Domaine Prudhon’s 2015 Whites and 2014 Reds

Posted on Posted in Articles, Domaine Henri Prudhon, Producer Spotlight, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

The combination of 2015 white wines and 2014 red wines produced by Domaine Prudhon comprises a rock-solid source of Burgundy of incredible-value.. While the natural richness of a solar vintage like 2015 had the potential to yield unwieldy, unbalanced white Burgundies for those growers who favor a more heavy-handed approach, Prudhon’s chiseled, acid-driven style counterbalanced the vintage’s natural amplitude beautifully. And, with the 2014 red wines, the open-knit, beguiling nature of the vintage added a bit of fruit-forward succulence to Prudhon’s penetrating, lean take on Pinot Noir. As brothers Vincent and Philippe continue to refine their craft, the wines of Domaine Prudhon have become even finer and more expressive, while remaining almost anachronistically classical and without artifice. Burgundy of this character, offering this sort of value, is an increasingly rare commodity, and we are thrilled to share them with you, as they capture the spirit of Burgundy in an effortlessly profound way.

THE WHITES
2015 Bourgogne Aligote
Prudhon’s exemplary Aligote comes from two plots—one in Saint-Aubin and one in Puligny-Montrachet—totaling just under a half-hectare. The vines are between 30 and 60 years old, and the wine is aged in stainless steel and bottled on the early side to preserve freshness.

2015 Bourgogne Blanc “En Jorcul”
“En Jorcul” is a well-situated lieu-dit which abuts the appellation of Saint-Aubin on its western edge, just past “Le Ban” (see below), and the Prudhons own 0.8 hectares of vines there. It is fermented and aged in barrel, but no new oak is employed, thereby allowing the minerality to take center stage.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc “Le Ban”
Always a terrific value, this is a wine that has nonetheless really improved in recent vintages. The Prudhons farm just over two hectares in this southeast-exposed site, with vines between 10 and 60 years of age.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru “Les Castets”
“Les Castets” sits just underneath “Le Ban,” and it marks the beginning of a swath of premier crus that form the “fillet” of the slope above the village itself. Produced from a miniscule 0.3-hectare parcel, the wine shows more richness and breadth on the palate than the “Le Ban” above, but with a similar vibrancy and balance. Prudhon’s vines here are 15 years old, and they employ a modest 25% new oak—which the premier-cru flesh of the wine absorbs completely.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru “Sur le Sentier du Clou”
Always a standout in Prudhon’s cellar, “Sur le Sentier du Clou” produces both white and red wine of great character and complexity. The Prudhons own a 0.4 hectare parcel of 35-year-old Chardonnay in this vineyard, which lies in the heart of the western flank of Saint-Aubin, completely surrounded by other premier crus.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru “Les Perrieres”
“Les Perrieres” sits just below “Sur le Sentier du Clou” on the slope, immediately north of the village itself, and the Prudhons own a half-hectare of 35-year-old vines here. It is typically more firmly mineral and linear than “Sentier du Clou,” and this 2015 is no exception—a bit quieter on the nose at the moment, with a strict, tightly focused palate of immense electricity.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru “Sur Gamay”
Located in the center of the eastern, lower-lying sector of Saint-Aubin, “Sur Gamay”—like “Sentier du Clou” above—is completely surrounded by premier crus. This sector is within striking distance of the fabled Le Montrachet itself, and it’s where Saint-Aubin really shows off its ability to deliver mindboggling value. Prudhon owns three-quarters of a hectare here, with vines between 20 and 60 years of age.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru “La Chateniere”
The beautifully situated “La Chateniere” sits right next to “Sur Gamay” on the slope (its northern edge is the southern edge of “Sur Gamay”). Prudhon owns a painfully tiny parcel here—barely a tenth of a hectare of 40-year-old Chardonnay—and the wine is always a standout. This 2015 has a similar carriage to its neighbor above, but with a bit more detail and refinement, and a hair’s breadth more richness on the palate hints at its close proximity to grand cru territory. The wine sees one-third new oak each year (Prudhon typically produces just three barrels, one of which is always new), but the wine bears no trace of wood influence.

2015 Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru “En Remilly”
“En Remilly” is a secret-weapon cru of Saint-Aubin, situated literally across a narrow road from Chevalier-Montrachet, one of the most fabled vineyards in the world. Soils here are very poor and very rocky, and Prudhon owns a mere quarter-hectare, with vines around 25 to 30 years of age. As one would expect, this is typically the most complete, most complex, and most dense Saint-Aubin Blanc in Prudhon’s arsenal. As a testament to Prudhon’s non-flashy approach, even a wine of this stature sees only 25% new oak each vintage.

2015 Puligny-Montrachet “Les Enseigneres”
“Les Enseigneres” is one of those stealth values in the complex world of Burgundy. Its western border is the eastern edge of Batard-Montrachet, and it is one of the rare spots in the Cote d’Or where grand cru slopes directly down into village-level with no premier cru in between. The Prudhons own just shy of a hectare of quite old vines here—between 30 and 80 years of age.

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Les Chenevottes”
Though the differences between Saint-Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet can be more difficult to pinpoint when tasting them in isolation from one another, the positively Chassagne character of this wine screams out loud and clear in the context of Prudhon’s other white wines. “Chenevottes” sits right at the nexus of Puligny-Montrachet, Saint-Aubin, and Chassagne-Montrachet, and the Prudhons own just over a tenth of a hectare of 40-year-old vines here.

THE REDS
2015 Bourgogne Rouge “Les Charmeaux”
The Prudhons own a total of 0.7 hectares of 10-to-40-year-old Pinot Noir in this vineyard just outside Saint-Aubin. Like the Bourgogne Blanc, no new oak is employed during its elevage, and the wine has a similar purity and mineral-driven honesty.

2014 Saint-Aubin Rouge “Les Argillers”
“Les Argillers” sits on the upper reaches of the slope of Saint-Aubin, just south of “Le Ban” and bordering the forest. Prudhon farms two hectares of 30-to-60-year-old vines here, and the wine they produce tends to be snappy, mineral-driven, and floral—less about Pinot Noir plushness and more about the freshness and drive of a cool-climate red wine.

2014 Saint-Aubin Rouge 1er Cru “Les Frionnes”
The Prudhons own a solid hectare of vines between 30 and 60 years of age in this premier cru that lies just to the north of “Les Perrieres.” In keeping with the Prudhon house style, “Frionnes” emphasizes the freshness and raciness of Saint-Aubin—there is virtually no new oak used in its elevage, and there’s a certain restraint and brightness to the fruit that feels self-assured and very terroir-loyal.

2014 Saint-Aubin Rouge 1er Cru “Rouges Gorges”
This bottling blends tiny parcels in several different premier crus—one from the hill just above Gamay and one on the border of Saint-Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet. The vines range from 40 to 60 years of age, and the total surface area is just 0.7 hectares.

2014 Saint-Aubin Rouge 1er Cru “Sur le Sentier du Clou – Vieilles Vignes”
The red counterpart to the outstanding Blanc outlined above, this 2014 gives the impression of tiny, concentrated berries on the nose, with a gentle overlay of savory spices and herbs. It’s thicker on the palate than the above reds, with a driving, long finish.

2014 Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge “Les Chambres”
Prudhon owns a third of a hectare of 40-year-old Pinot Noir in this lieu-dit, nestled in the heart of Chassagne-Montrachet. This impressive, unapologetically savory wine illustrates very clearly the potential for classic Cote de Beaune red Burgundy in this once-red-wine-dominated appellation.

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