2012 1er Cru Rugiens Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
66 ares (100 of these to the hectare), in three parcels. Considerably more structured than the Charmots, but Laurent's vines are for the most part not on the hard white limestone of the top of the hill (where the de Courcel parcel is, for example, so it is not brutal, but still a big wine, dense and pure, with good concentrated depth. Black fruit and 'black mineral', beefy richness and twining licorice. L&S (Dec 2013)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
(from a .66 ha holding located in both Bas and Hauts). Very generous but not dominant wood fights somewhat with the markedly ripe, dense and complex aromas of black cherry, cassis, spice, floral and wet stone. There is plenty of minerality in evidence on the concentrated, muscular and serious big-bodied flavors that possess a sleekly muscular mouth feel, all wrapped in a strikingly persistent and well-balanced finish. Again I note that my suggested range implicitly assumes that the wood will be largely absorbed with time in bottle. 2024+ Rating: 91-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Apr 2014)
The 2012 Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens has a satisfying earthy bouquet with broody blackberry fruit mingling with damp earth and woodland scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple, ripe opening. Fleshy redcurrant and cranberry fruit at the fore, good structure and it just seems to finish a little too quickly – just when I was enjoying it! Hopefully it will gain a little volume with bottle age. Rating: 89+ Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Mar 2014)
Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Jan 2014)
Some toffee and caramel character here, with more of their hallmark beautiful fruit. Suitably tannic finish for Pommard – grippy but not harsh – and a long, savoury finish. Less overtly fruit-centric than their Charmots – so perhaps more suited to traditionalists. 2016-2030 Rating: 17.5 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2014)
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 a sophisticated microlight which he flies to all corners of France, he keeps 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) - he now helps Laurent with all aspects of the wine-making and viticulture at the domaine. 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 last year as 'an address that deserves to be better-known'. Great value and real pleasure across their range.
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