Tasted with Thierry Pillot in Chassagne-Montrachet, 20 October 2015.
Domaine Paul Pillot
3 Clos Saint-Jean
Tel: +33 3 80 21 31 44
Thierry on the recent vintages:
“We started early in Chassagne, on the 29th August. Good phenolic maturity, despite that, Ruchottes was 13.2° and there was no reason to delay. Some vines were a little blocked so were finished about the 4th September. We cut under the heat of course – this being the 4th time in August for us – 03, 08, 11 and now 15. We’ve great pinots but it will be interesting to see how the whites develop.”
The Spring saw hydric stress and we had about 30% less quantity. Also a little early harvesting too. More maturity than 2013, larger wines but still with good energy.
On 2014 pricing:
The top wines will go up a little, the pricing of the rest will largely be unchanged.
Thierry is using a lot of 350 litre barrels in his cellar – he says it offers a good compromise between oxygenation and not too much oak flavour. The white wines are not decanted and receive no battonage. There are ‘just a few’ whole clusters used in the red fermentations.
Here we have quite a mix of ‘readiness’ – some bottled, some from tank others in barrel. The assemblies for many will be in March.
2014 Bourgogne Chardonnay
Bright, fresh, more a villages style nose. Wide and intense, very direct but with a modest sweetness then a great finishing wave of acid-led flavour. Super!
A mix of parcels. Also bottled.
A Roulot-style aromatic reduction. Intense, fleshy, certainly prettier fruit here, but intense and energetic – even better.
2014 St.Aubin 1er Pitangerets
Not bottled. A colder terroir on more limestone.
A tighter nose but with an earthy depth. Sharper acidity, but with a growing sweet width – adding more and more flavour in the mid-palate – this gets wider and wider, also in the finish too where there’s some orange zest. For comfort I’d take the previous wine, but this for the intellect…
2014 St.Aubin 1er Charmois
Also tight but with an overlay of fine freshness. Also a fresh start and slowly filling out with more and more flavour – here a ripple more of richness to the texture Long and deep finishing…
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Mazures
A ‘nice terroir’ below Champs Gains
Wide, pretty and with very inviting detail. Mouth-watering fresh intensity, then another level of flavour explosion afterwards. Lovely. Wider in the mid-palate, maybe less wide in finish vs the St.Aubins. A mineral line in the finish.
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Champs Gains
Deeper soil, more clay. One of the richer wines of Chassagne, like Morgeot.
A faint softness but a tighter nose again. Fine acid attack once more. Wide and with waves of flavour – not so overt as others but the complexity is here.
A more intense nose, wide and fresh – some white fruit – pear? A little more concentration and a growing weight of flavour intensity. Here is a mix of agrumes and more exotic fruit but really a special complexity in the finish.
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Grands Ruchottes
A more textured weight and depth of faintly spiced aroma – the vines of Chassagne! A faint gas on the texture, again slow-moving waves of flavour. And then a large block of flavour in mp before fading. Excellent wine…
A sweeter more direct nose, surrounded by freshness, but still tighter. Gorgeous, lithe, liquid silk over the palate, gorgeous mid-palate growth of flavour. Simply beautiful.
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Grande Montagne
A width of aroma, almost wood but its old wood, round, a core of flavour enrobed in a fine acidity. Potentially super yum!
2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Romanée
More fruit driven, some ripeness, yet tighter too. A little more attack, fine energy, more shape to the structure. Layers of finishing flavour – very wide flavours.
These last two 2014s were clearly further behind in elevage vs the previous wines.
2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Grande Montagne
Wide, fine aroma without the density – more airy. It’s like a 2014 in terms of energy and acidity, but a little sleeker lined, less flattering, no less intensity or complexity. Very tasty.
Still in elevage but now assembled.
Pow! Big, round fresh, dark, ebullient fruit with a little sweetness – this smells like my kitchen while cooking jam. Big in the mouth but really beautifully proportioned with very fine flavoured fruit, of freshness but no harshness. First class.
Made just like my father, okay a little more focus on the vines, so triage. Still in barrel and made with 20% stems.
More width and weight of aroma, again very fine dark fruit. Almost a faint smoke too. Slowly becomes more floral in the glass. Beautiful depth of flavour – wow – gorgeous. Long finishing on a fine narrow note but here’s a really pure Clos St.Jean.