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New Releases of White Burgundy from Jean Marc Pillot

New Vintages of Jean Marc Pillot
There are so many things to love about this today's featured producer, Jean Marc Pillot, but two things in particular really stand out. 1. While everyone else is trying to get their latest release out the door, Pillot holds back a year. How bad ass is that? While everyone else is concentrating on 2017 reds and 2018 whites at this time, he is a year off. Respect.
Secondly, there is such a crazy admiration here for the often misunderstood village of Chassagne Montrachet. Especially the reds, but let's discuss the whites for a second: Chassagne, is always lesser known to it's neighbor Puligny Montrachet and as a result, there is little known about some of the more small and exotic premier cru sites. With Pillot, there is such adulation and almost awe given to these sites, that each one is supposed to be so unique, flattering and unyielding in a sense. To try a line up of these premier crus, in any vintage, is a playful battle on the nose and palate. A mystical enchantment, in which we come to see the true meaning of terroir in Burgundy.

And with that, below is line up of 2017 whites........
Burghound on 2017 Jean Marc Pillot: "Laurent Pillot directs this domaine whose production is basically split 50/50 between reds and whites. He reported that "we dodged a bullet in 2017 by avoiding the early season frost risk that really hurt yields last year. Other than that the growing season was calm, warm and dry with basically no drama, which was nice for a change as 2012, 2013 and 2014 were all hailed on and 2016 was obviously a frost year. This isn't to say that there wasn't plenty of work in the vineyards but it's always better and easier when you're not trying to help the vines recover from this or that climate induced crisis. We chose to begin picking on the 2nd of September and the fruit was happily both clean and relatively ripe. This is to say that the pinot averaged right at 13% in terms of potential alcohols so there was basically no material chaptalization. Yields were comfortable but not high as we took steps to control any excess production. As to the wines, I like the quality of them in both colors though between the two, the whites are especially good." I agree with Pillot that his whites are particularly good."
 
  • 10% off any 6, 15% off any 12!
  • Wines set to Arrive Beginning of March


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Montagny 1er Cru “Les Gouresses”
Newsletter Price: $41.99
Pillot stretches farther afield into the Cote Chalonnaise and applies a bit of the Chassagne tradition to this wine. The grapes are harvested from a parcel of very old vines (in excess of sixty years) and the resulting concentration enables Pillot to barrel ferment and age a wine that a vigneron of Montagny might have left in cuve. Pillot’s Montagny is a surprisingly honeyed wine that still manages to reflect the cut and stoniness typical of this appellation.

BH 88 Points:Firm reduction calls for a thorough aeration. The medium weight flavors possess a similar texture though with a bit more volume as well as more evident minerality, all wrapped in a bitter lemon-inflected finish that, interestingly given that this is a 1er, is less persistent. This is perfectly good but for the money, the Bassets is a better option.

2017 Jean Marc Pillot Puligny-Montrachet “Les Noyers Brets”
Newsletter Price: $81.99
Pillot works a parcel of 45-year-old vines in this lieu-dit that lies just downslope of Le Montrachet and its assorted hyphenations—the lone Puligny-Montrachet in his cellar. Often among the most elegant of his wines (as befits the appellation), this 2016 presents a very fine and detailed nose of creamy limestone and subtle pit fruits. The palate begins with a mouthful of ripe, juicy fruit, but a tidal wave of broad yet focused minerality soon forces its way in and dominates the lengthy finish, leaving a ringing, glowing impression. Oak here is a subtle whisper, showing Jean-Marc’s deft hand with seamless barrel integration.

BH 88-90 Points: A ripe nose exhibits more floral characters along with notes of pear, apple and a hint of menthol. There is fine richness and volume to the caressing and suave medium weight flavors that also lean out somewhat on the ever-so-mildly warm finale. This seems more likely to harmonize with age.

2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc “Les Chaumes”
Newsletter Price: $74.99
This village-level wine is produced from grapes grown in a parcel just east and beneath the 1er Cru site of Morgeot – Les Fairendes and immediately north and adjacent to the 1er Cru « Les Grandes-Ruchottes ». The vines were planted in 1959; the parcel is in excess of two hectares in size. From this elite position in the southern tier of the village, the wine is consistently round and full-bodied with notes of honey but it carries a bright acidity in the finish which gives it length and breed. 

BH 88 Points: Background notes of matchstick set off the fresh aromas of citrus, petrol and various white-fleshed fruit wisps. There is a bit more volume to the succulent but punchy medium-bodied flavors that possess both better length as well as better balance. Note that this could easily be enjoyed young.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Macherelles”
Newsletter Price: $81.99
This premier cru sits just south of Chenevottes and edges towards the center of the village. The Pillot parcel (0.28 hectare) was planted in 1951 with a portion replanted in 1988. The Macherelles is often the most generous and straight-forward of the 1er Crus in white.

