Tasted with Jean-Marc Pillot (right) pictured with his son, Antonin, in Chassagne-Montrachet, 21 October 2019.
Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot
Le Haut des Champs
Tel: +33 3 80 21 39 95
Jean-Marc on 2019:
“This year we had quite early growth, but then were hit 3 times by the frost. We have great quality but lost 50% – a little less in the pinot as we prune here much later but this is something we’ve had every other year since 2016. Fortunately, no big surprises with fermentations, the 1er reds were never above 13° and started very easily – possibly because we had surprisingly high acidities. I think that, maybe, there was some ripening by concentration rather than full phenolic ripeness. We harvested all our whites before starting on the reds – the reds seem riper in 2018 than in 2019 – they are currently close, but no less delicious of-course!”
Jean-Marc on 2018:
“In 2018 as noted, the fermentations didn’t start so easily – probably because some of the reds were closer to 14°. We didn’t make the rendement, particularly the vines pruned cordon royat for the reds – but for the whites, we were full. I would say, fortunately, because we have so little wine in 2019. There’s less acidity in 2018s that’s for sure.”
Red and white, what a great set of wines in this cellar – it’s not just that some of the wines are so highly recommended, it’s about the consistency of high achievement too!
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Hautes de Champs
This bottled along with the Bourgogne Rouge and St.Romain.
A deep nose, suggesting a faint reduction. Full, sweet, layered but essentially with lots of energy – plump fruit and very tasty – just a small prickle of gas today.
2018 St.Romain Les Perrières
Fresher, wider, more citrus – ooh that’s a great invitation. Open, nicely structure, not a bit plump, lovely citrus acidity going long. Excellent!
‘We have 12 ha in the domaine and it’s practically impossible to buy new vines, but we have managed to get a contract for this. 2nd vintage
A little more ripeness – rounder but still citrus in style. Hmm, nicely mineral and long, intense – ooh that’s a great mid-palate of intensity – combined with the slightly sweet minerality – this is a winner – bravo!
2018 Rully 1er Les Raclots
Next to Rabourcé
A tighter but deep nose, faintly floral. Again a base of minerality – rather than the sweet texture of many Rully – bright, lovely extra intensity – chalky and long. Excellent
2018 Puligny-Montrachet Les Noyers Bret
Father bought in 1969, the vines about 45 yo
Deep, faintly reductive, more aromatic volume. Plenty of volume in the mouth, very open, there’s tension for sure, slightly reductive today but this is fine, intense and mouth-watering – lose the reduction and it’s delicious – it’s definitely very long!
No reduction, similar volume and energy with a more overt floral aspect. Wide, more structural wine, melting flavour, mouth-watering – ooh, for a villages – bravo!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
From 70 year-old vines.
A little less aromatic volume, but what there is, is more floral and perfumed. More mineral and driving in the mouth – lovely precisions of minerality, indeed intense minerality, but relaxing with a citrus style over the finish – ooh that’s excellent, as a minimum!
Narrower but deep with fresh agrume. Fuller, growing from the core, again with a beautiful balance of citrus acidity, sparkling with intense little points of reference – so long. Bravo!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Vergers
Only 2 metres away but such a difference…
A fuller, slightly more floral nose. Wider, fuller but here is an essence of soft-edged minerlaity – beautiful, haunting length – no need for a punch with this beauty – excellent!
From vines within Vergers that were planted in 1910 – 40 ouvrées, actually the climat is Pitangeret.
More weight again, vibrant, slightly more golden fruit. Extra energy – like the nose it’s vibrant – there is power here, a wine that dances over the palate, smiling – a staining finish. Bravo – grand vin.
First harvested, 1st September.
This a deeper more introspective nose. Not the palate. Wide, energetic, perhaps a hint more purity than the last but really – just different. Intense, flavour that melts over the palate. Also staining the palate. A great wine again.
A mix of high and low vines, above and below the fault in the vineyard – ‘the fault is like the one that differentiates Chevalier from Montrachet.’
A very fine though narrower nose – but it opens more with aeration. Ooh – different again, a faint textural padding, a granular complexity like (grand) Vosne, and much more slaine. Not hyperactive but meltingly complex – what a difference – so good, maybe great!
A rare domaine in Chassagne – these days – that produces half red.
Deeply coloured. A deep nose too – of power and even a little licorice. Supple, delicious, complex, hardly a stone out of place when it comes to structure. Mouth-watering, deep and delicious – a grand Bourgogne!
The parcel touches Chassagne, Claude Buzard and Pierre-Yves Colin also have vines here. This racked last week.
Also deeply coloured and deeply aromatic – almost a touch of smoky salt. Fuller, more saline – delicious again, granular, and with beautiful finishing intensity – wow Santenay!
From about 2.5 hectares of vines in three parcels, parcels mainly planted by father and grandfather so vines of at least 45 years average age.
Deep again, this time with a touch of graphite below and floral perfume above. Hmm, that’s so mouth-watering – dark, delicious fruit – a little tannic drag with the texture but hardly any grain and no astringency. Chocolate-licorice finishing? Yes, why not! Sooo good again and so impressively long!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Macherelles
The domaine has a little white here too – but there’s more red.
Also deep, also perhaps a hint of chocolate – a little less width to start. Fresher, more open, growing in intensity – a wine that opens wider and wider, such a big width of fine finishing flavour – simply excellent!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot Farendes
Deep but the emphasis here is the forward high tones – fine! A little saline kiss before the sweeping more mineral lines, but the slowly leaching fruit is delicious without any need for supporting sweetness. Complex and floral finishing – ooh – so sophisticated, so – elegant!
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Jean
Here there’s a little firework complexity in the aromas – but then floral too – a super nose. Fresher, more driving, widening too, intense, dried fruit in this too but melting with an almost blueberry freshness – so complex – so delicious!
2018 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
A purchase – will make 2 years of elevage….
Starts a little reductive, but slowly there are flowers too. Nice scale, less impact, but open and growing complexity, the finish is sneakily complex and, unsurprisingly, a little different to the previous wines – but the difference is less stark than from Fairendes to Caillerets in white.