-Rachet slope is above the community. Mont means “hill” and rache translates to “scab or rash” built near a quarry. In the western portion of the vineyard is the Les Perrieres Vineyard with “pierre” meaning “stone”. It is entirely planted in Chardonnay grapes, with just 11 acres with limestone/clay mix soils, allowing the wines to provide both a freshness and minerality. Other grapes from the region include red wines from Pinot Noir.
In France, specifically in Burgundy, a wine term call Premier cru or abbreviated “1er cru”, is the second highest classification level. Grand Cru is the demarcation of wines better than Premier cru or 1er cru.
Wines from Montrachet are dry and are noted for the richness and structure. Good bottles can range from $100 to almost $3,000, with some being even higher. They possess a varying depth of flavors and are exceedingly rich in texture and aromas.
The Wine, 2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Perrieres
Picked this wine from the cellar this evening to be enjoyed with our Friday Night Wine & Dine Group. One special being offered begged for this wine (more below). First on the eyes a glistening golden color with medium viscosity. On the nose, an elegance of pear, apple and lemon fragrance. On the palate, the dry wine incorporated honey and peach that circled the mouth. On the finish, honeysuckle, honey and gripping flint minerality counterbalanced the fruit for a long lasting triumphant finish. A spectacular Chardonnay wine to be enjoyed by itself or with a meal.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Tonight’s special at Verona18 was the seared Ahi tuna served with a mushroom risotto and seasonal vegetables, topped with ponzu sauce and sesame seeds. While only enjoying certain mushrooms, I requested the Ahi tuna served without the sauce. I did have it on the risotto. Knowing this beforehand, with no deference to the chef, I brought my own fresh wasabi and soy sauce. With a bit of both over the seared Ahi tuna, the fish was so tasty. Admittedly, when tasting the mushroom covered risotto with the wine, it also was delicious as it paired well.
Dessert was a special egg nog cheese cake drizzled with a caramel sauce that was exceptional! Some of the other wines enjoyed this evening were a 2019 Cabernet Franc from Gundlach Bundschu (Sonoma), a 2019 Tobin James “Notorious” Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles) and a 2019 “Bordeaux style blend, called The Captain” from Wood Family Vineyards (Livermore Valley).
A great way to close out our dining experience at Verona18 for 2022 with “the gang” as the upcoming holidays have many of us traveling about with family obligations.