Domaine Adhémar et Francis Boudin
Domaine Adhémar & Francis Boudin, also known as Domaine de Chantemerle, has supplied L&S since our very first list. Adhémar, who sadly departed on his 96th birthday, was a well-known personality, never short of a story. He was in the leading group of the pioneering growers who cleared scrub and planted some of the original Chablis vineyards. It was hard, and he only stopped keeping cows alongside ('if you didn't have a cow or two you died of hunger') in the mid-1950s. It is astonishing to think that the Premiers Crus were only defined in 1975.
Adhémar was the first to bottle the macabrely-named 'Homme Mort' Premier Cru separately, (it is usually sold as part of la Fourchaume) after a geologist confirmed his belief that it closely resembled the soil structure and exposition of the Grands Crus. The name is as a result of the discovery, when the vines were originally planted, of the body thought to be that of an English soldier from the Hundred Years’ War.
Francis Boudin, now aided by the next generation, his daughters Angélique and Virginie, as well as Angélique's husband, continues to make wines that are, for Chablis, rich and yellow gold, fatly concentrated, unoaked and pure, with a mildly buttery edge rounding out that minerally, stony ethereal Chablis character. These are wines which can be consumed with enormous pleasure in their first year after the harvest, or kept (even the simple Chablis) for several years.
2019 CHABLIS Domaine Adhémar et Francis Boudin
Lots of fruit aroma: apple and citrus, as well as a light creamy/mealy aroma suggesting richness. Good fruit depth for a generic Chablis balanced by mouth-watering freshness. Persistent, too. Lots of fruit aroma: apple and citrus, as well as a light creamy/mealy aroma suggesting richness. Good fruit depth for a generic Chablis balanced by mouth-watering freshness. Persistent, too. Drinking range: 2021 - 2024 Rating: 16 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2021)
2019 CHABLIS 1er Cru Fourchaume Domaine Adhémar et Francis Boudin
Less simply fruity than the straight Chablis but still with ripe citrus and even stone fruits. A good bite of freshness rounded out by the smooth, leesy texture. An attractively sour freshness on theLess simply fruity than the straight Chablis but still with ripe citrus and even stone fruits. A good bite of freshness rounded out by the smooth, leesy texture. An attractively sour freshness on the finish. Drinking range: 2022 - 2027 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2021)
A domaine of 25 hectares, of which 3 are in Petit Chablis, 11 or 12 in Chablis, 3 in Vaillons, 2 in Forets, 1.6 in Montmains, 0.86 in Montée de Tonnerre, and 0.58 in Valmur. (Yes, this does not make 25 - there are further parcels of young vines in the Courgis sector - Beauregards, Côte de Jouan and Goulotte, which are currently sold in bulk).
Virginie (Mimi) Moreau is proving more than equal to the task of taking over from her husband Stéphane. Stéphane, who was influenced by Vincent Dauvissat (who recommended him to us many years ago, and who remains an influence here) was vigneron whose star burned very brightly, and the domaine continues along the lines he set, working organically, hand-picking, aiming for optimum maturity while avoiding any botrytis influence.
The cellar-work is also masterful, using 30% barrel-élevage for all the Premier and the Grand Cru, but not in such a way that oakiness can readily be detected in the wines (all the barrels are steamed rather than charred and there is no new oak except for in the straight Chablis, and then only one barrel per 100hl in order to age it prior to using for the Premiers Crus).
Virginie is now really totally confident in her role here, and the wines here, full of racy character, textural depth and complexity, seem to be better with every vintage.
2019 CHABLIS Domaine Moreau-Naudet
We tasted this from two tanks, one of 20hl and one of 100hl. The smaller tank showed a less obviously ripe citrus character than the Petit Chablis, with more mineral - intense mineral finish. TheWe tasted this from two tanks, one of 20hl and one of 100hl. The smaller tank showed a less obviously ripe citrus character than the Petit Chablis, with more mineral - intense mineral finish. The larger tank had juicier fruit, and seemed denser - more compact. It's going to be a great 'village' Chablis. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026L&S (Oct 2020)
Jean-Marc BoillotJean-Marc's daughter Lydie and son-in-law François Alzingre have worked alongside him and effectively run the domaine, and are now being joined by their children. Alongside the wines from the family's own vineyards, They also run a successful négociant business, vinifying wines from the Côte Chalonnaise with huge aplomb. In Montagny in particular, the wine is the best we have found in the appellation, and remarkably consistent from year to year.
