Pernot was another Cote de Beaune vigneron who told me that while 2010 is a good vintage for white wines, it may be even better for reds. "The 2010s are better balanced than the 2008s and 2009s," said Pernot, "but that doesn't mean they're better. For example, the 2008s are more concentrated and powerful, and higher in acidity." Pernot started harvesting on the early side, on September 17, as his most important client Joseph Drouhin was afraid that rot would become a problem. Potential alcohol levels were in the 12.5% to 13% range, and the wines were chaptalized about half a degree. Pernot planned to bottle these wines in early August, as he usually does.
Greenish yellow. Very pure aromas of lime and wild herbs. Juicy, spicy and vibrant, with a minty freshness intensified by harmonious ripe acidity. Classic Puligny villages in the making, from a combination of seven parcels.
Pale straw-yellow. Crushed rock and smoky oak on the nose. Fat and sweet on entry for a high-altitude 2010, but ultimately a bit lacking in mid-palate concentration. Finishes slightly skinny, with strong oak notes and a hint of licorice.
Pale yellow-green. Lemon, pear, licorice, black pepper and wild herbs on the nose, with good floral lift and a trace of botrytis. A minerally, stony edge gives this wine firmness, but the finish comes across as musclebound, with the licorice note carrying through. Just a bit funky.
(cropped at just 30 hectoliters per hectare, according to Pernot): Yellow-green color. Precise aromas of minerals, spring flowers and white pepper. At once pliant and firm, with terrific inner-mouth energy to its perfumed floral and mineral flavors. Nicely integrated acidity gives this wine a steely spine. Finishes firm, delicate and long. Although Pernot reported a close-to-normal crop in his village holdings, the yields in his crus were down 40% to 50% in 2010.
Straw-yellow. Tangy peach, lime, flowers and lees on the slightly reduced nose. Dense, chewy and concentrated, with slightly exotic flavors of candied fruits, smoke and butter. Strong flavor of peach flesh on the long, palate-saturating aftertaste.
Pale, green-tinged yellow. Aromas of peach, spearmint, white truffle, menthol and licorice. Supple on entry, then a bit youthfully imploded in the middle, with pepper and herb notes giving the wine a somewhat aggressive hard edge today. Distinctly disjointed today.
Captivating aromas of ripe stone fruits and hazelnut. Broad, sweet and powerful if not yet delineated. This will need time to burn off some of its substantial baby fat, but the very long, rising finish is already vibrant and gripping.
($60) Very pale straw. Pure but subdued aromas of citrus fruits and pear. Intensely flavored and fruit-driven, with enticing flavors of white peach, lemon and lime. Finishes with very good length and verve. This will offer early appeal. Bigger and sexier than the 2010 but perhaps not quite as textbook. Pernot owns 6.5 hectares of Puligny-Montrachet.
($100) Pale, green-tinged yellow. Delicate aromas of citrus peel, flowers and minerals; nothing hot-vintage about this nose. Juicy, delineated and backward, offering compelling delicacy and enticing inner-mouth perfume to its flavors of peach, white flowers and wild herbs. Pernot used to pick this plot very early but is now picking it later--especially in 2009, when the fruit was slow to ripen due to hydric stress.
($120) Pale straw-yellow. Ripe peach complicated by a musky leesy nuance on the rather reticent nose. Fat, sweet and powerful but a bit musclebound today. Pernot notes that this rocky parcel features less than a foot of topsoil, less than his two grand crus. I'd forget about this one for four years.
($180) Pale greenish-straw color. Lovely Puligny perfume of white peach, wild herbs and spring flowers. Lush, sweet and pliant, with terrific depth to its stone fruit and floral flavors. At once silky and strong, this fills the mouth with flavor without leaving any impression of weight. Classy, long wine with compelling lingering perfume. Outstanding for this cuvee.
($210) Pale straw-yellow. Brooding aromas of pineapple, menthol and minerals. Densely packed, massive and classically dry, with considerable power to the honey, mineral and crushed stone flavors. Much less expressive today than the Bienvenue-Batard but at least as long on the aftertaste, which shows a vibrant lime character with some aeration. This will be slow to develop.