Wine of the Day January 22, 2014

2011PacaletBelAir2011 Philippe Pacalet, Gevrey-Chambertin, Bel-Air Premier Cru, Red Burgundy, France.
Philippe Pacalet’s new 2011 wines are a revelation and take his label to the next level, from a difficult vintage they are stylish, richly flavored and possess that Burgundy magic, the undefinable element that becomes the holy grail of all wine critics and wine lovers, it is that unexplainable joy and or emotional response that certain Burgundy (Pinot Noir as well) can give that just makes all the stars align and haunting music play when you experience it. Whatever the X factor is, Pacalet’s wines have it, especially his Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Crus, like this fantastic Bel-Air, which is already drinking with lovely fruit, poise and length. The 2011 Pacalet Gevrey-Chambertin Bel-Air Premier Cru is deeply layered with a nice floral perfume and a complex character, it comes from broken rocks, a touch of clay and a root of limestone soils, it was made from a tiny yield of grapes, which explains the concentration and intensity, all the vines are organic and only native yeasts are used, everything was 100% whole cluster (fermented with stems) and aged on it’s lees for 16 months in cask without racking, this is natural and gentle artisan winemaking, and the results are stunning, with under 13% for those that find that important. The nose starts with rose petals, wild flowers, hints of game, spice, kirsch and a mix of red fruits, leading to a full mouth of black cherry, plum and mountain berries along with pepper, chalky stones, mineral and truffle notes. With air a tangy raspberry, sandalwood and briar side come through, hints of fine tannin coat the palate plus a juicy red peach, guava and lavender oil. This a firm and salty wine still, but very expressive and captivating even at this young stage, bravo to Pacalet, this is great stuff, drink over the coming decade.
($110-125 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive