Profile: Pisse-Loup

Update 20.6.2019(2.5.2019)billn

Tasted with Romuald and Jacques Hugot in Beines, 20 March 2019.

Domaine Pisse-Loup
Chemin de Casse Bouteille
89800 Beine
Tel: +33 3 86 42 85 11

I didn’t have the easiest start to finding this domaine, their cuverie in the brilliantly named Chemin de Casse Bouteille is just that, a building with no signs or names to indicate the occupiers. A quick google search showed an address on the main route between Beine and Chablis – but that, I found, was deserted – it seems I had the right place in the road of the broken bottles! I ask Jacques how the road got its name – he shrugs, but says ‘Maybe because the road was always in such a bad state that it was named so – but it’s only an impression!

1985 was the first plantation of vines for the domaine – the last was in 2010. The family had vines, but the father of Jacques (grandfather of Romauld) took them all out – wasn’t into wine. Of-course there were also vines that pre-dated this time but, like everywhere, this was a time of polyculture. Today the domaine exploits 14 hectares of vines, mainly around Beine plus another small plot near Poinchy. Jacques explains that they planted with ‘quality clones’ so they have quite a low yield compared to many other producers. Since 2003 the estate has been worked in a fashion approximating to organic farming with plowing in the vines, so that deeper root development is promoted. Elevage is predominantly in large-format barrels.

This is a domaine that predominantly exports its production, about 45,000 bottles are commercialised each year, but more than half is currently sold in bulk.

Jacques on 2018 and 2017:
2018 was an exception for us – we almost have too much of everything – we have quantity and quality, really clean grapes too – almost too much. In 2017 one of the parcels was frosted more than 50% but in the end, across the domaine, we only lost about 10% to the frost – but! The juice was lacking, so it still wasn’t a very big harvest.

The wines…

Seemingly a very under the radar domaine, but with wines that are worth your time – delicious wines – even when served too cold!

A technical cork is used here, they also like to bottle with plenty of CO2 – about 1,100 mg. They recommend to carafe these wines when young.

2017 Petit Chablis
Hmm – a nice freshness and slight, attractive cushioning to the nose. A hint of gas, wide, then mouth-filling, almost a touch of lime, slow waves of fine fresh flavour. This is delicious!

2016 Petit Chablis
‘We had some mildew around and before flowering, after the long period of rain, but were lucky enough to avoid both frost and hail in this vintage – but it’s still another low volume vintage here.’
Hmm, a nicely wide, vibrant nose. Extra depth a little more concentration. This is a wine of layered concentration, supple depth of flavour – more like a good villages than a PC – excellent wine, finishing with a mix of florals and a little salinity. Bravo.

Then we have two Chablis – one harvested mechanically and the other by hand.:

2017 Chablis
The machine-harvested parcel. Quite a lot of this goes to Japan
A fine if tight nose – the wine is cold. Hhm, this melts beautifully over the palate, nicely textured and with no hard edges. Mouth-watering in the finish. Another delicious wine.

2017 Chablis Cuvée Antoine
‘Antoine’ is in very small text on the label – you may have to search hard to find it – like me!
If possible, a nose that’s even a little tighter than the last wine – but again, the serving temperature is very cold. More incisive, more clarity, more depth of flavour, not particularly wide but super delicious so I hardly care. A little less depth of texture but still slightly my favourite.

2010 Chablis
Manual harvest for all at this time.
Still a young colour. A little width of freshness but accented with some, almost spiced, development. Sweeter, fuller, great shape – still plenty of structure and minerality – a still young concentration of ripe yell lemon. Ooh that’s in great shape. Love!

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