2008 Benôit Ente Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Houilleres”

2008 Benôit Ente Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Houilleres"

2008 Benôit Ente Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Houilleres"

Chassagne-Montrachet goes very nicely with little sandwiches with the crusts cut off……I know this because when I was last in Burgundy….although I’d just missed out on the annual Feast of St Vincent, the patron saint of vignerons….I was invited to the wrap-up party, held to thank everyone who had been involved in the event and parade.

The Feast of St Vincent is an annual event organised by the  Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin….it usually takes place around the end of January, in every commune, and that said village is a sea of colour for the weekend with various events and of course, the march with statues of St Vinnie in tow…..it attracts great crowds over the weekend and hopefully the prayers for good weather throughout the growing season come true.

The event was held in a hall up the top of the village of Chassagne-Montrachet….all the locals were in attendance, the gendarmes that helped with the event, the growers and every vigneron dragged along a bottle or two of his wares to drink with the perfect little sandwiches that the ladies of the village had slapped together….of course it wasn’t just sarnies…it seems every meal in Burgundy is accompanied by foie gras & cheese so there were bucket loads of those staples also….it was a great, relaxed event….a few speeches but in all it was just the locals and winemakers hanging out, drinking each others wines and having a chat.

Benôit Ente is one of the rising stars of Puligny & Chassagne-Montrachet….his vineyards (3.59 ha in total) were planted by his grandfather in the 1950′s and he farms them in the lutte raisonnée style…..yields are tiny and the wines show a very measured hand in the cellar. The “Les Houilleres”vineyard is a lieu-dits right on the border of Puligny-Montrachet just below Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet…..the Ente holding is tiny…..a mere 0.5 ha.

Pale yellow/gold in hue with enticing aromas of pure white peach and citrus fruits (lemon & grapefruit) along with a waft of yellow plum. There are plenty of stony, minerally facets along with hints of praline, nougat, vanilla bean, soft baking spices and grilled hazelnuts and cashews.

There’s an almost Riesling-like precision on the palate…..it’s all focussed and detailed with a balanced sense of richness and latent power sizzling underneath that sapid, stony acid line. Flavours of grapefruit and pithy lemon combine with juicy white peach with a light lemon curd lilt. There are hints of minerals, grilled nuts. almond paste, cinnamon and vanilla. The tension between the fruit and acidity is superb here hinting at quality levels above a humble village lieu-dits.

The finish is filigreed with great drive and the pure, rich fruit is dappled with lambent flecks of shimmering, stony acidity that flicker through the lingering finish…..a lovely, detailed, lip-smacking white of surprising character.

Price: $90 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 12.5% – Source: Sample – Importer: Eurocentric

Precise, clean & detailed

Precise, clean & detailed

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “2008 Benôit Ente Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Houilleres””

  1. David Stevens-Castro
    June 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm #


    The honesty of your words, the way you make feel the reader be part of the story and the final notes of Chassage-Montrachet made my day a lot more colourful.


    Sommelier & Wine Merchant

    • Dave
      June 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Many thanks for the kind words David!