Tasting of Philippe Pacalet 2011 from Cask – part 1

Philippe Pacalet is one of my favorite winemakers in Burgundy. I love the style of the wines, the drinkability, the lightness, the purity, the delicate expression of pinot fruit and the terroir….

20120523-081438.jpgThe 2010 vintage was a big succes for Pacalet, the quality very high, and the transparancy of some of the reds were second to none. I was therefore eager to visit Philippe and taste his 2011s.

First visit to Philippe Pacalet

It’s allways a pleasure to taste wines with Philippe and his wife Mônica, but I never had the opportunity to visit them in Burgundy.

Finally in May 2012 I had the possibility to visit Philippe Pacalet in Beaune to taste the 2011 vintage from cask.

It was quite a big tasting with 24 wines, and in this article I will only cover the village wines and the 1er crus. The Grand Crus and the whites will follow shortly in another article.

Notes from tasting May 3rd 2012 – Red village wines and 1er cru’s

The wines are all quite accessible and charming, and all wines have very nice nuanced pinot aromas. The fruits in the 2011 Pacalet wines is juicy, and the expression of the terroir is very good, as the wines are quite transparent. The acidity is quite fresh and vith a good nerve – quite promising.

Gevrey Chambertin 2011

The Gevrey Chambertin show fine delicate red fruit and good freshness. In the nose cherries, pommegranate with hints of allspice and cinnamon. On the palate fresh red fruits, a good freshness and nervy acidity. High drinkability and likeability is the keywords

Good (87 – 88p) CASK

Chambolle Musigny 2011

The Chambolle village is a step up in delicacy and refinement. In the bouquet is quite expressive with forrest strawberries, cherries, notes of pommegranate, allspice and cinnamon. On the palate delicate, refined and juicy red pinot fruit, a fine minerality and acidity. Very transparant with a fine expression of the terroir. A lovely elegant and refined village wine.

Very Good (89 – 90p) CASK

Nuits-Saint-Georges 2011

The Nuits-Saint-Georges village is a step up in concentration. In the nose lovely sweet pinot fruit, with notes of strawberries and raspberries – spiced up with cinnamon and a hint of allspice. On the palate more lush than the Chambolle village, but also less refined and transparant. The NSG village offer a lot of pleasure and is quality wise very close to the more refined and delicate Chambolle. Enjoy!

Very Good(88 – 89p) CASK

Beaune Les Perrieres 2011

The Beaune Perriere 1. cru offer more depth and concenation than the village wines. In the bouquet strawberries, gooseberries and cherries with a perfumed hints of cinnamon and oriental spices. On the palate good depth in the fruit, a fine balance and length. More spicy than the other wines, but still refined and delicate.

Very Good (89 – 90p) CASK

Pommard 1er cru 2011

The Pommard 1. cru is somewhat darker than the other Pacalet reds. In the nose raspberries, black cherries with notes of strawberries, peppar and cinnamon. On the palate a darker expression of the fruit with a more tannins. A more muscular and less refined wine, but still a very good wine.

Very Good (89 – 90p) CASK

Chambolle 1er cru 2011

The Chambolle 1er cru 2011 is a lovely wine. In the bouquet red forrest berries, strawberries and raspberries, with hints of pommegranate, cinnamon and allspice. On the palate layers of fine ripe and delicate red pinot fruit. This wine is juicy and refined – with very fine transparancy and balance. A fine or perhaps even very fine wine in the making – I love this wine!

Fine+ (91 – 92p) CASK

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1. cru 2011

The NSG 1. cru is another beautiful wine. In the bouquet strawberries, raspberries and cherries, spized with a hint of pommegranate and cinnamon. On the palate fine delicate pinot flavors, with a fine depth in the fruit. Perhaps not as delicate and refined as the Chambolle 1er cru, but a lovely juicy wine.

Fine (90 – 91p) CASK

Gevrey Chambertin, Bel Air 2011

The Gevrey Chambertin Bel Air is one of my favorite Pacalet wines. In the nose a lovely expression of delicate pinot fruit – black cherries, cherries, raspberries and hints of gooseberries and cinnamon. It’s somewhat darker and more masculine than the Chambolle and NSG 1er crus. On the palate layers of red and dark pinot fruit – quite tightly knit with a strong underlaying minerality. It’s not a big powerhouse, but a very focused and mineral driven wine.

Fine (91 – 92p) CASK

Gevrey Chambertin, Les Perrieres 2011

The Gevrey Chambertin Perrieres is a softer and richer wine than the Bel Air. In the bouquet ripe and quite sweet pinot fruit with notes of strawberries, raspberries and cherries. On the palate quite rich with layers of cool but sweet pinot fruit, well balanced and very charming. I prefer the minerality of the Bel Air, but this wine offer a more rich and lush expression of pinot fruit – pick your choise!

Fine (90 – 92p) CASK

Gevrey Chambertin, Laveaux St. Jacques 2011

The Lavaux St. Jacques is a very refined effort. In the nose layers of delicate pinot fruit with notes of strawberries, raspberries, and with a refined minerality. On the palate layers of juicy red pinot fruit, refined and with a good complexity and depth. A lovely wine in the making.

Fine+ (91 – 93p) CASK

Vosne Romanee, Les Chaumes 2011

The Vosne Chaumes is a new wine in the Pacalet collection – 2011 is the first vintage. The new plot in 1er cru Chaumes have very old vines planted in 1937, and should yield some exiting wines. In the bouquet the Vosne Chaumes offers lovely pinot aromas – strawberries, cherries and raspberries spiced with hints of violets, allspice and cinnamon. On the palate good depth in the juicy fruit, fine mid-palate concentration – and very well balanced with a fine length. Will be very interesting to folow this wine.

Fine+ (92 – 93p) CASK

2011 compared to the 2010 vintage

Philippe Pacalet has produced very fine wines in both 2010 and 2011. In my view both vintages really suits the domaine style, as the quite transparant style of the vintages is a perfect match for the style of the domaine.

The overall impression of the 2011 is along the same lines we found on the other domaines. Very nice nuanced and refined pinot flavors, quite transparant expression of the terrroir – a terroir driven and quite classical vintage – judged based on the current stage of development in cask.

While the 2011 Pacalet wines are charming and very fine, the 2010 vintage is in my view clearly the better vintage – with the unique transparancy and delicate balance. But the 2011 will provide good drinking while we are waiting for the 2010 vintage.

Tasting Notes for this producer

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