2019 MONTAGNY 1er Cru Jean-Marc Boillot
As good as ever, a fat attack and some real richness on the nose, gathering mineral notes on the palate and finishing brightly - there's lots of concentration and volume even on the finish.As good as ever, a fat attack and some real richness on the nose, gathering mineral notes on the palate and finishing brightly - there's lots of concentration and volume even on the finish. Drinking range: 2021 - 2025L&S (Oct 2020)
Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot
The origins of the Pillot family in Chassagne can be traced back to the eighteenth century, when they seem to have been coopers more than vignerons. In the nineteenth century they abandoned barrel-making in favour of enlarging the property in Chassagne. Fernand and Laurent, who is the fourth generation, added to it again in 1992, and then in 2001 Laurent's wife Marie-Anne inherited half of her family's property, the Pommard domaine of Pothier-Rieusset, and Laurent and his father bought the other half. The domaine now stands at 14.5 hectares of vines across almost the whole length of the Côte de Beaune from Santenay to Beaune.
The Domaine is worked according to organic principles and are ploughed – no chemical weedkillers are used. They have also been members of the Dephy-ECO-phyto group, which works to reduce the number of treatments using copper sulphate, since 2012.
Laurent has always managed to pack in a lot alongside his running of the vineyard. He has his own plane which he flies to all corners of France, used keep and hunts hawks, and conducts the Chassagne brass band as well as dabbling in Mayoral duties - on top of being a father of three, Anaïs, Adrien and Eugène. They are all mad about the alps and disappear up the mountains at regular intervals.
Laurent's eldest son Adrien has been travelling the world making wine all over the place for the last few years having completed his training in Beaune. Bringing back lessons learnt in Australia, South Africa and California (and from a stint at Lea & Sandeman), During harvest Adrien is now the one in the winery while Laurent takes charge of the picking team. The wines have long been L&S favourites in both red and white - they represent excellent value, and they age very well too, despite being attractive young. The whites are precise and pure, and not lacking for body and generosity, while the reds are velvety and juicy, beautifully balanced even if drunk young on their expressive Pinot fruit. The domaine was rightfully heralded in Decanter Magazine as 'an address that deserves to be better-known'. Great value and real pleasure across their range.
The Pillots 2019 harvest was not that bad in white, they said, down 15%, but the reds are down 30%. In general they are happy with the balance in the wines because it was very hot, but the acidities are still good. We discussed Adrien's wish to do a longer élevage for the whites, but the problem that if you take the wines out of barrel that means keeping them in vats with floating tops, and they are not mad about the practicality of that. For now most are bottled after a year, but the Vide Bourse and Grandes Ruchottes will stay in barrel until the spring. They use little SO2 to begin with, gradually stabilising the levels once the wines are back in tank, and still finishing with low levels. They like ripe grapes: 'there's a kind of fashion to be the first to pick in Burgundy - they want to keep the freshness but all they get is acidity and tannin'. For the reds, they don't do massive extraction - 3 pigeages only in the middle of the fermentation, but they do a lot of pump-overs.
2019 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot
2 hectares in 6 parcels. Quite a rounded nose and sweet fruit entry, lovely open fruit middle, stays fresh - there's a good chewy concentration to this.2 hectares in 6 parcels. Quite a rounded nose and sweet fruit entry, lovely open fruit middle, stays fresh - there's a good chewy concentration to this. Drinking range: 2021 - 2026L&S (Oct 2020)
2019 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1er Cru Morgeot Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot
They have not made a separate cuvée of Fairendes this year - they were among the few to put frost-protection 'candles' out and saved themselves from considerable losses, but they did not put any inThey have not made a separate cuvée of Fairendes this year - they were among the few to put frost-protection 'candles' out and saved themselves from considerable losses, but they did not put any in Fairendes as it 'never' freezes. But it did in 2019. So what little they did harvest has been vinified together with the parcel in Petit Clos. Fatly concentrated, a very Morgeot style and very attractive. Drinking range: 2021 - 2028L&S (Oct 2020)