Topic of the Week 5/24/2019 - Advanced

Fermentation and its temperature ranges last week from , and . So many complexities there and easy to dive down the rabbit hole. I appreciated 's analogy to people, although I'm glad it's not as accurate as 's 113 degree death sentence. Grimacing

This week: Montmains lieux-dits

What are they and how do they differ from one another?

  • The two lieux-dits of Montmains are Butteaux (15.43 ha) and Forets (16.39 ha). Butteaux, located just south/west of Forets, got its name from the word "Butte" meaning the upper part of the hill and correspondingly sits higher on the slope than Forets. 

  • The three adjacent vineyards of Butteaux, Forets, and Montmains on the left bank of the Serein River can all be labeled under the more famous Montmains. The closest to the river is Montmains itself, with Forets directly to its southwest, and Butteaux the farthest southwest. While all are southeast facing vineyards on Kimmeridgian soils with high limestone content, Forets soils tend to be stonier and shallower while Butteaux soils have more clay. Forets wines are typically elegant and steely, while Butteaux wines can have a slightly more concentrated mineral character and the Butteaux name is more likely to appear on a label. 

  • To add to the information already given, I always remember Jasper Morris attributing licorice notes for the wines of Forets, which I love to think about every time I open a bottle. The wines of Forets tend to be more tightly- wound and linear than Butteaux or Montsmains. Dauvissat also finds Forets to be especially complex with the variations of clay and the abundance of stones which render drainage very effective. 

    Butteaux has all of that white clay, and tends to lend itself to having more weight, density, and persistent power. More of a Rotisserie Chicken (rather than a Fluke Crudo) type of wine. 

  • I've got a flashcard saying the same thing about Butteaux being more likely to appear on the label (but didn't include the source, so I'm not sure where that fact came from)....but when I check out what's available on Wine Searcher, Forets/La Forest(!) seems to be much more prolific. 

  • You will see all 4 utilized on labels, just depends on what parcels they have. The 4th one is if it comes from the NE portion it can be labeled Le Montmains, which is different from Mountains meaning that it could be blended from multiple parcels along the ridge.