About This Wine
As you might expect from a great red vintage like 2016, this is an absolutely fabulous Bourgogne. It’s drawn from two estate owned sites on the southern reaches of Chassagne, nearby Chagny and Remigny. The soils here are the classic clay and limestone and the vine age is an average of 35 years. The grapes are handpicked and partially destemmed before being naturally fermented and aged for 12 months on lees in a mix of small stainless steel vats and large barrels (15% new). Pillot’s red wines have come of age in recent years. Last year’s succulent yet crunchy wines were a fine example of this. The 2016s are even more exciting. For structure and perfume, Pillot employed 25% whole bunches this year and the result is something pretty special. The pretty, lifted nose offers red cherry and rose like aromatics and the palate is ripe and energetic with lip smacking freshness (Pillot’s ph levels were very low in ‘15). The palate has similar characters to the nose yet there is also a kiss of fine, cedary oak on the finish and loads of spice. You’re going to meet some outrageously good Bourgogne-level wines from 2016. Few, I imagine, will offer more energy and class than this puppy. Go, go, go.
Wines from Burgundy
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide. In the Jurassic time period, the area was part of a vast, tropical sea. Over hundreds of millions of years, the seabed transformed into various layers of limestone, sandstone and clay soils that have entrapped the fossils of ancient sea creatures. These soils are the secret behind the zesty minerality that Burgundy wines are famous for.
Burgundy is probably the most terroir-centric wine region in France. Huge emphasis is placed on the specific vineyard, soil type, elevation, and angle of slope where the wines were made. This is reflected on the wine's labels where appellations are more prominently displayed compared to the producers’ names.
The most prestigious wines of the region come from a long and narrow escarpment called the Côte d'Or split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. Côte de Nuits produces many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir’s, all but one of Burgundy’s red Grand Crus are made in this area. Whilst interestingly, the opposite is true for the Côte de Beaune where all but one of the Chardonnay Grand Crus are made. From this information it may seem you should be buying a Pinot from the North and Chardonnay from the south, that is only true for the pinnacle of Burgundian wines. Both outstanding reds and whites are produced throughout the Côte d'Or.
In Burgundy, they use a wine quality tier system that goes:
Grand Crus 1.4% of total production
Premier (1er) Crus 10.2% of total production
Appellations Villages 37.3% of total production
Appellations Regionales 51.1% of total production
When one refers to “Burgundy wines” they are usually talking about those produced in and around the Côte d'Or. While the Chardonnay’s from Chablis and the Gamay’s from Beaujolais are formally apart of the Burgundy wine region, those subregions are generally referred to by their own names rather than being considered “Burgundy wines”.
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