|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
Tasted from one new and one older barrel, the Grandes Ruchottes showed its class. Saline and taut it vibrates with energy, willing one to swallow. Terrific. Drinking range: 2019 - 2026 L&S (Nov 2016)
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Rating: 17.5+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Feb 2017)
A little less distinct on the nose than the Vide Bourse – and less obviously fruity. Hint of lychees! Lots there. No-one would be disappointed by this. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2017)
Salty mineral tang on the palate, with brisk apple fruit and lovely floral perfume like jasmine and honeysuckle on the finish. Wonderful. Drinking range: 2017 - 2030 Rating: 17.5 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2017)
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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