Laurent Pinson
Photo Credit: Stephen Tanzer
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.The Pinson brothers produce concentrated and often oaky wines from their 12 hectares of vines, making more extensive use of barriques than most of their colleagues in the region.Laurent Pinson, who does the winemaking (brother Christophe is responsible for the vines), describes vintage 2004 as "representative of Chablis and Burgundy:minerally, fresh, delicate.The wines are more minerally than the 2002s but less fat.While 2003 is an interesting vintage, it's too rich, too powerful for drinking with pleasure."Pinson was still stirring the lees in early June and said he might continue until the wines are assembled in August (the premier crus will be bottled either just before or just after the harvest, and the Clos next winter), in the hope of getting more texture and richness in the wines.I found the 2003s here to be rather oaky.Laurent told me that he used a higher percentage of new barrels than usual as the estate brought in barely half of a normal crop.(Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY)

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis

Aromas of Meyer lemon and spices. Slightly exotic, sweet citrusflavor enlivened by bright acidity. Nicely concentrated village wine. A tiny percentage of this wine spent three months in barrique

86

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Vaillons

(fermented in older oak barrels) Very reduced nose suggests lemon oil and spicy oak. Offers goodtexture and easygoing fruit but seems rather overwhelmed by its oak component. These vines are just seven years old.

84-87

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Vaugiraut

Richer, deeper nose shows some stoniness to go with the oak spice. Fatter on the palate, withflavors of lemon and clove. Offers more volume and personality, as well as bright acidity and nice stony precision. Finishes with good cut and length. From 17-year-old vines.

87-89

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis La Foret

(fermented in cuve, then moved into wood with its fine lees after the malolactic fermentation) Wet stone, menthol and a raw peppery element on the nose. Juicy and imploded; intensely flavored but a bit sharp with lemony acidity today. Best right now on the building, very stony finish. These vines are about 50 years old.

88-91

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Montmain

(a blend of 50- and 20-year-old vines; vinified in cuve, then moved into wood after the malo) Citrus, menthol and spice notes on the nose; a bit less pristine than the Foret. A rounder, sweeter, more fruit-driven style, with aflavor of peach. Easygoing wine but a bit youthfully high-toned. These vines are adjacent to Foret, notes Pinson, but are planted on a vein of clay, which always produces a tender, less minerally, less biting style of Chablis.

87-89

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Mont de Milieu

(10% of this juice was vinified in new barrels) Good pale color. Spicy oak, apple and an exotic whiff of mango on the nose. Then more classic Chablis in the mouth: lemony, stony and brisk, with sound acidity giving the wine energy and verve. Intensely flavored but stylish anddelicate. Slightly dried by oak on the back end. The Pinsons own a major chunk (4.75 hectares) of this vineyard.

88-90

2004 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Les Clos

(10% vinified in new oak, with part of the wine also aged in new oak) High-pitched and spicy but less exuberant today than the Mont de Milieu. Suave, lemony entry, then intense but imploded in the middle palate, withflavors of citrus peel, minerals, flowers and spices. Offers terrific sucrosity leavened by strong acids. Not at all dominated by the oak. The lemony finish features excellent cut. Offers impressive potential. This is Pinson's second largest holding, at 2.57 hectares.

89-92

2003 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis La Foret

($33) Distinctly exotic aromas of pineapple andorange, with a suggestion of mint; in a distinctly jammy late-harvest style. Sweet, smooth and fat, with flavors oforange oil and clove. This does not possess this cru's normal minerality, yet there's good life in the mouth. A tad aggressive with alcohol, but a touch of stoniness enables the wine to avoid coming off as heavy.

88

2003 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Montmain

($33) Reduced, withdrawn nose hints at menthol. Sweet, rich and fat, with ripe stone fruitflavors. Dense but inexpressive, with the combination of elevated alcohol and oak drying the finish. A bit harsh today.

86?

2003 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Mont de Milieu

($33) Good pale color. Nuts and vanillin oak on the nose. Richer and fruitier than theMont main, with more shape and verve. A step up intexture and freshness but still a tad dry on the aftertaste.

88

2003 Domaine Pinson Freres Chablis Les Clos

($55) Reticent nose offers wet stone, menthol and crystallized lemon peel, along with a whiff of almond. Big, rich and sweet, with more mid-palate fat and lemony fruit to stand up to the wood element. Structured and persistent wine; here the nutty oak gives lift and sweetness to the finish and does not dry the wine.

90
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