Maison Patrick Piuze
Chablis – Blanchots
Grand Cru White 750 ml
Tasted: Oct 11, 2017
Producer note: The irrepressible Patrick Piuze, who has worked with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget and Jean-Marc Brocard (see both herein), struck out on his own in 2008 to found an eponymous négociant. Piuze forcefully forswears corrections of any kind, which includes chaptalization (unless absolutely necessary), enzymes, acidification as well as new wood (he uses 6 to 8 year old wood at present with some stainless, depending on the wine in question). With respect to the 2016 vintage, Piuze commented that “I chose to pick very early because rain was being forecast and I was really afraid of having the acidity diluted due to the rapid uptake of potassium. Besides, if it’s necessary to choose between sugar and acidity, I will favor acidity every time provided there is adequate phenolic maturity. As such we started the harvest on the 21st of September and brought in mostly clean fruit if not necessarily much of it as the frost damage was considerable. The skins were quite thick so it was necessary to press very slowly. Potential alcohols were on the lower side at between 11.3 and 11.8% so I chaptalized a minor amount which is to say less than .5%. On the plus side though the wines have excellent post-malo pH levels at between 3.18 and 3.25. I also like the fact that the alcoholic fermentations went close to complete dryness as there is less than 1 gram of sugar remaining. Given that the wines are notably ripe, the good acidities and very dry finishes help to keep them refreshing and fun to drink.” Piuze noted that the 2016s had been bottled less than one week before I tasted them and as such some of them were showing sulfur and reductive notes. He further noted that the Les Clos, Bouquerottes and Roncières had not yet completely finished their malos and thus were not presented. (DNS Wines, www.dnswines.com, CA, Aliane Wines, www.AlianeWines.com, CA and David Bowler Wine, www.bowlerwine.com, NY, all USA; Bibendum Wine Ltd., www.bibendum-wine.co.uk, Hallgarten Druitt and Carte Blanche, all UK; L’Imperatrice Fine Wines, www.imperatrice.com.hk, Hong Kong/China/Macau).
Tasting note: Here too strong sulfur aromas completely overshadow the underlying fruit. There is ample punch to the remarkably concentrated and powerful big-bodied flavors that possess a succulent, even juicy, mouth feel that coats the palate on the moderately long and citrus-infused finish. This is a Blanchots of power and muscle rather than finesse which, for the moment at least, displays less minerality than usual.