Pattes Loups – 2015 (v2)


Tasted in Courgis with Thomas Pico, 18 January 2018 – and in a break with tradition Thomas took off his hat for the photo!

Domaine Pattes Loups
Grande rue Nicolas Droin
89800 Courgis
Tel: +33 3 86 41 46 38

Thomas, in keeping with his labels – a lone wolf – is now extending the length of elevage for his wines, as much, if not more, than any domaine in the Côte de Beaune. He is now doing two years of elevage and, necessarily of-course, marketing his wines one year later than his peers. For that reason, I’m retasting his 2015s this year – not tasting the 2016s.

Thomas on 2016:
2016 delivered an average of 9 hl/ha – so about 20% of a normal vintage. I had to source grapes from friends, and from all around France, though from those who are certified bio. Courgis’ main problem was the hail, but I also lost 2 hectares to the frost.

Thomas on 2015:
“The 2015s we were hit by the hail, but I still made more wine with them than in 2014 or certainly 2016. The lower yields in 2014 were about 35 hl/ha – it was more like 42-45 hl/ha for the best in 2015.

“Butteaux 2015 will be bottled May/June for selling in 2019. So from now on with the extra elevage, we look a year back. I’ve used very little sulfur, already I’ve done 13 years in bio and everything by hand – I don’t have any pretensions, but I don’t think it’s great to taste wines before they are bottled.

The wines…

These 2015s were slightly tighter than last year – but nonetheless on a super level. Great lone wolf wines!

2015 Chablis
Only bottled this week – there are different bottlings, but this was done this week
A good freshness, almost a spiced pear in there too. Fine and wide, a subtle yellow fruit, pure and mineral, some sweetness. Really attractive wine.

2015 Chablis 1er Côte de Jouan
Bottled November, not yet started to commercialise. ‘I was worried about this wine because it was usually austere in the elevage – but it seems to have worked out very well.’
A lovely width, an extra minerality but at the same time perfumed. Rounder, a trace of oak, transparent – pure like a 2016, ingraining but never hard flavour. Contemplative but beautifully fresh and balanced – lovely…

2015 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Bought grapes, but In bio. This was bottled in July, but is only just starting to be commercialized.
Ooh – this is wide and deliciously mineral with a twist of ripe lemon fruit. This is rounder but pure and delicious, with a little oak. A rounder tighter wine than the previous ones, yet oh-so delicious.

2015 Chablis 1er Beauregard
‘Sol magnifique’ – but needs harvesting late.
Wow – great nose of dimension and attractive mineral complexity. Really a super and complex palate, wide, agrumed, mineral and really fabulous. Bravo! Great wine!

2015 Chablis 1er Butteaux
From tank.
A modest width of aroma but fine depth – mineral almost suggesting a faint reduction. A lovely leading edge of flavour – a wave of flavour, fresh, wide and oh-so long. Agrume style, sweet agrume finishing. Really excellent wine with a lovely purity in the finish.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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