The Wine Curmudgeon’s entire reason for being is cheap wine. Anyone can write about the pricey stuff; hell, there’s an entire industry devoted to the subject called the Wine Magazines. So when I get to chance to taste something that costs more than $10, I pay careful attention.
That’s what happened last week at a Dallas restaurant, Hector’s on Henderson, where I shared a bottle of Domaine Amiot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Desmoiselles 2003.
My great weakness, as regular visitors here know, is white Burgundy, and especially Puligny-Montrachet.Puligny is classic French chardonnay with grace and elegance, and it’s rarely showy or ostentatious (not unlike Catherine Deneuve -- you can figure out for yourselves which wine represents Madonna.)
They are also not cheap. The Amiot retails for $90 (and Hector’s marked it up twice, which is isn’t bad as these things go), and it is not a particularly expensive bottle of Puligny. Josh Wesson has called these wines the anti-Christ, and it’s difficult to argue with him. But is it possible that the Amiot delivered value?
In this case, yes. The wine was a fine example of why I enjoy white Burgundy, and especially Puligny: Clean, minerally and with the oak and the apple fruit layered against teach other in harmony, each contributing to the wine and not trying to overpower the other. This is the way it’s done in Puligny -- and in few other places. Interestingly, Amiot is a less known but well respected producer that is better known for its Chassagne-Montrachet (which is a little steelier than Puligny).
Also worth noting is that 2003 was not a great vintage and the wine was still a bit too young. But we let it sit open for an hour before we tasted it (I called ahead and asked assistant manager Chris Chapman to uncork it before we arrived) and then drank it slowly. By the time we finished, the Amiot was all I could have hoped for.
For more on expensive wine: