Jean-Marc Pillot picked very early in 2009 and on the early side again in 2010, beginning in the latter year on September 19 and bringing in his premier crus with potential alcohol in the 13.2% to 13.3% range. The yeasts were very active, he added, with the result that the 2010s finished quite dry: in most cases, under one gram per liter of residual sugar. But there is nonetheless an attractive sucrosite to a number of these wines.
Pure aromas of grapefruit, pineapple and white flowers come across as almost viognier-like. Fat, saline and ripe, but with strong acidity giving shape to the middle palate and cut to the finish. Very solidly built. (Pillot's village wines had not yet finished their malolactic fermentations.)
Gentian, wild herbs and vanilla on the nose and palate. Supple, sweet and lush, conveying a gentler impression today than the Vergers. Should make lovely early drinking.
Expressive nose combines citrus fruits, white flowers, green tea and minerals. Fat and sweet but its youthfully bitter pear and pineapple flavors are nicely framed by solid minerality. The impressively long, firm finish features saline and brown spice notes.
Aromas of crystallized lemon peel, spices and baked bread. Concentrated, ripe and chewy, with a saline aspect to the stone and menthol flavors. The captivating sweetness carries through to the suave, fine-grained, lingering finish. "Very typical of marly calcaire soil," notes Pillot.
Very ripe aroma of almond paste along with a light resiny quality. Then fat, superripe and rich, with a silky texture verging on glyceral. Conveys a strong impression of old-vines creaminess and sucrosite. Very long on the aftertaste. This will be sexy early but will it stand the test of time?
Ripe peach, mint and a buttery nuance on the nose. Fat, broad and dry, with slightly tart acidity giving the mid-palate a solid aspect. Ultimately rather tight today, but I don't find much ripe fruit. Was this picked too early?
(early malo): Pure but subdued aromas of peach, flowers, spices and stone. Rich, round and ripe, with firm minerality giving the mouth and aftertaste a sappy, almost peppery quality. Very silky, long, saline wine with a palate-saturating aftertaste.
(just three barrels produced, vs. a normal four): Smoke and wet stone on the nose. Large-scaled, silky and sweet, but with terrific inner-mouth energy to the white peach and rosemary flavors. Opulent and seamless wine with superb precision on the very long aftertaste. There's a fascinating, almost garrigue-like quality to this outstanding premier cru.
(Pillot made this wine from purchased grapes): Bright, pale yellow. Lemon, ginger, vanilla and a medicinal whiff of menthol on the nose. Thick, silky and very dry, with a distinctly taut, steely quality to the stone and ginger flavors. The finish shows a slight dry edge from the oak component. Much less opulent today than the Clos Saint-Marc but with excellent potential.
High-pitched aromas of lemon verbena, lavender and powdered stone. Wonderfully fat and alive, offering a compelling balance of sweetness and vibrant crushed-stone minerality. This is a new barrel, but the oak has already been absorbed by the wine's sheer density. Very long and tactile on the piquant aftertaste.
Bright, pale yellow. Ripe pear and pineapple on the fruity nose. Sweet, ripe and glossy, with a rich pineapple flavor that lingers nicely on the rather soft finish. Open for business right now.
(this remained in barrel for 18 months; the preceding wines were moved to cuves in September of 2010 and held there until the bottling in April of this year): Lemon, lime and grapefruit aromas are enlivened by a wild floral perfume. Displays superb sucrosite on entry, then very good lemony tension in the mid-palate. Lots of fruit here but not yet complex. Finishes a bit warm.
Pear and peach on the nose. Offers lovely sweetness but with better acidity than the Chaumes this comes across as lighter on its feet. Nicely taut pear and spice flavors carry through to a slightly edgy finish.
(all these premier crus were bottled in April of this year): Musky aromas of lime, nectarine, quinine, ginger and minerals. Fine-grained and penetrating, with excellent, harmonious acidity giving cut to this youthfully imploded wine. Finishes very long and aromatic, with terrific clarity and grip. A wonderfully juicy and firm-edged 2009 that really transcends the vintage.
Lemon, lime and white flowers on the nose. Quite closed in the mouth, but shows excellent cut to its pineapple, citrus and fresh herb flavors. Displays the seamless, creamy aspect of 2009 but this is still a baby today. Some youthful aggressiveness suggests it will need a good four or five years of bottle aging to come into harmony.
Pungent, exuberant aromas of pineapple, grapefruit and lemon peel. Intensely flavored and youthfully tight, with brisk acidity giving firm spine to the citrus and pineapple flavors. Finishes pure, taut and very long. A beautifully balanced 2009 yet quite backward for the vintage and in need of several years of aging.