2017 Domaine Thomas Pico – Bois d’Yver, Chablis, White Burgundy, France.
This all organic domaine was hit incredibly hard by hail in both 2016 and 2017 making this Bois d’Yver Chablis by Thomas Pico even more amazing, since he was forced to blend what little fruit he could salvage into just two bottling, his Pattes Loup, and a tiny bottling under this Bois d’Yver label, which was bottled solely for his US importer, Floraison Selections. This was my first experience with Pico’s wines, though he has quite a following, and I was highly impressed, this crisply cool Chablis is classic in terroir character with a flinty/steely charm. It also has a surprisingly beautiful textural quality that leaves a rich impression on the long finish, all the while it is driven by its riveting zippy acidity. I found interesting similarities to Puize, Savary, De Moor and Beru in this Bois d’Yver, which to me, is very exciting and I loved the layered medium bodied palate that shows green apple, lemony citrus, a hint of peach and Bosc pear fruits along with a salty freshness, wet rock and clove spices. The nose is really chalky/stony with a hint of lime, sea breezes and white flowers adding to the thrill and pleasure in this lovely Chardonnay. Pico came back to Chablis in 2004 after years of making wine in Nuits-Saint-Georges to farm his late grandfather’s parcel and started his organic conversion, he is also distinctive in the long élevage he gives his wines, with this Chablis getting 18 months, while his Premier Crus get a 34 months minimum before bottling!
Made from a distinct parcel of vines, the Bois d’Yver Chablis is all estate grown fruit coming from a block between Côte Joannis & Beauregards set on the limestone, marl and clay soils with ripe exposures. Thomas Pico, according to his importer, is famed in the Chablis region for his cult bottlings under his Pattes Loup label, but I am happy to report this bottling is really stylish as well, and of Premier Cru class, it is also a great value. The Bois d’Yver Chablis, from Pico’s father’s historic 2.5 ha estate, which he’s quietly been reviving and converting to organic since 2015 is a label to search out. Thomas Pico is one of a handful of committed producers working organically in Chablis, a region not usually known for sustainable production, though in recent years you’ve seen a bigger push in this direction. Thomas, again according to Floraison, runs Bois d’Yver as a separate estate in parallel to his Pattes Loup and follows the same principles, with holistic organic farming, no synthetic herbicide, pesticides or chemical additions, 100% native yeast fermentations, and extended lees aging, that Pico says, brings out the inherent complexity and depth in the wine but he strives to preserve freshness and energy of the fruit. Though Bois d’Yver consists of one single AOC Village bottling, Thomas feels the parcels are distinctive enough to merit standing on their own, and I absolutely agree, this is a brilliant under the radar Chablis, and one that shined with a vast of array of sushi adding great enjoyment to evening.
($34 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive