Tasted 01 October, 2018 in Puligny with Michel and Alina Pernot.
Domaine Pernot Paul et Ses Fils
7 Place du Monument
Tel: +33 3 80 21 32 35
www.domaine-pernot.com (not yet online)
Domaine Pernot is a very important domaine in Puligny-Montrachet, if relatively less important in the general market – though only under their own name: About 30% of their production – some 60-80,000 bottles – trickle into the market each year, and only to a long-established clientelle – practically all their customers have been buying 25+ years. The destination of the remaining 70% of their wine is no secret and is also a long-term relationship that dates back to the early 1960s – they are very proud and open suppliers of Maison Joseph Drouhin.
The most overt changes at the domaine this year are that this is the first time I’ve not seen Pernot Père, Michel and daughter Alvina taking on the tasting duties alone for the 2017s. The second change is market-facing and very positive for customers – in my opinion – the 2017s having been bottled for the first time with DIAM5 for the regionals and DIAM10 for the rest – and that includes their reds. “It’s a great security for us,” says Michel Pernot, “Particularly from the perspective of the wines in restaurants.”
Michel Pernot on 2018:
“2018 is a magnificent vintage. Such a lovely harvest, a very clean harvest too, with lots of sunshine to ripen the grapes. I had some worry about acidities but the pHs were never actually a worry I’m very happy to say. It was also a very good yield!”
Michel Pernot on 2017:
“Another good harvest, started only a couple of days later than in 2018 – with a little less volume in 2017 versus 2018.”
I also asked Michel how he saw the current market:
“The market is very good, 80% of production is already reserved. We have the chance that we have a large domaine and can play a little with the volumes of how much we commercialise in bulk, which provides us with the luxury of keeping a consistent volume for our private clients. For instance we were hardly touched in Puligny by 2016 frost but we lost half our grand cru production – so we sold none of the remaining grand cru to the negoce, thus keeping a normal volume for our domaine clients.”
“Everything bottled in the first half of July – fortunately before it became really too hot.”
All of the wines show a fine level of concentration, and all the white cuvées have their own character – a very fine differentiation of their plots – though there’s a family resemblance to the aromatics of all the reds – though that doesn’t make them less tasty!
The whites at the base of the range are muscular and need a carafe today – hopefully they will open and become more expressive with a little more time in bottle. The higher value bottles, however, ooze class – they are rich but balanced wines – and they now have the extra security of DIAM closures, so are now a very good choice for your cellar.
2017 Bourgogne Aligoté
From the commune of Puligny, close to Route Nationale in the direction Corpeau. ‘We dont know the age of the vines as they were bought quite a time ago but they are at least 80-90 years old and always with a small yield.‘
A pretty yellow freshness of fruit with a hint of musk. Hmm, depth, concentration, growing but not a massive acidity with a mouth-watering weight of flavour. This is excellent!
2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay
The assembly of three parcels towards Meursault, but still in Puligny – still on the village side of the Route Nationale. One of the biggest cuvées for the domaine – 25k bottles. The vines are only a stone’s throw away from the villages Puligny.
A faint twist of reduction. Concentrated – impressively so, a faint mix of reduction and minerality is the style, layered and concentrated. Long too – carafe…
This year three parcels touching on the 1er crus – there are many more parcels but all the rest were sold to Drouhin, it varies a little each year.
Less width but lots of depth and concentration here. Also concentrated but more texture and more complexity – mobile, rich and full of flavour, full of length – super wine here.
2017 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.
Less impact in the depth, a little more floral and higher toned energy above. More open, a little more energy, playing, complex, layered wine. This is really excellent. Super wine!
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet Clos de la Jaquelotte
There’s one other owner here, but only Pernot put it on the label. Just under Chalumaux – ‘Always a low yield, seemingly less each year – if we get 30 hl/ha it’s a surprise! Dalle calcaire and very little soil – it doesn’t help!’
Back to deep and concentrated, stone fruit aroma below. Mineral, sleek, growing in intensity – a flinty style of wine. Holding an impressive finish – excellent again, and very different.
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Garenne
Always a little more power here – the clos shared with Magenta/Jadot. The larger grapes here and give about 45 hl/ha in 2017.
A tighter nose, but it gives a silky textural impression all the same, slowly adding some vanilla notes. Hmm, a mix of the minerality of the last with a little more energy, playing over the palate.
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Chalumaux
Bottom of the vineyard, red soil like the previous two. Above is a more meagre soil with more silex – it’s an old cleared wood, we think it less interesting there.’
Concentrated with a little extra floral top note. Hmm, mineral again, layered, power here, impressive wine, unfurling, fine textured, a little barrel sweetness currently showing. Really a wine with an impressive power but balance too. Super!
Two parcels, one high and steep, the other lower older vines from the 1960s
This nose starts quite open but it’s less demonstrative than the Chalumaux. A little more intense and mobile on the palate though. Nicely growing minerality. Really persistent, love this, tenacious flavour – leaves its echo for a long time in the finish. Bravo!
A little more oak, maybe 35% vs the 20% of the previous 1ers
A hint of oak here, but also a good depth and top note blend for this narrower nose – to start. Directly another level of energy and delicious complexity, the oak is more background though certainly still present. Intense, mineral, but comfortable and complex – great quality here – sizzling with a finishing minerality. Bravo!
2017 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
2 vines – 263m long rows – the longest of the domaine! Including Bâtard on the end of the same line
Fine, mineral, less directly intense. Hmm a different energy here – much more apparent width, minerality, almost Chablis style but with an extra oaked texture vs that region. Super long, and with a floral, mineral fruit combination to finish – and what a finish!
A large plot was replanted after the frost of 2016 – so a new wall comes too. But there are three important parcels for this domaine, one in Puligny and two in Chassagne.
Also a wide but slightly tight nose. Fresh, intense, big volume, growing intensity. A tour de force – only in the mid-palate comes some barrel references to augment a mineral, almost steely delivery of flavour. Such power – a great Bâtard – bravo – wait 5-plus years – now with the confidence of DIAM!
Also now with DIAM
2017 Beaune Clos de Dessus de Marconnets
A bright and super attractive fruit – good colour too. In the mouth, this has great flavour and texture – really a super combination. An accent of tannin, but only that. Long and absolutely delicious.
2017 Beaune 1er Les Teurons
We never have much colour from these vines. They sit at the bottom of the slope.
Tighter, red, faintly spiced. The flavour belies the colour, a little more tannin – they work the fermentation to try to improve the colour – but fine flavour and shape in the mouth. Tasty wine, more direct and complex, the latter wine more suave and textured.
2017 Volnay 1er Les Carelles sous la Chapelle
A prettier top note, precise red berries. Fresh, lovely line and complexity – a super complexity of flavour freshness but with fine depth of flavour too. A delicious mouthful of flavour here – totally yum! Small waves of persistent finishing flavour – really super.
2017 Pommard Noizons
A nice vibrant nose, more open and intense – there’s a slight family resemblance to all. Ripe, fine-grained tannin, muscled wine but with delicious flavour. Another super wine – really a super range of reds in 2017 worth looking for.