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!
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
Pillot owns half a hectare of Chardonnay in this well-positioned lieu-dit, which sits just below premier cru Champs-Gains on the slope. One third of his vines here were planted in 1950, one-third in 1990, and one-third in 2010. This 2017 is a classically rendered Chassagne-Montrachet, one which deftly balances rich, mouth-filling fruit with a powerful mineral thrust. [Note: as of the 2016 vintage, this replaces the Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc “Les Chaumes” with which we had worked for many years.]
Focus On: Burgundy
Burgundy has long been the world's most famous wine region. But, underneath all the prestige, this region can be hard to get to know.
While Burgundy offers many great trophies from top producers in well-known villages like Vosne Romanee and Puligny Montrachet, it also offers excellent values to anyone willing to explore beyond the famous names. Our collection– one of the largest in the U.S. – has plenty of both!
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