BH 90-92 Points: A cool, pure and pretty combination consists of notes of citrus-inflected apple, pear, spice and a touch of wood influence. The racy and solidly voluminous flavors possess a lovely mid-palate texture that carries over to the lingering finish that also reflects ample citrus character.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Vergers”
Newsletter Price: $89.99
Sourced from a half-hectare parcel planted in 1949, the Vergers is in the northern tier of Chassagne on a substantial slope which lends this wine a considerable degree of finesse. It is rather open in its youth, more floral than its companion wines and one of the most consistently satisfying wines of the domaine. 

BH 90 Points: An interesting nose is composed by notes of green tea, petrol and matchstick characters. There is very good volume and concentration to the vibrant and reasonably well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess relatively refined mouth feel before concluding in a clean, dry and linear finish. Like the CSJ, this needs to develop more depth but the underlying material appears to be up to the task.

2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Morgeot – Les Fairendes”
Newsletter Price: $89.99
The Morgeot is known for its broad-shouldered wines, often the most rich and unctuous of the crus of Chassagne. In this case, Pillot’s vines are located within the most renowned sector of Morgeot known as “Les Fairendes”. This quarter-hectare parcel planted in 1970 benefits from that most favorable of positions to produce a wine that, while large-scaled, has a finesse and presence that elevates it above its more rustic colleagues.

BH 90 Points:  A slightly more elegant nose is similar but with more citrus and floral influences. Once again there is excellent volume to the somewhat finer and nicely concentrated flavors that possess excellent power and punch if perhaps not quite the same depth on the equally persistent finale.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Baudines”
Newsletter Price: $94.99
This wine is sourced from the southernmost tier of Chassagne, on the border with Santenay, where it sits high on a hill. Its position gives it slightly less exposure to the late day sun which provides this wine with raciness and fine breed rather than the more massive structure of the 1er Crus in the center section of the village. This small (0.15 hectare) parcel was planted in 1975.

BH 92 Points: A markedly cooler array of beautifully well-layered and elegant aromas features notes of citrus peel, pear, almond and mineral reduction. There is even better delineation to the punchy and overtly stony middle weight flavors that conclude in a clean, dry and lingering finish where a hint of bitter lemon appears. This highly complex effort is good stuff that should reward 6 to 8 years of bottle age yet should also be approachable young if desired.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Caillerets”
Extremely Limited
Newsletter Price: $102.99
The Caillerets, sourced from vines planted in 1969, is perhaps the most complete wine amongst the 1er Crus (let’s exclude for the moment the “Clos Saint Marc” which is almost “outside of category”!). As it should be due to its distinguished position on the slope above Morgeot and Champs Gains, the Caillerets manages to bring both power and finesse to the palate.

BH 91-93 Points: Elegant aromas include those of white flowers, pear, mineral reduction and dried apricot. There is lovely sense of underlying tension suffusing both the medium weight flavors as well as the stony, rich, balanced and impressively persistent finish. This firm effort is really very good and worth checking out.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Vergers” Clos Saint Marc
Extremely Limited
Newsletter Price: $124.99
This is one of the elite cuvées of this domaine as it is made from an old vine parcel (planted in 1910) in a walled “clos” within Vergers. It is considered by almost all as the most important “cru” of the estate.

BH 90-93 Points:There is enough sulfur present to push the softly exotic blend of mandarin orange, passion fruit and discreet floral nuances to the background. The medium weight flavors are not as dense as they usually are but I very much like the texture and energy they offer as well as the fine depth and persistence on the notably firm finish. This will need a few years to absorb the sulfur but it should be worth the wait.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
Extremely, extremely Limited!
Newsletter Price: $274.99
Jean-Marc Pillot typically makes 2 barrels a year from fruit purchased from his friend Blair Pethel of Domaine Dublere.  Blair spent a year working alongside Jean-Marc and has generously allowed him access to a small part of his vineyard.  Aromatically complex, honeyed, with wild herbs, mint and chamomile, the Corton Charlemagne is a structured and mineral driven wine that stands out among his other offerings from the hill of Chassagne.  5 cases a year are sent to the US.

BH 91-93 Points:  A markedly cool and airy if much more restrained nose features notes of freshly sliced green apple, mineral reduction and citrus, all of which is trimmed in a background trace of wood. The clean, intense and tautly muscular larger-scaled flavors culminate in a driving, subtly complex and hugely long finish. This is seriously good too and as with all self-respecting examples of the appellation, this too is indisputably built-to-age.


2017 Jean Marc Pillot Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru
Extremely, extremely and extremely Limited!
Newsletter Price: $624.99
BH 91-94 Points
: A discreet application of wood can be found on the intensely floral-suffused aromas that exhibit additional nuances of spice, white peach, jasmine tea and the barest hint of passion fruit. The creasing yet highly energetic large-scaled flavors brim with minerality as well as a taut muscularity that makes its presence known on the focused, impressively long and well-balanced finale. This will need to add depth to merit the upper end of my projected range but the potential appears to be present for that to occur.

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