2019 1er Cru Grandes Ruchottes Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot

Grapes Chardonnay
Colour White
Origin France, Burgundy
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Beaune
Village Chassagne Montrachet
Classification 1er Cru
ABV 14%
Vineyard Grandes Ruchottes

There are only eight owners in this sought-after 1er Cru, one of Chassagne's finest. Such intense concentration allied to super density and richness - and very long. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032 L&S (Feb 2029)

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Ripe, fresh and airy aromas are markedly cooler with notes of mineral reduction, poached pear, citrus zest and pretty floral wisps. The rich and relatively full-bodied flavors are at once suave but quite punchy with plenty of minerality on the citrus-tinged, saline, powerful and long finish. This too is excellent. Drinking range: 2029 - Rating: 91-94 Allen Meadows, (Jun 2021)

The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Grandes Ruchottes 1er Cru displays potent tropical scents on the nose, peach and passion fruit, touches of praline and nutmeg coming through with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a persuasive sense of harmony, impressive salinity with a dash of lemongrass that perks up the finish. Excellent. Drinking range: 2023 - 2036 Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, (Jan 2021)

There are just over five barrels of the 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Grandes Ruchottes, a fine cuvée that offers up aromas of pear, orange oil, fresh bread, iodine and toasted almonds. Medium to full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it's chiseled and textural, with lively acids and a long, precise finish. Rating: 92-94+ William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Jan 2021)

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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