2013 PHILIPPE PACALET Chambolle Musigny
There are a lot of winemakers people like to call “legendary", Philippe Pacalet has become one such winemaker, but his fame was earned not only for his skills in the cellar. It is because he is one of the strongest living links to two of the most seminal figures in modern French winemaking: Jules Chauvet, and Marcel Lapierre.
Philippe is Burgundian, but from a little further south than Beaune – he is the nephew of Marcel Lapierre, the renowned ‘natural’ winemaker from the Beaujolais. Initially Philippe worked in the Beaujolais with Jules Chauvet, considered to be the father-figure of the ‘natural wine movement’ from 1986 until Chauvet’s death in 1989.
In 1991 Philippe jumped from Beaujolais to become the winemaker at Domaine Prieuré-Roch in Nuits St.Georges, he stayed here until 1999. From 2000 he began his journey with his own label, while also making the wines for and with the Sabre family in Beaune. Philippe’s first vintage under his own name was 2001 and now he is dedicated soley to his own wines.
His nuanced take on viticulture and viniculture - organic, biodynamic and low-intervention practises, without being bound by rigid rules - resounds with the young winemakers making an impact in Burgundy, he produces wines of incredible freshness, purity, elegance, and finesse. There is always a knock at his door from smeone who needs to know something or wants a peice of his wisdom; he is incredibly knowledgeable.
Pacalet rents vineyards of particular interest, frams them with his team and vinifies the grapes them at his own 19th century winemaking facility in the heart of Beaune. He is adamant about removing anything from the vinification process that obscures the pure expression of terroir, shunning industrial yeasts and using minimal quantities of sulphur, at bottling only. He never destems his grapes, seeing the stems as an integral part of the winemaking process, and believing that if the stems are not ripe enough, then the grapes are not either.