2015 1er Cru Charmots Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
Charmots returns, having been obliterated by hail in both 2013 and 2014, and returns in triumph, in it's usual style, which is like its name, charming. Fine-textured, supple, silky-velvet, Laurent has used 50% whole bunches and this lifts the middle and lengthens the finish. Drinking range: 2018 - 2026 L&S (Nov 2016)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Very generous wood is present on the liqueur-like nose of ripe cherry and pretty floral nuances. There is excellent volume to the palate coating middle weight plus flavors that are powerful, concentrated and very serious yet manage to avoid being emphatically rustic or austere. While on the woody side at present there appears to be more than enough supporting material to eventually absorb the oak. Drinking range: - 2025 Rating: 90-92 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2017)
Sweet oak, fresh redcurrant fruit, light body. The extra oak influence here somewhat unbalances the flavour profile, and I'm not so sure that the result is better than their Tavannes Pommard, which is non-premier cru. If you like oak, I guess it would be preferable - horses for courses. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025 Rating: 17 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 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.
Read more about Adrien here in this recent Forbes article here.
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