2019 Domaine Sylvain Pataille, Marsannay Blanc “Le Chapitre” White Burgundy, France.
I’ve long been a fan for these Sylvain Pataille wines, especially the red Marsannay offerings, but I don’t have much experience with the whites here, so it was great to enjoy his Marsannay Le Chapitre Blanc last night, it is a unique Chardonnay that has an almost Jura like nutty nose with a distinctive pecan, mineral and almond oil character showing through with interesting array of lemon, green apple, quince and Bosc pear fruits. The pale gold 2019 Pataille Marsannay Blanc Le Chapitre teases the senses, but the medium bodied palate has all you’d expect in terms of flavor and depth adding a beautiful textural quality with air and it was exceptional with both salmon and lobster dishes, with stony and crisp detail throughout, gaining personality and style as it came to life in the glass. There is a lively cut of natural acidity, a touch of reduction, and a fine salinity that refreshes, all of which helps hold things together here and leaves a lingering tart peach, burnt citrus and hazelnut, making for a very confident wine that has a prized contrast between fruit concentration and energetic tension. The village and AOC of Marsannay, is technically part of the Côte de Nuits, and has a solid wine history, became notable in 1783, when it is said that the village got its name, which it owes to its Gallo-Roman roots, mostly like derived from the name of Marcenus. These gentle rolling hillside vineyards enjoy good southern and eastern exposures and dark brown marl based soils that contains a chalky mixture of limestone, calcareous clay, clay and contains pebbles and gravel, which, along with a cooler climate, gives these wines their terroir influence.
Sylvain Pataille, who started his own label in 2001 and based in Chenôve, makes wines exclusively from the terroirs of Marsannay-la-Côte, and he has become one of the most coveted domaines in Marsannay region, working in a very natural way and using only sustainable and organic methods. Pataille, after studying in Bordeaux, worked as a (very successful) consulting enologist for many estates and has inspired a new generation of talents here. Sylvain does a set of about a dozen wines from Aligote, Passetoutgrain and regional Bourgogne offerings, both red and white to his signature efforts, Marsannay Blanc, Rosé andRouge, with many prized Lieu-Dits, including this Le Chapitre. Pataille uses all natural yeasts, in his fermentation with temperature control in a mix of stainless-steel tank and fibre-glass vats before the wines go to wood to mature. This wine, which saw a gentle pressing and was aged for 12 to 18 months in barrel with about 1/3 new oak being used, though it doesn’t really show overtly here in this vintage, making for a very balanced profile with just the right amount of richness and depth. The certified organic Le Chapitre plot was planted back in 1955 and is set up at about 300 meters above sea level with some steep slopes, it was once owned by the Chapter (Chapitre in French) of Autun Collegiate Church, hence the name. The vines and the woods that lie above them, the winery notes, were owned by the Archbishop of Autun himself, who also originally planted this selection of vines. Pataille rates Le Chapitre highly, saying it is one of the region’s finest sites, he has two parcels here, one inside the walls or Clos, and one just beyond, which is where this one usually comes from. Again, I manly buy Pataille’s reds and highly recommend them, especially his Clos de Roy bottling, though I wouldn’t miss the regular Bourgogne Rouge and Marsannay Rouge offerings, which are outstanding values and also the Rosé.
($48-75 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive