2011 Philippe Pacalet, Gevrey-Chambertin, Lavaux Saint Jacques Premier Cru, Red Burgundy, France.
The 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin Lauvaux Saint Jacques 1er Cru is gorgeous and full of life and intensity, this is beautiful and exciting Pinot Noir, this is light handed, gentle winemaking at it’s finest. Pacalet, known for his natural wines techniques, his low sulfur and organic grape sourcing should really just be known for his quality product period. Pacalet’s wines are generous, spicy, brightly flavored and wonderfully clear and transparent, these have become stars in there own right, leaving behind the tagline best of the “Natural” wine in Burgundy, these wines are now among the new wave of elite without prejudice. Philippe Pacalet has been making Burgundy under his own label now since 2001, and with ten years on record, his wines have moved from novelties to proven delectables. The 2011 Lavaux Saint Jacques is a classy, elegant wine, Pacalet as always used 100% whole cluster and native yeast, with seasoned oak, ending up with a low natural alcohol at about 13% wine that shows balance, structure and alluring presence and depth. The nose is brightly fresh with earth, flowers and tangy fruits, there is mineral and zesty spices too, the layers of fruit is impressive with peppered raspberry, strawberry and plum adding to the core of morello cherry along with truffle, mint tea, dried roses in this ruby hued wine. While Pacalet is proud of the 2010 vintage, maybe his favorite, I am thinking these 2011 wines are not far off and I feel they are showing fantastic and make for great early drinking wines, though with enough stuffing and acidity to last another decade easy. If Pacalet is not on your radar and you are a serious Burgundy lover, you need to check these wines out, they will not disappoint!
($125 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive
Philippe Pacalet and his wife Monica are in the bay area this week for La Paulee, they have been busy with 10 events in 7 days for their US importer Return to Terroir, even so I got a chance to meet up and taste, and I’ve been lucky to have tasted his wines from 2008, 2009, 2010 and the currant 2011 vintages, knowing these are glorious and well crafted Burgundies. Pacalet makes about 30 different wines per vintage, all small lot stuff, mostly single vineyard, though he does a few AC or village wines too, I tasted his Nuits-St.-Georges 2011 with him, and while the premier crus are a bit more detailed, this NSG was a beauty, and his regular Gevrey-Chambertin is a stunning example as well, plus he does Meursault and one of my favorite Puligny-Montrachets, without question Philippe has the magic touch. I’ll be tasting through a further selection of his limited cuvees on March 8 and more notes will follow, La Paulee 2014 is awesome and has brought some of Burgundy’s brightest stars to San Francisco, I’m really grateful to have had the chance to pour some of these great wines and meet some wonderful people, like the Pacalets!
avail at www.sfwtc.com