2006 Monthelie, Xavier Monnot

The saying goes that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…not this time! A deeply scented, aromatic pinot noir from a dedicated, driven winemaker for $29.95 (on purchases of 6 or more bottles) and it\’s B-U-R-G-U-N-D-Y? Yes, it\’s true!!! I am so enthralled by this 2006 Monthelie from Monnot, I find it almost too difficult to put down my thoughts. My love affair began with a chance sampling, and then was consummated over an evening just spent smelling it. Not one to restrain myself from kicking back a glass when wine smells this good, the incense-laden/bright fruit aromas kept me from taking a sip. I could not help sticking my nose back into the glass. I just couldn\’t get enough of that scent. My delayed gratification did not last for long though, because after all it\’s Burgundy and it tastes so good! It is important to point out that even without our special pricing, this stellar Burgundy offers value and is worth every penny.


It just so happened that Xavier Monnot recently visited The Wine House for the second year in a row with his good friend and fellow winemaker Herve Gantier of Domaine Sainte-Eugenie. Witty and serious about wine, Xavier revealed that his Monthelie comes from the single vineyard, Les Sous Courts, which lies right next to Monthelie\’s top Premier Cru vineyard, Les Duresses. He confessed to us that he is proud that his wines taste like where they come from: his Volnays taste different from his Beaunes, which taste different from his Monthelies, etc. I could not agree more! Tasting through a range of his wines, you could easily identify the unique regional differences. The heavy-handed imprint of a winemaker is absent. This is not the first time our staff has singled out and featured the wines of Monnot. If you take the time to read over our past reviews, it will become clear that what draws us to Monnot\’s wines is the transparency and pureness of fruit. This past Friday, I engaged in a long, passionate discussion with winemaker Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards about how when participating in a comparative wine tasting, it is often the big, showy wines that score highest. We agreed that these wines are indeed impressive, but they are not necessarily the wines we prefer to drink the entire evening. Along these lines, Xavier Monnot is often quoted as saying \”I make wines when you drink one glass, you\’ll want to finish the bottle\”.


The 2006 Monthelie tastes of concentrated red berries mingled with red earth and gravel. The aromatics are explosive with notes of raspberry, incense and beeswax. Overall, this is an elegant, yet sturdy, pinot noir that is charming and accessible even at this early stage. In fact, I would say this is a wine to drink tonight without any pangs of guilt over drinking it too young. Anya Balistreri


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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Burgundy, Cote du Beaune, French Wine, Xavier Monnot

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