2017 Domaine Sylvain Pataille, Bourgogne AC, Red Burgundy, France.
The wonderfully expressive and quaffable 2017 Bourgogne bottling from Marsannay’s iconic Sylvain Pataille is a lovely red Burgundy with surprising depth and density that seduces the senses with its floral nose and bright and tangy, but silky red fruits that are nicely accompanied by some peppery spices and driving structural acidity. Air brings supple mouth feel and more refinement, though it still remains perky and minerally fresh, making for an impressive Burgundy for the price and it is excellent with a meal offering up plenty of stuffing to hold up to some robust cuisine. Sip after sip reveals black cherries, summer plums, brambly raspberry and red currants in a medium bodied Pinot Noir with hints cinnamon, wilted roses, a touch of tilled earth, smoke , dried orange peel and subtle wood notes. It is clear Pataille has it all going in top gear these days and is completing the biodynamic certification, joining the elite producers of the region, if you’ve not had Sylvain’s wines yet, it is time! Pataille does a tidy set of quality wines, these include around 12 distinct Marsannay cuvées, including not only red, white and rosé Marsannay (Marsannay is the only appellation in the Côte d’Or permitted to label as an AC Rosé), but also Aligoté, Passetoutgrain (a Gamay and Pinot Noir blend) and Bourgogne Blanc and this Rouge. There is a lot to enjoy here, it is a fair priced and well crafted Burgundy that is pretty, good with food and has more dimension that would be normally expected for a wine label Bourgogne.

Sylvain Pataille, who, as noted here, consults for a dozen or so high end domaines in Burgundy and founded his own label in 1999, specializes in natural style winemaking and organic farming with his wines coming almost exclusively from vines in the village of Marsannay. Everything Pataille does at his own domaine comes from the Marsannay region and his vines are all organic and biodynamic now. I have been a fan since Pataille’s 2012 vintage and all of the wines in his collection are impressive, but especially his base Marsannay AC (Pinot Noir) and his single Cru versions, like the Clos du Roy, which I reviewed here again recently. As I stated before these wines were stunning when I first tried them, and that impression still holds true after trying this later vintages. Pataille makes his wines with almost no added sulfur (SO2) and follows the style also championed by Philippe Pacalet, though different in detail, without question he is making some of the most delicious natural wines in Burgundy. Pataille’s wines all see natural, indigenous yeast fermentation, in a combination of fiberglass tank and in stainless steel, with his maceration (with partial whole cluster) and primary being relatively short, they last usually only 10-12 days and are rigorously temperature controlled to preserve freshness and clarity of flavors. The wines are then racked into oak barriques with surprisingly enough, about a third being new barrels and then aged for up to 24 months, though usually this Bourgogne is more like 10 to 12 months and seeing less of the new wood. If you’ve not tried these Pataille wines yet, you should chase a few bottles down at the soonest possible chance, they are lovely wines, with this one a solid and reasonable place to start.
($40 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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