I tasted the wines from Arnaud Baillot in Denmark in the fall of 2020, but due to subsequent travel bans, I was not able to visit him in Burgundy until last month. Hardly ideal, as I wanted to meet the person behind the nice wines I tasted in Copenhagen.
Luckily, Arnaud gave me a tasting of his 2019s – including the top dogs. And on a wider note, while you never (or rarely) hear much talk of gratitude from journalists, I want to thank all the vignerons that open bottles for me (and others) to taste so you may have an evaluation. Merci!
Burgundy wines have become very expensive, and opening a complete line-up is costly, and, perhaps even worse, also a loss of bottles that could have been enjoyed by consumers.
Burgundy is all about vineyards, vineyards and, oh yes, vineyards. In this respect, Arnaud Baillot is well connected. His wife, Laure, is the sister of Charles Van Canneyt of Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat. He is thus related to the large Hudelot and Noëllot clans, so there have been some interesting wines in his line-up from the beginning. Furthermore, he is connected to the Gaunoux family in Meursault, ensuring a good connection to white vineyards – one of Baillot’s strong points.
Domaine Arnaud Baillot is located in Levernois, just east of Beaune. He is building a new facility there to house the expanding production, with some room as well for future dreams.
This is indeed a dynamic, aspirational team.
Arnauld Baillot’s wines are what I would call modern Burgundies, though without flirting with the “vin nature” movement or the low-sulphured, biodynamic style of some of the prominent estates in Burgundy.
The style is partly defined by a healthy dose of SO2 – 30 mg/L free sulphur at bottling. That is not excessive, and for whites is normal and even on the slightly low side. For the reds the situation is a bit different, as the impression of vinification and sulphur usage is a more noticeable, hence the “modern Burgundy style” that encompasses estates like Baillot.
They are producing very good wines, with the whites slightly better in my view. But the portfolio is coherent and harmonic across the range, and all the wines are well made.
Additionally, when the vintage tasted is 2019, one does not feel that anything is missing, as the year’s inherent energy and decadent liveliness provide all that’s needed to produce attractive reds.
So let’s go to the 2019s and taste some of the 40,000-45.000 bottles Baillot produces each year.
The white 2019s
I was very impressed when I tasted Arnaud Baillot’s whites in Copenhagen, and this feeling is unchanged after visiting the estate in Levernois.
These are very well made indeed, and in a style that really appeals to me.
Arnaud Baillot Bourgogne Blanc 2019
The Bourgogne Blanc only employs 10% new oak, and was bottled in late January. This is finely expressive, encompassing and exhibiting the style of the estate. Fruity, lively, and with nice energy and expression of terroir, this is from the area above Pommard.
(Drink from 2021) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 28/05/2021 –
Arnaud Baillot Montagny 1er Cru Vieilles Vignes 2019
The Montagny is interesting, with a nose of the burned/smoky fragrance of crushed stones. Rich mid-palate fruit completes and supports the stony mineral impression. The oak from Chassin and Francois Freres provides an excellent backbone.
(Drink from 2022) – Very Good – (88p) – Tasted 28/05/2021 –
Arnaud Baillot Meursault Limozin 2019
A delicious Meursault, this is spicy, linear, and delicate, with a slight reductive note that focuses the generous 2019 fruit. With intense depth and length, this is a truly magnificent wine that reminds me of the 2017 version. This is the last vintage of this wine sadly, but it will be replaced by two Meursaults from 2020: Sous la Velle and Narvaux.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good – (90p) – Tasted 28/05/2021 –
Arnaud Baillot Puligny-Montrachet 2019
The Puligny-Montrachet is a step up in concentration from the Meursault. It has quite intense fruit, yet is balanced, with a lovely citrus note. Despite the use of Chassin barrels, it’s lacking a bit of the Limozin’s mid-palate energy – but a lovely wine nonetheless.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (90-91p) – Tasted 28/05/2021
Arnaud Baillot Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 2019
The Folatieres is yet another step up in quality and intensity. There is the same citrus note, but the fruit is richer and silkier, with a magnificent, mineral feel. A generous and refined effort; Folatieres is a lovely terroir.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Fine – (92-93p) – Tasted 28/05/2021 –
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