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Francois Carillon Pul-Mont Folatieres 1er Cru 2015

Francois Carillon 2011 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières | Remarkably rich and ripe –almost definitive of the dry extract of great white Burgundy. Such a flexing, rich and creamy Chardonnay might surprise one aware of 2011’s reputation as firmer and more gothic in its tracery but the explanation of its souplesse rests in the premier cru terroir of Les Folatières.

Let us begin at a bird’s eye view and close in on this gifted climat. Start at Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune départment and look south past the warmth of Meursault and just east of the renowned Mont Rachet where one finds the appellation Puligny-Montrachet celebrated for moving Chardonnays of great depth of character. The 1er Crus of Puligny-Montrachet are all the more impressive than their neighbors resting halfway up the southeasterly limestone slopes that stretch from Meursault (south of Beaune) to Chassagne farther south. Just down the slope from Mont-Rachet itself rests Les Folatières a land named in old French for the foletière or “land haunted by wisps” which legends hold hosted the entrancing dances of nimble elves whose lights could be seen far afield. Today this slope hosts the slower feet of Chardonnay whose stretching roots drive deep into this limestone soil to a Bathonian bedrock in a search of water in an age honored effort that ensures a rich complexity.

What does this mean for the wine? This is a kite whose size and spectrum of fruit might be too much for one to handle if not for the mineral and textural tug that tethers it down as a structured whole. A chirping waxy polish rounds out ripe orchard fruit like apples and apricots with a creamy nuance that curls about with that sap and rosin found on a Chardonnay of consequence. In some ways the kite metaphor falls short as it perhaps evokes too much of a child’s wonder (which this wine certainly brings) but then there is a very real sensuality to this too like one’s first encounter with a person of more experience –taking you places you might not yet know or even yet feel comfortable but certainly leaving you marveling at the experience and soon after yearning for more. An allegory of the cave sort of wine and a mighty fine glass at that.
Wine review by Nicholas Livingston, January 14th 2014 (Flower)

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