This domaine has been known for many years to be among the earliest pickers, with a policy of harvesting based on acidity levels as the key criteria. It is therefore no surprise that in a vintage where the decision of when to pick was crucial, they have excelled. Indeed, 2020 represents their earliest-ever harvest, beginning in the Côte d’Or on the 20th of August, beating by three days the previous record set in 2003. Despite this, the 2020 wines bear no resemblance to their 2003 counterparts.
Lydie describes the 2020 vintage conditions as “extreme but not excessive” – an important distinction to make. The weather was warm from March onwards, with flowering taking place in May, almost a month in advance. Whereas 2003 saw enormous heat spikes, 2020 was simply very warm and dry without ever reaching the excessive temperatures above the mid-30s. A further key difference is a week of rainfall which mercifully fell in August and unblocked the vines, given the freshness and balance that is evident in the wines.
Lydie and François have been rewarded for their decision to pick early with a wonderful range of citrus-fruited white wines which display perfect balance and will doubtless age magnificently. Each terroir is clearly identifiable. Volumes are broadly the same as in 2019, with the exception of the Montagny, where the crop is around half the level of the previous year. Sadly, the picture appears even bleaker for this cuvée – and indeed the rest of the cellar – in 2021.
Producer Information: Jean Marc Boillot
From a family with extensive vineyard land, Jean-Marc served as a winemaker to Puligny négociant Olivier Leflaive Frères in the 1980’s before setting up on his own. His wines impressed his maternal grandfather Etienne Sauzet who bequeathed half his exceptional vineyards to Jean Marc. His holdings split equally between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, occupy choice Côte de Beaune premier cru sites in Pommard, Volnay, Meursault and Puligny. These aromatic, strongly fruity wines are immensely popular with France’s 3-star restaurants, illustrating the best of the modern winemaking idiom. Finely-crafted, richly textured whites receive extensive lees beating and generous new oak; bright, deeply coloured, aromatic reds benefit from long, pre-fermentation maceration Since starting his own small négociant business Jean-Marc has been making a special cuveé from the Chalonnais – a magically proportioned premier cru Montagny with an inimitable Boillot signature. We also list a recent addition to their portfolio – a stylish and already award winning Mâcon Villages (very good indeed that!!!)
I first went to him in 1991. He was always willing to offer Pommard but it’s taken a while to get an allocation of the great Pulignys. He has tiny parcels of 3 top 1er Crus, Referts, Combettes and Champs Canet. Although the quantities are tiny he’s always been very good at the whites. He’s one of few people who continue to stir the lees in barrel (battonange) regularly. This serves to increase the creamy texture and touch of fresh dough on the nose. This adds to the classic lemon and peach skin tones and an ethereal texture, almost like super pure water with an infusion of stone fruit. It’s full and round on the one hand and yet light and refreshing on the other. This is perhaps the main attraction of the best Pulignys ... that unique texture and feel .. not easy to get right.