Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Ile des Vergelesses Premier Cru 2018
Chandon de Briailles has a healthy three hectares planted to Pinot Noir, located in an area with a nice slope, and a good mix of clay and limestone. It's safe to say that Ile along with Bressandes are the flagship wines of the domaine. The 2018 has very pretty fruit, was super elegant, and the structure felt very well integrated with the tannins perfectly in the background.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Unwinding in the glass with notes of raspberries, plums and cherries, complemented by hints of warm spices, dark chocolate and rose petal, the 2018 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses is medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a charming core of fruit underpinned by an elegantly muscular chassis of powdery tannin.
At Chandon de Briailles, the vineyard management has been fully biodynamic since 2005 and organic since 1998. Claude's brother, Francois de Nicolay joined the domaine in 2001.
In the cellar, no enological products are used (except for sulfur in very small quantities), no tartaric acid, no exogenous yeasts, no tannin powder, no enzymes, etc. The Chandon de Briailles wines are quite unique in the fact that there is a negligible amount of new oak for aging and most wines are made with a whole-cluster fermentation. The domaine has cut back on its use of whole cluster fermentation since 2011 and adapts vintage to vintage. The Savigny-les-Beaune village is typically de-stemmed and the premier cru and grand cru will have up to 100% whole cluster in a sunny year (with good phenolic maturity). Fermentations start naturally a few days after harvest in open top cement tanks. Aging is carried out in used barrels (up to eight years-old) and the wine are bottled without fining or filtration. Claude likes to describe her wines as having 'no make-up', referring to the lack of new oak.
John Gilman (View From the Cellar) wrote: “This domaine is quickly becoming one of the very finest to be found anywhere in the Côte D’Or...these are great, classically styled, terroir-driven red and white Burgundies that age brilliantly, and are among the treasures to be found in the Côte de Beaune for those adventurous enough to try a few bottles.”
Occupying the most northerly combe (the French term for a valley that cuts through a hillside) of the Côte de Beaune, Pernand-Vergelles sits to the west of and behind the hill of Corton. The most sought after whites of the village come from the slope of Pernand on the side of Corton where Pernand-Vergelles shares the Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne with Aloxe-Corton. The best red producing Cru is Les Vergelles, which overlaps into Savigny-les-Beaune. Reds here are fleshy, seductive and structured while whites are both lively and age worthy.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”