Domaine Jomain Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 2006

Impossibly muted at first, with suggestions of seaside mornings, all blinding sun, freshly applied cologne, and the faintest hint of a hangover, this wine is hella classy, and I mean that sincerely. I’m transported to an imagine holiday on the Côte d’Azure – scratch that, more like the Costa Brava, home of slightly too much money, blinged-out sunglasses, and overindulgence with negligible repercussions the morning after.OK, let’s try that again. Relatively light yellow in the glass, the wine is subtle, elegant, distanced. The nose is absolutely gorgeous, with faint traces of suntan oil, a distant lemon grove, freshly-churned butter, and just-baked bread. There’s a faint hint of green, almost vetiver in its earthiness, and yet it’s overshadowed by toasty hazelnut and bracing lemon rind.Smooth and poised on the entry, the wine takes its time to announce its refreshing acidity, sliding louchely into a long, gentle fadeout into a slightly woody butter-toasty finish that is smoother than a con artist working the American tourists clutching their Rick Steves guides outside Notre-Dame on a sunny August afternoon. It’s an absolutely mesmerizing effect, and to replay it all all you need do is take another sip: rich, slightly mineral fruit, gentle framing acidity, subtle spicy oak, and then it all runs out again in slow-motion.If this wine were a song, I’m sure Steely Dan would have written it. This is an absolutely delicious wine and yet there’s something slightly dirty behind it that you can’t quite make out. Absolutely recommended for a summer’s afternoon spent undressed with someone to whom you’re not married.Domaine Jomain
Price: $40
Closure: Cork

3 thoughts on “Domaine Jomain Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 2006

  1. Oh, I just love this note. It reminds me of Luca Turin’s description of Kouros, a fragrance that, to me, reeks of Kings Cross on a Sunday morning, but in a good way. Someone ought to do a study of bad smells and the people who love them; not that your note suggests the wine is anything like a bad smell, but there’s a fascinating aesthetic tension in something dirty, edgy or otherwise unharmonious that also somehow manages to attain beauty.

    • “It has that faintly repellent clean-dirty feel of other people’s bathrooms, and manages to smell at once scrubbed and promissory of an unmade bed.” Yes, LT is teh awesome.

      Thinking about this more earlier tonight, I wondered if it’s simply that cheap wines are entirely smooth: they’re delightful in a childish way, all clean surfaces, invisible seams, and simple pleasures. More expensive wines let their freak flag fly a bit, with off notes and incongruous details ironically detaching themselves from the simple bits, letting us all know with a wink and a nod that it’s OK to like this because it’s oh so much more sophisticated than that crap they’re pouring over at the RSL. But when you get to the most exalted wines, often they once again give that same appearance of the flawless surface, the entirely of a piece demeanor… and yet it’s somehow clear that no sir, they’ve made it through the rain (or married an Argentine dictator, or insert your own cliché here) and all of the beauty you’re now beholding came at a terrible price, like a road to Heaven paved with broken nails and smeared mascara.

      Really beautiful stuff and yet you just know that it’s not entirely superficial.

      • I think you’re right; it’s like the difference between a middling fashion photograph and something by Richard Avedon; both might be perfectly executed, but only the latter has something to say. Great wines always tell a story in one way or another.

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