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Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "Les Caillerets", 2018

$114.99

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Burgundy, ancient and revered as it is, has been one of the most dynamic exciting regions in the world over the last ten years. In the 1990s and earlier there was only a small handful of producers that you could count on. Those producers -- we're talking Armand Rousseau, Coche-Dury and the like -- are now out of reach for most of us. Back then, Burgundy went through an uneven period when many red wines were made with too much new oak and extraction, and many white wines were made to taste good on release but without the classic staying power in the cellar.

But at some point in the second half of the last decade, things really turned around. Great new producers emerged and lots of existing producers upped their game and started making much better wines. In this latter, "most improved" category, we put Jean-Marc Pillot at the every top.

Pillot is blessed with some of the finest vineyard sites in Chassagne Montrachet. But like most producers, as recently as 10-12 years ago he used too much "battonage" (basically stirring up the lees in the vat). This added richness to the wine but has also been associated with premature oxidation. At some point along the way, he had an epiphany: he stopped with the battonage and started to make wines in the "reductive" (i.e., not oxidative) style associated with Jean-Marc Roulot.

And it worked. The improvement in quality has been more dramatic here than almost anywhere else in Burgundy. The consistency is incredible and there have been none of the issues with premature oxidation that others have continued to experience as recently as 2008 and 2010.

They are still rich and wonderful examples of Chardonnay, with a little more generosity than you get in Roulot's wines. But now they have more chisel, more crystalline qualities, more terroir expression. And they age beautifully!

Professional Reviews

Burghound

BH 93
"A vague whiff of the exotic is present in the form of lychee nut and viognier-like nuances on the assorted white orchard fruit and citrus rind scents. There is both fine energy and volume to the lightly mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that brim with dry extract that imparts a sappy texture to the long, balanced and notably dry finale. This too is very good and worthy of your interest."

What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...

The Caillerets, sourced from vines planted in 1969, is perhaps the most complete wine amongst the 1er Crus (let’s exclude for the moment the “Clos Saint Marc” which is almost “outside of category”!). As it should be due to its distinguished position on the slope above Morgeot and Champs Gains, the Caillerets manages to bring both power and finesse to the palate.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Chardonnay

  • Vintage

    2018

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Full Bodied