Jean-Marc Pillot, Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru “Les Vergers”, 2016

$82.99
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Jean-Marc Pillot

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 90-93
"More restrained aromas features notes of petrol, anise, tea and citrus peel. In contrast to the racy flavors of the Macherelles here the dense flavors are super-rich thanks to the abundance of dry extract that also buffers the firm acid spine on the robust, indeed even slightly rustic finish that flashes excellent complexity. Good stuff and built-to-age yet a wine that should drink well young."

Details

  • Country

    France

  • Region

    Burgundy

  • Grape Variety

    Chardonnay

  • Vintage

    2016

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Pair With

    Drink With Fish , Drink With Poultry

  • Style

    Elegant , Minerally , Silky

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied