Chanson Pere et Fils Puligny-Montrachet 2010
I used to visit Burgundy at least once a year. After I decided to specialize in Bordeaux, the visits tapered off. Nevertheless, I continued to enjoy the wines. About 2014, I drove all the way from my house in the south of France to Beaune to catch up with Gilles de Courcel who was then CEO of Chanson Pere et Fils, the Burgundy domaine and negociant acquired in 1999 by Champagne Bollinger. Even then, Gilles was head also of Domaine de Courcel, the famed Pommard estate which he owns with his sisters. The winemaker there is Yves Confuron. Founded 400 years ago, Domaine de Courcel has remained in the same family. So too the precious vineyards. These include Le Grand Clos des Epenots, Les Rugiens, Les Frémiers and Les Croix Noires. There are no Grand Crus in Pommard, those four prized vineyards being Premier Crus. If one had to promote something to Grand Cru status in Burgundy, you won’t displease the gods if you upscaled Epenots and Rugiens. I caught up with Gilles at Chanson Pere et Fils to also pick up a case of their Puligny-Montrachet 2010 (Gilles left the Beaune house in 2017). The wine had caught my attention at a competition in Singapore which I consult for. Tasting the wine blind, I was impressed with its fruit, length, freshness and minimal oak. Last year, I brought back a bottle. Last week, on 9 November, I shared it with four other friends over dinner. The 10-year old was coming along very nicely. About full-bodied but without any heaviness, the ripe, elegant fruit showed minerality, a hint of vanilla and mealy notes wrapped in a delicate creamy texture. The remaining 11 bottles are sleeping away in a ground level room – believed to originate from the 14th Century – which I had converted to a cellar. Covid 19 does not allow travel to France. Anyway, the white Burgundy will continue to evolve and improve. Next bottle? Maybe in 2022.
Gilles de Courcel is head of Domaine de Courcel, which his family has owned for more than 400 years