1. Home / New Vintages of 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 2016 reds and 2017 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.

Did you know that a long time ago, the majority if not vast majority of Chassagne Montrachet was red? Many don't. Over the years, the sides have become drastically reversed, with red Chassagne barely being noticed. But these are classy red Burgundy and all too often overlooked. Hands down, there is none better in this village than Jean Marc Pillot. The reds are so interesting and distinctive that they will hopefully pave the way towards more recognition of this village over time.

And with that, below is line up of 2015 reds and 2016 whites........
  • 10% off any 6, 15% off any 12!
  • Wines set to Arrive Beginning of March

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Saint-Romain Blanc “Les Bassets”
Newsletter Price: $29.99
Comes  from a small parcel within the lieu-dit “Les Bassets” This classic Montagny is  piercingly mineral and direct. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks and bottled about a year after harvest.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Montagny 1er Cru “Les Gouresses”
Newsletter Price: $36.99
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.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Puligny-Montrachet “Les Noyers Brets”
Newsletter Price: $73.99
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.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc “Les Chaumes”
Newsletter Price: $64.99
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.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Macherelles”
Newsletter Price: $74.99
“Les Macherelles” sits just to the south of “Chenevottes” above in the northern sector of Chassagne-Montrachet, just north of the village itself. Pillot’s 0.28 hectares of vines were planted in 1951, and while this wine is often one of the more straightforwardly textbook “Chassagne” crus in his lineup (perhaps non-coincidentally, it makes for a supremely satisfying red wine as well—see below), this 2016 shows impressive lift and freshness for the vintage. Salty and chalky where the “Chenevottes” is iron-driven and stony, this offers sizzling kinetic energy on the palate, its broad, orchard-fruit flavors reined in by a firm hand of acidity.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Vergers”
Newsletter Price: $81.99
Jean-Marc farms half a hectare of vines planted in the late 1940s in this great cru, which sits immediately above “Chenevottes” and “Macherelles” on the slope, flanking them both. A dazzling wine, the 2016 “Vergers” leads with an exuberantly aromatic nose of lemon-lime, quinine, and salty limestone. The thickest wine in the lineup so far, it nonetheless crackles with energy on the palate, with downright sappy fruit playing tug-of-war with the finely etched acidity. A long, imposing finish of immense concentration suggests that a little bit of patience will be amply rewarded.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Morgeot – Les Fairendes”
Newsletter Price: $81.99
“Les Fairendes” is the prime filet of the southern-Chassagne premier cru of “Morgeot,” with a poorer topsoil that facilitates a more profound mineral expression than its neighboring turf, and Pillot owns a quarter-hectare of 45-year-old-vines there. Though the textural opulence and overall weightiness of this 2016 belies its warm-vintage origins, the lingering impression is one of chalky salinity and clear-eyed drive. There is an almost oily character to the fruit here, speaking to the intense concentration of the vintage, but again the tension between richness and acidity keeps everything fresh and lively.


2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Baudines”
Newsletter Price: $81.99
“Les Baudines” occupies a unique position within Chassagne-Montrachet, lying at the extreme south of the appellation (adjacent to Santenay) at the very highest point on the slope. Jean-Marc owns a 0.15-hectare sliver in this well-drained, less sun-soaked vineyard, and the wine he produces from here is unfailingly among his most scintillatingly mineral and racy. 2016 offers a particularly attractive take, with the natural generosity of the vintage reined in by the cru’s inherent edge of austerity. The palate is thick and dense, nearly viscous, yet corseted, and the salt-drenched finish is almost overwhelmingly intense at this youthful stage.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Caillerets”
Extremely Limited
Newsletter Price: $94.99
Among the most coveted of Chassagne’s premier crus, “Caillerets” is situated high on the slope, roughly equidistant between the village’s northern and southern borders. Pillot’s tiny swath of vines here—a mere 0.18 hectares—yields what is often the most complex, full-spectrum premier cru in his cellar, and this 2016 follows suit with panache. This combines the luscious power of the “Morgeot – Les Fairendes” with the rapier-like mineral thrust of the “Chenevottes,” with more finesse and zoomed-in detail than either. This beckons for a few years of bottle age, but it is an arresting, layered, deeply complex wine.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Les Vergers” Clos Saint Marc
Extremely Limited
Newsletter Price: $114.99
Jean-Marc is one of only three owners of this walled-in vineyard located in the prime spot of “Les Vergers” (see above), and his vines here are a staggering 105 years old as of 2015. Vintage after vintage, this wine stands apart in Pillot’s cellar, offering grand-cru-like density and depth, and indeed this 2016 follows suit in an explosive fashion. A spellbinding nose of quinine, fresh-ground spices, and taut yellow fruits introduces a palate of chalky enormity but phenomenal energy—a vehicle both big and fast. The firmly mineral, palate-coating finish recedes slowly and gracefully, with sneaky acidity leaving an impression of freshness after all the intensity subsides. This will definitely require time to reveal its true complexity.

