2020 Domaine Paul Pillot, Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France.
Thierry Pillot’s wines are some of the most beautiful and authentic white Burgundies out there and this 2020 Bourgogne Blanc punches well above its humble label and price point in a similar vein to Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey’s wines, with reductive intensity, mineral focus and vitality, coming mainly from prime and organic Chassagne-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin vineyard sites.This is a vintage for expressive wines with a sense of deeper concentration and more exotic fruit with this Pillot Bourgogne Blanc showing off a richness and length that is more akin to a Prime Cru offering with expansive palate of apple, Bosc pear, white peach and lemon curd fruit, as well as hazelnut, brioche, clove spice, chalky wet stone, a hint of white blossoms and tropical essences. There’s a textural charm and mouth feel that gives a presence a luxurious (almost creamy) hedonism, but not heavy or ponderous with good brisk underlying acidity and very subtle wood, making for a very lovely wine that really speaks of place, impressive on its own and fabulous with food, this is truly a gem. I would stock up on this one and enjoy it over the next 3 to 5 years, if not a few more, it is already drinking so nicely that it seems a shame to wait, though it should prove entertaining to follow, and if this little Bourgogne Blanc is the good, I can only imagine how brilliant Thierry’s top Premier Cru single vineyard Chassagne and Saint-Aubin must be, if only my wallet allowed for more extravagant spending, alas it does not at this time or likely to in the near future.

The Domaine Paul Pillot, which was founded in 1900 by a local barrel maker, Jean-Baptiste Pillot, who decided he wanted to spend more time and effort growing grapes and tending vines in the Côte de Beaune, with a few holdings in the village of Chassagne-Montrachet, which later expanded significantly when his sons Alphonse and Henri took over following WWI. At that time the estate began to produce their own wines and sell them them, but the real step up came when Henri’s son Paul became the manager of the Domaine, and he bought up prime parcels in Chassagne and in Saint-Aubin, mostly in Premier Cru Vineyards and mainly Chardonnay, putting this label on the map. Now, as mentioned, Paul’s son Thierry, who joined his father in 1999, runs the property and has made the wines here since 2004, which has lifted this winery to the next level, with more focus being put into the vines and by converting them to sustainable and organic farming. For his whites, this Bourgogne Blanc included, Pillot employs a minimalistic approach, preferring native yeast fermentation(s) and aging in larger format 350L barrels with up to 10% new oak. The wine ferments naturally in barrel and sees lees aging of about 12 months without much if any stirring, after which the wine blended, then is rested/settled in stainless steel tank for a further 6 months before bottling. I am a big fan of this vintage and this particular offering and highly recommend it, though for purists and those wanting more subtle fruit/body, you’ll want to focus on the following 2021 vintage, both will certainly offer tons of personality and rewarding pleasure.
($45-55 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

By admin