Product information

Paul Pilot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Grandes-Ruchottes’ 2017

Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Côte du Beaune, Burgundy, France

$280

$270ea in any 3+
$260ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork

Description

This 2.13-hectare vineyard (the Pillots have only a 0.26-hectare parcel) is rarely seen but is nonetheless one of Chassagne’s prime sites, situated between La Romanée and En Cailleret, and on roughly the same line as Le Montrachet. Ramonet works over half of this vineyard (although he chooses to drop the Grandes part of the name as is historically allowed). It’s a site that sits around 260 metres above sea level and has a southeast aspect and marly, limestone-rich soils. With so few growers it is not surprising that this vineyard is not so well known but the wine is always brilliant. Smoky or matchstick reductive notes are very typical, as is great finesse and purity and firm raciness reflecting the high altitude and rocky soils. Again the ’17 is one of the top wines.

Look out for Domaine Bernard-Moreau‘s version too!

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Check out all of the wines by Domaine Paul Pilot

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

“Thierry Pillot is one of the best young white winemakers in Burgundy right now… Buy these wines before Monsieur Pillot becomes the next Burgundian superstar.” Tim Atkin MW

Domaine Paul Pillot is one of those producers making whites with a real gleam, a luminous clarity. I taste hundreds of wines in Burgundy week, and have to scramble through my notes to check in with my views on many of them, but with Domaine Paul Pillot I remember where the table was in the room, and where I was standing as the wine hit my tastebuds.”Victoria Moore, The Telegraph

“Characterful, elegantly textural and mouthwateringly incisive, these are superb white Burgundies, and to my mind, Pillot is one of a handful of exciting producers who win Chassagne-Montrachet the title of Burgundy’s most interesting white wine producing village today. That he stills flies somewhat under the radar—at least relative to the quality to be found here—is perplexing. What’s more, that’s bound to change, and sooner rather than later, so readers shouldn’t hesitate to buy whatever bottles they can find.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

In both colours. Even those critics notoriously slow on the pick-up have finally woken up to the smell of the Chassagne, so to speak. Without wanting to get carried away, 2017 is a sensational vintage at this address. Quick on the draw, Pillot picked relatively early with harvest beginning on the 26th of August—when potential alcohols were between 12.4 and 13% and acidity still fine and crunchy. The resulting whites show magnificent depth and intensity—yet they are tightly knit and crystalline, displaying terrific vibrancy, freshness and vineyard definition. Pillot himself sees parity with his 2014s, yet the fruit quality this year, for me, is a touch more textured and inviting. As good as the whites are, the red wines here have never tasted better. All of Pillot’s 2017 reds are super sexy wines that strike an exquisite balance between perfume, fruit purity and lacy, elegant structures.

In terms of the winemaking, the whites are fermented wild and matured for some 18 months on the lees, the final six being spent in stainless steel. Percentages of new wood are, as usual, tiny—even the top Chassagne 1ers took in between just 10 and 15%, with plenty of used, larger format 350-litre barrels preferred. The lees are never stirred and the wines are bottled unfiltered. The reds were fermented with between 20-50% whole bunches and, again, very little (if any) new oak was used.

Where in the World is Chassagne-Montrachet?

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3 Grand Cru’s: Montrachet & Bârtard-Montrachet, both shared with Puligny. Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet the only Grand Cru residing fully in Chassagne.

54 Premier Cru’s and 47 Lieux Dits

Making both exceptional red and white wines. Roughly 1/4 of the Premier Cru plantings are red.

Reds:

The reds of Chassagne tend to be reminiscent of Chambolle, with lovely fine long tannins, subtlety and perfume. Look out for the red Premier Cru’s Clos St-Jean, the monopole La Cardeusse owned by Domaine Bernard-Moreau, Morgeot and La Boudriotte. With the exception of Clos St-jean these are in the more Southern part of the village bordering Santenay. The red Village Chassagne wines are well worth trying too.

Whites:

The whites of Chassagne tend to have greater opulence and perceived. richness than those of Saint Aubin and Puligny. There are so many wonderful whites, obviously, the Grand Cru’s, also the Premier Cru’s Grandes Ruchottes (often thought of as near Grand Cru by the locals), La Romanée, and, I’ve always had a soft spot for Les Chenevottes.

Exploring the Geology & Geography of the Villages

In this video the villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Saint-Aubin and Chassagne-Montrachet are explored. Towards the end, you’ll note the discussion of the soils in the south part of Chassagne-Montrachet being the same as parts of the Côte de Nuits.

Exploring Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault with Olivier Leflaive. Early Olivier notes the differences in colour when the wines are young, his Chassagne’s a little yellow, Puligny’s with a green tinge and Mersault golden. At the end of the video there is a fascinating tasting of Olivier Leflaives village whites from Chassagne, Meursault, and, Puligny exploring the differences between the three.

The summary reflects my own generalisation for the white wines of these villages beautifully. Whites from Chassagne tend to be more opulent and have great perceived richness, Meursault can be quite bold and full, Puligny typically the more linear, structured with greater perceived mineral acidity.

As is always the case, different sites and vintages impact these generalisations, a cooler vintage or one with lot’s of millerandage, can result in higher acids defining Chassagne as an example more than in a warmer year. In hot years there can be less differentiation between the villages.

91-93 Points

A distinctly cool and reserved nose grudgingly offers up notes of green apple along with a plenitude of citrus and floral wisps. There is good richness to the relatively powerful mouth coating flavors that flash a certain muscularity while delivering excellent depth and persistence on the bone dry finish. Drink 2025

Allan Meadows, Burghound

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet, France

Chassagne-Montrachet
Côte du Beaune
Burgundy
France