Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please notify us in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.
Domaine Paul Pernot et ses Fils
When asked about the 2015 vintage, Paul Pernot said, “It gave us a relatively easy growing season, which was a welcome relief after the last three years where things were constantly in doubt. Basically, the weather was hot in the spring, hot during the summer, and hot right up to the point the fruit was set to pick, and finally the temperatures broke. When it did, we began picking. The fruit was spotless with very good potential alcohols that averaged right around 13%. As to the wines, I would describe them as both very ripe and rich, yet they manage to remain well-balanced and refreshing. They should drink well early on and should very much please those consumers who enjoy young whites.” For his Puligny-Montrachet bottling, Pernot sources the fruit from four lieux-dit vineyards whose average age is 50 years. This 2015 is raring to go with its wide array of aromas: snappy apple, citrus blossom, and a hint of mint. The palate is round and rich, held together with buoyant acidity. It has a sneaky, long finish. Drink 2018-2026.
2014 Fixin-Hervelets 1er Cru
We featured the 2013 vintage of Martin Bart’s Fixin-Hervelets 1er Cru back in the October 2015 installment of our TOB. Due to popular demand, we now feature his 2014! Now run by nephew, Pierre, with Martin looking on, the Barts tend some 22 hectares of vines in the north of Côtes de Nuits. There are five 1er Cru vineyards in Fixin, three of which are monopoles. The other two are Les Arvelets and Les Hervelets. The fruit for this bottling comes from a 1.5ha parcel between the two. Fruit from Arvelets may be included in bottles labeled Hervelets, but not vice-versa. The two vineyards enjoy their perch on the gentle slope which sits just above the other 1er Cru vineyards. Apart from a mediocre summer, Pierre has said the growing season was relatively easy. Commenting on the ripeness and structure of his 2014’s, Pierre went on to say, ” there is a roundness, even tenderness to the textures which should make them approachable young.” Mineral notes abound in this refined, medium-bodied wine. Drink 2019-2030. – Peter Zavialoff
2014 White Burgundy. In a word, the wines are sensational! The vintage had its challenges, there was millerandage, and some hail hit the Côtes de Beaune, yet the harvested fruit was superb. In general terms, the wines are pure, lively, elegant, and harmonious. TOB subscribers need little introduction to Paul Pernot. He continues to crank out the quality from his various Puligny-Montrachet vineyards. His vines in Premier Cru Chalumaux are 61 years old, and the complexity derived from such old vines is evident. The aromas are fresh and pure: apples, lemon custard, and vanilla with an underlying stony mineral core. The palate is zippy and fresh with a sleek, mineral-driven mouth feel. Its finish is complex and persistent. Similar to Pernot’s Premier Cru Champ Canet, the Chalumaux exhibits all the charm, albeit with a tad more nerve. All in all, it’s a great wine from a great vintage made by a great producer. That’s a win-win-win! It can be drunk in the near term (decanting recommended), or should hit its peak from 2018-2028.
1er Cru Les Duresses
The father and son team of Jean and Gilles Lafouge represent the 4th and 5th generations to run this 9 ha domaine which can trace its roots back to 1850. They farm sustainably and neither fine nor filter their red wines. The 2013 vintage for red Burgundy started out a bit rough with cold and damp conditions. There was hail in places, so again production was lower than the norm. Conditions greatly improved in July and August trimming one week from the projected three week delay to harvest. After some serious sorting, what was left was of fine quality. There just wasn’t much wine. For their Premier Cru Les Duresses, the Lafouges only made 7 barrels in 2013, two being new. That’s 175 cases for the world. It is impressive. Made from 100% de-stemmed fruit, its nose is full of berry fruit with a hint of earth and Old World charm. The palate has a degree of intensity with structure and length. The finish is balanced and complex with the soft tannins gently caressing the palate. Charming now, this will be best from 2019-2030. – Peter Zavialoff
Sure, it’s easy to get excited about new producers when their wines finally arrive and knock our socks off. Easy. Kind of mirrors life in a way; the whole discovery thing. There’s something to be said, though, about the tried and true, about familiar and long time friends; after all, they were discoveries once. In the wine universe, having a producer who delivers vintage after vintage is a boon for an importer! Vintage after vintage is a bit of an understatement here. After all, I am talking about Paul Pernot!!
Here at TWH, we’re now proud to count 4 producers who bottle a Bourgogne blanc. Well sure, they’re not Montrachets, Meursaults, nor Bâtards. But at their modest pricepoints, they ARE white Burgundies, and if you could drink white Burgundy everyday, perhaps one priced in the everyday wine category is in order. Of our 4 Bourgogne blancs, there is but one stalwart. One producer that has provided us with a sensational Bourgogne blanc vintage after vintage for a long, long time. I should say that he has provided ALL OF US with it, as many of you have enjoyed his Bourgogne over the years as well. Yes, I am talking about Paul Pernot. His 2012 Bourgogne blanc just rolled in our warehouse doors, and as overwhelming as it may seem to see stacks and stacks of his wines, we all know that it won’t be long before we start to allocate it on its way to selling out. It’s funny. It happens every year. So the question becomes why?
The answer is multi-faceted. Paul Pernot represents the tried and true for us, a familiar and long time friend. His familiarity is certainly not confined just to these parts either. The question then becomes, why is he so familiar? When you make high quality white Burgundy vintage after vintage over a long period of time, somebody is going to notice. And they will tell their friends. And their friends will tell their friends. Then a wine critic or magazine will run with it. Eventually the wines sell out and the rest is history until the next vintage. At least that’s how it appears to be with Mr. Pernot, because his Bourgogne blanc delivers vintage after vintage, and by pricing it where he does, he’s doing us all a huge solid!
