Paul Pernot – 2016


Tasted 09 October in Puligny with Paul Pernot, his son Michel and grand-daughter Alina.

Domaine Pernot Paul et Ses Fils
7 Place du Monument
21190 Puligny-Montrachet
Tel: +33 3 80 21 32 35

It’s a few years since I last tasted at this domaine, but optically, nothing much has changed – also with Paul Pernot too. Monsieur Pernot (senior) always starts gruff, but as the conversation about wines and vines slowly starts to flow, he opens up just like his wines. Today the domaine is now more than twice that size, at 23 hectares, but is 75% centred on Puligny-Montrachet.

Paul Pernot began working in the vines at only 14 years-old, started his domaine in 1959 with nearly 10 hectares of land that had been in the family for the best part of 200 years – though much of it wasn’t planted with vines at that time. The great-grandfather of Paul was a négociant who was based in Puligny. Paul is in his late 70s now but has been aided by his sons Paul and Michel for many years – on this visit, grand-daughter Alina was on wine-pouring duty.

The domaine is known for their whites, but they also have some interesting parcels of reds – bought mainly by the sons – but they are tiny parcels, delivering only 2-4 barrels of wine in a ‘normal’ vintage. Despite the size of the domaine, their wines are not so easy to come by as they are very proud of their long relationship with Maison Joseph Drouhin, and as much as 80% of their production is devoted to supplying wines to them.

The succinct Mr Pernot on the last two vintages:

Paul Pernot on 2017:
It was an easy vintage.

Paul Pernot on 2016:
2016 was pretty much a normal vintage, except of-course for our Bienvenues and Bourgogne which were frosted.

The wines…

As always here, the bottling was done before the harvest – so in July and August – for the whole range. Michel explains “We do it this way because we don’t have any temperature control in our cellar and feel the wines would suffer if we let them hang around in those hotter months

Wines of beautiful texture and mouth-watering balance. At this stage they show their barrel elevage – so I would wait – but I’ve never noted much oak on three-year-old bottles.

2016 Bourgogne Aligoté
From the commune of Puligny, vines of 80-90 years old and always with a small yield.
A big and ripe nose, some power here but no lack of aromatic balance. Hmm, this is nice – a little luxury to the mouthfeel. For the label this is both concentrated and tasty – long too – really a great finish. Bravo!

2016 Bourgpgne Chardonnay
The assembly of three parcels towards Meursault, but still in Puligny. One of the biggest cuvées for the domaine – 25k bottles.
Supple, a little more freshness vs the the aligoté. Just a little structure but here is a nicely mouth-watering finish. Good quality here.

2016 Puligny-Montrachet
Also a blend of parcels towards Meursault, near Pucelles plus also on the Chassagne side, so it’s a good view of the appellation, says Paul Pernot.
Hmm, here is a little floral addition to the nose. Also a little strictness of structure, but balanced by a little barrel padding too. Long waves of flavour – a mix of the mineral and the creamy oak. I’d wait a couple of years for this, but it’s very tasty wine despite the make-up.

2016 Meursault 1er La Piece Sous la Bois
François Frères Troncais barrels, from ‘haute gamme’ – 30% new barrels, the rest 1-3 years old. Whereas the bourgognes are all old barrels up to 8 years old.
Riper fruit, a hint of coconut-style oak too. Hmm, this is nice in the mouth – narrow but layered – good texture, the oak flavour creeps into the mid-palate, but it’s mineral and very tasty too. Delicious despite to oak level today.

2016 Puligtny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet Clos de la Jaquelotte
There’s one other owner here, but only Pernot put it on the label.
Just a hint of pepper over the faint oak and yellow fruit. Hmm, the oak is more absorbed here, there is fine width and weight of flavour – a padded minerality with some sweetness. Nice layers of finishing flavour.

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Chalumeaux
Quite some similarity to the Jacquelotte here. Just a hint more melting freshness – the texture is lovely. Long, long. This is a real honey in the finish.

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Garenne
Always a little more power here – the clos shared with Magenta/Jadot
Here the nose is really tight. A little more structure and volume in the mouth. Good texture like all here – a little touch of finishing salinity to accent a spicy fruit. Very tasty.

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatieres
Two parcels, one high and steep, the other lower older vines from the 1960s
Also a tight nose to start, but slowly adds a little more white flowers impression. Hmm, this has an ingraining and delicious flavour – a little oak is aiding for sure, but this is a very tasty wine to wait a little for. Delicious!

2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Pucelles
Lost some to frost this vintage.
Also not a big nose but here is something very attractive and inviting. A little extra freshness, fine and weighty fresh layers of flavour – as all these with a small accent of coconut/creamy oak. But this is excellent. Bravo.

2016 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
Lost at least half here – relatively young vines at 25 years-old.
Very wide, mineral, layered wine, sweetness encapsulating the minerality. This is beautifully long, certainly with an oaky aftertaste, but delicious.

2106 Bâtard-Montrachet
The Bâtard is not so massive aromatically, but there is an undertow of attractive crême-patissière. Just a little extra mouth-watering versus the Bienvenues – as all these with great texture. Just excellent wine.

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