Puligny’s Premier Cru ‘La Garenne’ was historically among the later premier cru vineyards to be cleared and planted; a ‘Garenne’ was a walled hunting preserve in medieval Burgundy, a source of entertainment and sustenance in this case for the monks of the nearby Abbey of Maizières. Whether medievalists colloquially referred to ’shooting rabbit in a garenne’ as something of a precursor to our modern ‘fish in a barrel’ remains a mystery lost to history, alas.
The vineyard is steep and very stony, and had a reputation for austerity before climate change warmed its fortunes. It now regularly produces wines of intense minerality, wines sleek of body but rarely austere. The fruit profile of Genot’s 2017 example, as is typical of the site, is pitched between citrus and orchard fruits, borrowing the best of each as the wine opens in the glass. The combination of the vineyard’s insistent stoniness and ‘17s hi-def focus results in a wine of uncommon, even rare, elegance and breed. Even better, this is an absolutely superb value. - Jason
Genot-Boulanger has quietly been producing excellent wines across a huge range of vineyard holdings. Guillaume and Aude Lavollée have radically increased the quality in the last decade and savvy drinkers should not fear the large diversity of offerings. There is diligent work in the vineyards according to the idea of “maximum work in the vineyards for minimum intervention in the cuverie.” The wines are pure and expressive of their climats year-in year-out. That said, the 2017s are especially impressive.
Genot-Boulanger has a small 0.37 hectare parcel in La Garenne near the top of the slope near St Aubin. The bedrock is pure limestone and the thin top soil abounds with fossils. The site gives beautifully precise and piercingly mineral wines. The 2017 has beautiful lemon custard and white floral notes amid a touch of pillowy reduction. There’s ample mid-palate richness along with bright orchard fruits. The wine is the epitome of elegant Puligny, with a steely spine and a lingering perception of flowers with slight enlivening bitterness- almost green almond-like. A very fine Puligny lieu-dit at a sharp price.