The 2012 vintage in Burgundy, according to Clive Coates MW, is “a vintage for the long term, but a pretty good one.” Keeping with that advice, it would NOT be wise to pop your 2012 Montrachets, Meursaults, nor Bâtards, but as far as Bourgogne blancs go, it’s open season. Pernot’s 2012 Bourgogne blanc is another shining example as to why these wines are super bargains. The aromas are rich with ripe, fleshy yellow fruit, a floral hint, and a kiss of mineral and spices. On the palate, it has depth, a medium body, round displays of citrus and stone fruits, and just enough acidity to keep all the complexity dancing ’til the party’s over. The finish is crisp and mineral laden. Bravo, Paul. You did it again!
Happy Sunday! It’s a good day to rest. My crazy month of January, and all its festivity, is almost over. I spent yesterday flying to and from LA for the UGC Bordeaux trade tasting, so look out, I’ve got Bordeaux on the brain! The 2011 vintage produced many fine wines, and I’ll be telling you all about that in the days to come. All good things in time, as whenever we get new wines from Paul Pernot, we just can’t help writing about them!
– Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me with questions or comments on Bourgogne blanc, the 2011 UGC Bordeaux tasting, or this week’s madness in English Football: firstname.lastname@example.org
A great way to learn about Burgundy and its wines, and (even better) the perfect way to get a discount on two high quality bottles.Sign up now! Click here to receive the Taste of Burgundy Sampler automatically every other month.
Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please specify “store pickup” or “ship it” in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.
2009 Domaine Paul Pernot Puligny-Montrachet, 1er Cru Clos de la Garenne
Paul Pernot is a living legend in and around Puligny-Montrachet. His top wines are highly sought after, vintage after vintage. There’s good reason for that: quality and consistency. The 2009 vintage in Puligny was a very good one, with warm temperatures and healthy yields of ripe, balanced fruit. Still, Pernot’s Premier Cru Puligny-Montrachet’s have a particular sense of origin, and in 2009 this was no exception. His vines in Clos de la Garenne were planted in the mid to late 1950’s and the resulting wine from 2009 caused Burghound’s Allen Meadows to say, “the delicious, intense and stylish flavors are very Puligny in basic character, all wrapped in a finely detailed and mouth coating finish.” We couldn’t agree more; this is a wine for those of us who love Chardonnay. Luscious fruit, zippy acidity, and a mineral presence that suggest that it will be best consumed between 2014 and 2023.
2011 Domaine Gabriel Billard Pommard, Les Vaumuriens Remember this name: Claudie Jobard. Claudie is an eighth generation Burgundian winemaker who has been making wine for over 10 years under her own label, and now she’s the winemaker for her aunt and her mother’s Domaine Gabriel Billard. Claudie’s mother is none other than Laurence Jobard, who was head enologist at Maison Joseph Drouhin for 30 years dating back to the early 1970’s! 2011 was another in a string of successful vintages for the red wines of the Côte d’Or. To quote Clive Coates MW, “The (2011) reds are delicious … there are many which have a delightful purity of Pinot fruit – and pure Pinot is one of the world’s most seductive vinous aromas.” The Les Vaumuriens vineyard lies on the same slope just above the celebrated Rugiens in Pommard. True to its origin, Claudie’s 2011 Les Vaumuriens has a sturdy personality of earthy, herbal, red berry fruit made in an elegant style. It will be best consumed from 2015 through 2025. – Peter Zavialoff
Take a look around. There’s no need for a calendar … it’s August alright. All the signs are there. Seriously, getting home on Saturdays after work is a horror show (why does everybody on the Golden Gate Bridge need to exit into that little parking lot?). Getting a table in what is normally a busy restaurant is a little easier these days. The clincher is the temperature of the treehouse when I get home on worknights. Fortunately, it hasn’t been too hot in my neck of the woods; but when I get home, the first thing I reach for is the refrigerator door. My oh my, it’s a good day when I open the door and find a bottle of Paul Pernot’s Bourgogne Blanc inside.
We’ve gone on and on about Monsieur Pernot’s penchant for cranking out dazzling White Burgundy over the years, and we will continue to import his wines for the unforeseeable future. Here’s the good news: The 2011 Paul Pernot Bourgogne Blanc is now in stock! You know the M.O. It’s here now, but it won’t be around forever. The 2011 Bourgogne Blanc is another notch in the belt (which is full of notches) of successful bottlings that say Paul Pernot et ses fils. The aromas scream White Burgundy with fleshy white fruit (think pear) and citrus blossoms. It’s rich on the palate with a silky feel that is energized by the verve of its acidity. The finish is long and lovely … yep, it’s White Burgundy, folks. What makes Paul Pernot’s 2011 Bourgogne Blanc even better is its price tag. It just doesn’t get much better than that. Not on a warm evening. Not with a crab salad. Not with a rotisserie chicken. Definitely not with shrimp scampi!
I also know it’s August because many of my friends are currently on holiday; including our own Anya and David. Maybe it’s a good thing that Anya wasn’t in the shop today, she may have discouraged me from writing about this wine by accusing me of picking the low hanging fruit. For in the case of anything that says Paul Pernot, it’s just plain easy to recommend his wines and look like a genius. When the price comes to $20 per bottle (by the case) for his 2011 Bourgogne Blanc, we can all be geniuses! – Peter Zavialoff
Speaking of August, I’m so psyched footy season resumes next Sunday with the annual Charity Shield match pinning the Premiership Champions versus the FA Cup Champions … oh yeah, those guys are also Champions of Europe. Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments: email@example.com