Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot (Volnay, 2012)
Special Price: ~$49/bottle
It’s common belief among Burgundy enthusiasts that the red wines of the Côte de Beaune with the most finesse are grown in Volnay. Because of distinct soil similarities, it’s a village much like Chambolle-Musigny in the Côte de Nuits. No other red Burgundies can convey the perfume of Pinot Noir as well as these two communes.
Indeed, the 2012 Domaine Pillot Volnay is an elegant wine showing a high-toned nose of currant, cherry and earth aromas. Its textured, ripe and impressively concentrated with a monumental finish. It should be, as it comes from five parcels planted between 1960 and 1999, including the vineyards of Le Ronceret and Les Brouillards, both classed Premier Cru. Because these two Premier Cru parcels are too small they have been declassified and used in this village cuvée. With 15 months aging in 33% new French oak barrels, these are wines of longevity.
Due to challenges with weather and other natural influences, the 2012 vintage in Burgundy yielded only a fraction of a normal harvest. The good news is that thanks to poor flowering many of the grapes were small, so the ratio of skin to juice was usefully high, resulting in wines with excellent structure and depth. The majority of skilled Burgundy producers have created 2012 vintage wines that are delightfully pure and unforced.
Fernand Pillot and his son Laurent are clearly in the skilled camp. Laurent is now taking over most of the responsibilities in the vineyards and cellar. He has holdings of around 36 acres spread over 22 appellations based in Chassagne-Montrachet, augmented by a recent absorption of vines from Laurent’s wife, formerly under the Pothier-Rieusset label. A new modern winemaking facility coupled with traditional Burgundian practices in the vineyards and cellar result in wines that fully express these special pieces of earth.
Santenay “Les Prarons Dessus” (2012, red)
Single vineyard parcel planted on stony, red clay-limestone soil. Aged for 12 months in 20% new oak barrels. Superbly crafted with brambly red berry fruit and forest floor scents. Medium-bodied with refined tannins and a focused finish. Pop and pour this summer.
Pommard “Rugiens” (Premier Cru, 2012, red)
Two parcels of vines in the low Rugiens and one parcel in the high Rugiens are combined to produce this wine from the top vineyard in Pommard – Rugiens has applied for Grand Cru status. Aged for 19 months in 80-100% new French Oak. Supple, ripe and structured. A wine that can lay down for a few years if you choose.
Chassagne-Montrachet “Morgeot” (Premier Cru, 2012, white)
From Chardonnay vines located in the lieu-dit of Fairendes, the uppermost slopes of Morgeot adjacent to the Premiers Crus Caillerets and Champgains. Fermentation in 40% new oak barrels for two months before 12 months aging. Aromatically complex with fruit preserves, a sturdy body, and a pleasant lingering finish.