2018 Domaine Paul Pillot Bourgogne Chardonnay (750ml)
Aromas of citrus oil and freshly baked bread introduce Pillot's 2018 Bourgogne Blanc, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy but precise wine, with lively acids, chalky structure and a saline finish.
As I wrote last year, the 12-hectare Domaine Paul Pillot has been directed since 2004 by the young and dynamic Thierry Pillot. The vines in the domaine's enviable palette of holdings are farmed organically, though not yet certified as such, and the wines they produce are matured for some 18 months on the lees, the final six being spent in stainless steel. Percentages of new wood are modest, with plenty of larger-format 350-liter barrels, and the lees are never stirred. Pillot told me that he used even less new wood than usual in 2018. Characterful, elegantly textural and mouthwateringly incisive, these are superb white Burgundies, and to my mind, Pillot is one of a handful of exciting producers who win Chassagne-Montrachet the title of Burgundy's most interesting white wine-producing village today. While 2018 certainly yielded generously, crops were smaller at this address than in 1999, and while generally Pillot prefers the 2017s, he adds the caveat that some cuvées have turned out better in 2018 than their 2017 counterparts. And on the subject of the 2017 vintage, I'll be returning to this fine address in the spring to revisit some of those wines in bottle—something that tight timing precluded last fall. WK (2/2020)