Diamond in the Rough: 07 Sauzet Puligny 1er Referts

Posted by CrushWine

Diamond in the Rough
2007 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Referts
Maximum Finesse; an individual expression of climat

"Les Referts is fatter, spicier, a little coarser," he says...

Mr. Clive Coates, in this case, we must strongly disagree.

Clive Coates' claim for the terroir of Referts is a fair enough generality, but not when it comes from Sauzet, not in the classic 2007 vintage.

Under Gérard Boudot, the unheralded Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Referts comes with cut, focus, and a definitive sense of authority that stems from the tremendous balance of ripe fruit and powerful acidity.

For the lover of disciplined white Burgundy, this is an underrated Puligny that will outclass many a white Burgundy twice the price.

Sauzet's 2007 Referts spouts the shivering acidity of this great purist's vintage, powerful minerals, plus the succulent, expressive white and yellow fruit and flounce of spice that is the site's signature. This is one of the most deft presentations of Referts. It also comes at a very nice price: $69.72 a bottle... for premier cru Puligny.

You really don't see much Referts. And when it's talked about, it's often in comparison to Combettes or Perrières, with Referts being pointed at as inferior. Coates goes so far as to admonish it as being "slightly heavier, with the least class." If that's the case, today's bottle is the story of the ugly duckling becoming a beautiful swan, the story of a real diamond in the rough.

This is also the story of a top tier producer, down at halftime, who is now taking charge of the game. The 80s and early 90s witnessed Domaine Sauzet's glory in full color, counted among the greatest producers of Chardonnay in the world. As with nearly all white Burgundy estates, Domaine Sauzet experienced problems with premature oxidation in the late 1990s. But to his great credit, Gérard Boudot was one of the first to respond, quickly and thoroughly: He eliminated any silicone on his corks (switched to paraffin coatings), raised sulfur levels and changed the bottle shape to ensure that the corks sit centered in the bottle necks. It may be too early to tell if the changes have fixed the problem entirely, but early indications show that they have made a marked difference.

Boudot says that in his winemaking he is after maximum finesse and an individual expression of the climat, and he certainly achieves it here. This polished white Burgundy from one of our favorite underdog sites is a strong indication of this domaine's awesome potential.

While the Referts is already showing its beauty, this will positively shine after a good three to five years plus in the cellar. In our experience, Referts' baby fat and any overt spice mellow out beautifully after eight to twelve years, when they get really, really lovely. If you have room in your cellar, we recommend taking at least a few bottles to watch this unfold into its full splendor.

To place your order, please email us offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2007 Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Referts

Special Email Bottle Price: $69.72
Compare at $75-84

Burghound: A slightly riper nose that is pure, elegant and expressive displays orchard fruit, especially white peach and pear, trimmed in freshly cut lemon hints that continue onto the bigger and richer flavors that offer a natural sweetness on the sappy, complex and beautifully balanced finish. Good juice and very Puligny.

Sauzet is pre-arrival
NET | No further discount