2017 Prarons Dessus Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot
|Sub-district||Côte de Beaune|
Deeper colour. Soft inviting nose. Some flesh on the palate is kept in check by noticeable dusty tannins. The red fruit is speckled with mineral notes. Poised acidity throughout. This should once again offer good value on release. Adrien oversaw some technical changes this year to how they put this together. Keeping the juice on the skins for 3-4 days longer than normal - but with less forced maceration and punching down. The extra time with skin contact connects tannins to colour, so perversley makes it seem less tannic. He also reduced the new wood component somewhat across all the reds - because 2017 is such a good, juicy vintage. L&S (Oct 2018)
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A discreet touch of wood sets off the pretty and more deeply pitched aromas of both red and dark pinot, earthy, humus and lovely spice elements. The caressing and succulent medium-bodied flavors offer better depth and persistence on the mildly rustic and tangy finish. This too should drink well early. Drinking range: 2021 - Rating: 88 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Apr 2019)
Aromas of cherries, cassis and dried flowers introduce the 2017 Santenay Les Prarons Dessus, a medium-bodied, chewy wine with tangy acids and a rustic but flavorful profile. Drinking range: 2018 - 2026 Rating: 87 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate(Jan 2019)
The 2017 Santenay Prarons Dessus has a straightforward bouquet of dark cherry, cranberry and light bergamot aromas. The fresh palate is well balanced, offering gentle grip, a fine bead of acidity and quite a smooth, tertiary finish. It just lacks the grip and depth to suggest really long-term aging. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027 Rating: 87 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Jan 2019)
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.
Read more about Adrien here in this recent Forbes article here.
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