2019 1er Cru Rugiens Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot


The Pillots have 3 parcels , with about half in Rugiens Haut and half in Rugiens bas, but as they are replanting half of the parcel in 'bas', so the proportion of 'haut' is higher. Rich and ample, this is a big, solid Pommard which still has juice and savour - and even an open approachability. All the same it's probably needs at least five years. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035L&S (Oct 2020)

In Bond

75cl bottles (case of 12)

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(from a .65 ha holding located in both Bas and Hauts that is apportioned roughly 50/50). Much more subtle wood influence frames the cool, elegant and pure aromas of essence of red berries, earth and pretty spice elements. The supple and almost easy-going flavors aren’t delicate, but it would be fair to describe them as refined before firming up on the youthfully austere finale. This is a deceptive approachable wine but I suspect it will close down once bottled. Drinking range: 2031 - Rating: 91-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2021)

The 2019 Pommard Les Rugiens 1er Cru has a delightful bouquet with lifted blackberry, raspberry and wild strawberry scents, light floral tones coming through with aeration. The palate is fleshy on the entry, so much so that it disguises the structure underneath. Not much in the way of grip, so this will be an approachable Les Rugiens, though there is sufficient structure to suggest it should age well over the next 15 years. Drinking range: 2023 - 2036 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jan 2021)

The 2019 Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens is another fine success, unwinding in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, raw cocoa, citrus peel, plums and rich soil tones. Medium to full-bodied, ample and layered, it's deep and concentrated, with fine tannins, lively acids and excellent mid-palate amplitude. Refined and elegant, Pillot notes that part of the domaine's holding in Rugiens Bas have been replanted, meaning that more than half of this cuvée will be derived from Rugiens Hauts for the next few years. Drinking range: 2025 - 2055 Rating: 94 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Jan 2021)

Cask sample. Translucent crimson with a purple hint. Restrained nose. Extremely juicy with a savoury dry finish. Lots going on here. Really serious wine. Already a pleasure to drink but obviously still with a lot to give. Sinewy with much more than sweet fruit. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2021)

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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