2016 Jean Marc Pillot Corton Charlemagne
Extremely, extremely Limited
Newsletter Price: $274.99


2015 Jean Marc Pillot Santenay Rouge Les Champs Claude
Newsletter Price: $35.99
Pillot owns a sizable 1.4-hectare parcel of 45-year-old Pinot Noir in this Santenay lieu-dit, and this 2015 captures all the delightful exuberance of the vintage. Jean-Marc employed only remontage in order not to extract too harshly or excessively, and its elevage entirely in previously used barrels allows the gorgeous strawberry-tinged fruit to really perform well. It is fresh, vibrant, and succulent on the palate, with a wisp of sous-bois that merely adds to the overall impression of deliciousness—a friendly, eminently likable red Burgundy that mirrors the vigneron behind it.

2015 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge “Mes Vieilles Vignes”
Newsletter Price: $39.99
Jean-Marc produces a remarkable red Chassagne-Montrachet from a hectare of 55-year-old vines, and the 2015 is perhaps the most outstanding example he has yet made. The nose is startlingly pure, a blast of ripe cherry with a clean mineral undertone and subtle purple-flower notes adding complexity. Juicy, mineral-streaked fruit dances on the palate, with an assertive inner-mouth perfume creating an almost tonic sensation. This is an alert, vibrant wine completely lacking in hard edges or undue weight, yet it still possesses a lovely earthy interplay that speaks clearly of its origins.

2015 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru “Les Macherelles”
Newsletter Price: $51.99
Pillot’s Pinot Noir in the 1er Cru of “Les Macherelles” was planted in 1954, and this 2015 presents a riper, more thickly fruited profile than the “Vieilles Vignes” above, yet with the irresistible lift and energy of the vintage still clearly on display. A gentle note of smoke complicates the black-cherry- dominated nose, and the palate is a flood of very slightly jammy cherries and raspberries—a blast of pure Pinot Noir pleasure as rendered by the fine and mineral-expressive soils of the northern sector of Chassagne-Montrachet. Again, Jean-Marc’s extraction is just-so, and the wine’s gentle tannic tension only serves to make it even more delicious—a cleansing rather than gripping style of tannins.

2015 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru “Morgeot Fairendes”
Newsletter Price: $72.99
Pillot owns two-thirds of a hectare of Pinot Noir in “Morgeot”—again in the “Fairendes” climat—and the 2015 is the most chiseled and structured of the lineup thus far. The fruit here is larger in scale but more restrained, lacking the open-knit succulence of the “Macherelles” but compensating with an intricate interplay of spice and black pepper. More obvious tannins and far greater mineral heft serve to create a drier and more austere impression on the palate—but this is a relative impression only, as the wine still possesses the zip and purity of the 2015 vintage in spades. This will reward a few years of patience.

2015 Jean Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru “Clos Saint Jean”
Newsletter Price: $74.99
Considered by many to be the greatest terroir for red wine in the entire appellation, “Clos Saint Jean” sits high up on the slope, overlooking the village itself. Pillot owns just under half a hectare of staggeringly old Pinot Noir here—104 years old as of the 2015 vintage—and produces what is unquestionably his grandest red from this vaunted site. Neither as juicy as “Macherelles” nor as powerful as “Morgeot,” the 2015 is striking in its finesse and elegance—the perfect counter-argument to the sometimes-encountered view of Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge as a straightforward or rustic wine. The regally composed 2015 presents a seamless interweaving of buffed red fruits, clean limestone, and subtly savory tannins, gliding across the palate with leanly muscled poise and energy. A beauty like this is enough to make one rue the fact that so much Pinot Noir has been replanted to Chardonnay over the years.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published