From now on , we will taste reds only .
__3 Beaune 1er Cru 2004, with a wine thief, from a cask on street level. Has been resting in casks since harvest (after having fermented for 3 weeks in vats) till beginning 2006. Nice tannins. Robust wine. Some gas remaining at this stage. The wine will get more fleshy with time. He tells us about the quality of the corks, which is important. He uses catalan corks, which are good, hard corks. 49 mm long. Cost is 40-50 Euro cents each . Bottle's cost is comparatively much lower, about 27 cents .
__4 Pommard 2004, from a cask. Also some gas remaining. As he does not force the wine with temperature control or external yeast, the wine quietly follows its own maturation pace. He says, no need to be anxious, the work bring results, sooner or later.
__5 Beaune 1er Cru 2002. The only bottle that he will open. Same plot as the 3rd wine we tasted. We go out in front of the porch with our glass to enjoy the sun. Nicolas Luquet joins us to taste it [ Picture above, on the right ]. Very nice Pinot Noir. Rich. Comes from plots on "Les Chouacheux", a climat with brown earthy soil , close to "Clos des Mouches" . Beaune Appellations are numerous, who can say he knows them all ? If you click on the link, then on the map, you will spot "Les Chouacheux", on the lower left end of the purple Beaune 1er Cru zone .
He now shows us his second place, a cellar at "Bouze les Beaune", a village on the hills of Cotes de Beaune that we reach after a short drive. There, under a village house, several connected old cellars, with very cool temperature, something like 11° C. This is the cellar of Michel Couvreur, the high-end whisky maker, who has let part of his large cellar to Philippe Pacalet. He occasionally bottles wine here, manually. The wines that he will pour to us here come from different plots, with a 7,5 hectare surface altogether ( will make 30 000 bottles ), on different appellations .
__6 Gevrey-Chambertin 2004. Comes from a 1 hectare plot in Cote de Nuits. He pours the red wine in 3 glasses with a wine thief. Floral. Will be bottled january-march 2006.
__8 Chambolle-Musigny 2004. Light turbidity. This Cote de Nuits will decant progressively until bottling comes in a year or so. 12,5-13° in alcohol. Delicate wine, rich. SO2 : Only a little bit added for bottling. Maturing wine needs some microbic life for its aromas. So, it is better not to interfere with SO2 in the casks. What will allow a wine to age will be its own structure, its acidity .
__9 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru "La Perrière" 2004. Another Cote de Nuits. Perrière means rocky and alludes to the arid, rocky soil of the climat. Very nice wine. Violet aroma. Very tight.
__10 Pommard 1er Cru "Les Chalins" 2004. Mouth : Harder beginning, sharp finish. From a plot with very thin layer of earth. Hand harvested like in other plots, in grape boxes, with selective picking. Natural stirring of the lees occurs with atmospheric pressure changes. He still provokes stirring twice, usually by just rolling the casks. Speaking of the harvest, which lasts about 2 weeks from september 24-25, he welcomes any student or young foreigner eager to work for him.
__11 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2004. Nose : Animal, closed. Fermentation just finished a month ago, there are still remnants of gas. Mouth : Silky. He uses only indigenous yeasts. No herbicide in the vineyard, but regular plowing between the rows.
I took this picture of what I think is "Les Chouacheux" Beaune 1er Cru climat . Sorting out the intricate carvings of the many tiny Appellations ( climats ) from the map and connect them to the actual vineyards plots that you see when you drive there, may be arduous. But I think this is it. The old construction in the center is a stone shelter where workers could rest and hide from heat or cold/rain, and store tools.
Anyone interested in harvesting on his vineyard can fax him in advance to ask , young foreigners are welcome too . Harvest begins sept 24-25 and lasts a little more than a week .
Philippe Pacalet : Le Haut Prieuré 21700 Arcenant . Fax : 33 (0)3 80 61 34 69
These contact infos are no longer valid. See this Pacalet story for the right location and contact info