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Ric visits Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot

November 10, 2018

Just when you thought Chassagne is already saturated with great producers of its famous whites, there comes another to chip away at the pie. Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot may trace its origins to Jean-Baptiste Pillot who started the domaine in 1910 which subsequently passed to his sons Henri and Alphonse. The latter’s share was passed on to Jean and, now, his son Jean-Marc has taken over entirely since 1991. Owning 11 hectares mainly in Chassagne, Jean-Marc makes stunning whites as well as gorgeous reds. His methods are not dissimilar to the purist approach: high density plantings (10,000-12,000 vines per ha), de-budding, green harvesting, horse ploughing, de-stemming (for reds) and minimum new oak (only up to 30%). The wines are left on lees for 12 months before being racked into stainless steel tanks for another 6 months. Jean-Marc believes firmly in the value of hard work and extreme precision. When we visited his cellar in the late afternoon of 30 October 2018, his workers were still busy. We also found laser beams trained at the rows of barrels because Jean-Marc wants every single barrel to be positioned in perfect alignment. He insists it makes a difference to the wines. And I believe it must be so, for the wines we tasted displayed effortless precision and elegance in their expression of terroir. This is an excellent domaine. Prices are still within easy reach though I doubt for long.

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Note the laser pointer (foreground)

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Bourgogne Blanc. Lovely aromas. Clear crystalline tones with a bit of sweetness, delicate in acidity with fine definition, very tightly structured, displaying good power with white floral tones. Very good!

2017 Maison Jean-Marc Pillot Montagny. A negociant wine. Effusive in dense white floral tones, displaying lovely depth and presence with very controlled basal minerality, not overdone. Nicely rounded with a gentle finish.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Saint-Romain La Perriere 1er. Grassy elements with a generous expanse of clear and yellow citrus. Very fine in acidity with overtones of raw nutmeg, displaying excellent presence and balance, finishing with excellent mouthfeel.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Puligny-Montrachet. Somewhat reserved on the nose but showing ample bloom of white flowers and white peppery tones on the palate. Gently structured with soft elegant tones. Should turn out to be very fine.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet. Gentle bouquet of clear citrus. Good concentration of fruit with overtones of nutmeg and white pepper, displaying clean precision with a fine minerally balance, subtly intense with a taut finish. Very good potential.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er. Gentle notes of icing and grassy elements. Medium-bodied. Fleshy with lovely fragrance and delicacy. Refreshing.

20181030_161636.jpg2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeots 1er. Lifted broad expanse of white flowers. Rounded with good precision, very subtly layered with understated minerals. .

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er. Lovely floral fullness on the nose with a forward fruity balance. Medium-bodied. Open in transparency with good inner definition, subtle in acidity and finish. Exudes feminine elegance. Very fine.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers 1er Clos Saint Marc. Effusive delicate nose of white floral tones, white fruits and nutmeg. Subtly structured with great concentration and superb detail amidst gentle notes of vanilla and cool icing. Very softly rounded, layered with excellent depth and minerality, finishing with excellent precision. Highly elegant. Superb. A special cuvee produced from a 0.5 ha walled portion of Les Vergers containing vines planted in 1910. Only 6 barrels.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Minerally bouquet of white flowers with undertones of white pepper, beautifully nuanced in rich layering of refined minerals and fruit with excellent depth and balanced acidity, superbly integrated. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeots 1er Rouge. Deep note of wonderfully ripe raspberries, dark cherries and licorice on the nose coupled with unusual characters of preserved plums and olives on the palate though very fine in acidity, depth and layering. Very well proportioned and balanced. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St Jean 1er Rouge. Dark raspberries and dark plums dominate on the nose with a certain raciness, saturated with ripe glossy black fruits and great acidity that conferred superb suppleness. Big but balanced. May not be everyone’s idea of Burgundy but undeniably attractive.

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Jean-Marc Pillot (L)

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