What’s up winos,
How was your weekend? Mine was beautiful, thanks for asking. Went south of the river, how’s that for intrepid? Camberwell man, who knew?
I’ve got a real treat for you this week. Gigantic Chablis drop from Patrick Piuze. I went to an early tasting of his ‘22s a few months ago at a super fancy restaurant (only time I’ve been to Mayfair except in Monopoly) so the second they arrived in the UK for real I knew I wanted to snap them up. There aren’t many wines I’d enjoy drinking at 10am, but these were so good they powered me through the sensory disconnect.
Patrick’s from Montréal originally, so he was sort of French already when he made the punchy move to head over to Burgundy and set up a micro-négoce business in Chablis in 2008, stopping off for a stint chez Leflaive and Verget on the way. Patrick is a huge advocate for Chablis’ unique terroir, and sources grapes from the best growers on the best parcels the area has to offer. Patrick reckons terroir is basically the only thing that separates good wine from bad wine – as he says, anyone can copy someone else’s techniques. He works only with fruit from old vines, and only old vines planted in the original boundaries of the appellation. Dismissive of the importance of technique though he may be, Patrick’s pretty unique in Chablis for hand-harvesting all his grapes, in an area where 90% of the work is done by machine. He also produces eight village-level wines, compared to most vinters’ one, and believes they’re up there on a par with his premier crus – which is good news for your bank balance. The villages-level wines are all fermented and aged in stainless steel barrels without temperature control, while his grand and premier crus are fermented and aged in used barrels for ten months – used barrels that, specifically, were not first used during a hot vintage, to avoid the transfer of tropical fruit flavours into his wines. How’s that for attention to detail?
You can shop his entire, expansive collection here, including some gems we’ve got left to snap up from 2020 and 2021. You can get one of each and taste them all side by side to see what he’s on about in terms of terroir. A fun, nerdy evening to be had by all. Perhaps you prefer the richer wines of the left bank, planted on clay soils, from Courgis or Butteaux? Or maybe you’re more partial to the leaner, more mineral styles of the right bank, from Tonnerre? Get your nan, Pam and Jan round and teach them why ‘Anything But Chardonnay’ is not an opinion any more.
That’s all from me, got more people to convert to Chardonnay. A woman’s work is never done.