Start typing to see products you are looking for.
  • Menu Menu

Shopping cart

Close
Menu
close
Start typing to see products you are looking for.

News News

News News

The incredible tightness of being: how Pattes Loup kept the wolf from the door The incredible tightness of being: how Pattes Loup kept the wolf from the door

Sourcing and selling wine is a game of very fine margins: you want trophy wines to draw attention to the whole portfolio, but they are usually so tightly allocated that you run the risk of alienating those who miss out. 

This is an annual problem with our top Chablis estate, Pattes Loup. Long hailed by renowned critic Antonio Galloni as the most exciting talent in the region, Thomas Pico constantly has to juggle his battles with nature (hail in 2016, frost in 2017) with increasing demand from his partners across the world.

Several years ago I told Thomas we would happily buy four times what he allocated us. He gritted his teeth and said everyone would, and a US importer offered to buy his whole production!

They're not cheap – prices have more than doubled since we began with the 2008s – but worldwide demand is insatiable, so we say please and thank you, take every bottle we can get and constantly repel poaching raids by rival Australian importers.

We waved goodbye to the last of the 2015 village and 1er cru Beauregard recently and paid up for the next shipment: a one-third serving of 2016 village, 18 bottles of 2016 Beauregard and eight dozen of quite expensive but undeniably brilliant late-bottled 2015 Butteaux.

Thomas has turned adversity to his favour and engaged a cracking new approach that will thrill his existing fans and extend the queue of those seeking to snaffle a few bottles.

The major change is extended lees ageing. When hail destroyed his 2016 harvest, Thomas immediately stopped shipping 2014s to spread his income over two years and reduce his tax burden. Then he decide to split his 2015 yield, letting some of the village chablis go out in the first half of 2017 and keeping the rest of the AC and two premiers crus on their lees.

'There's nothing else like this in Chablis' – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

The first results were a sizzling 93 points for the village from new Wine Advocate reviewer William Kelley and 94 for the Beauregard. Held back for release until this year, the 2015 Butteaux rated 94-96! To compare, the 2015 Raveneau AC scored 90 and the Butteaux 95 points (and has been on wine-searcher.com for $400!).



THE DOMAINE


Edited notes by William Kelley of Wine Advocate and other sources: The energetic Thomas Pico was born and raised in Courgis, the village where he lives and works, leaving only to study viticulture and oenology in Beaune. He returned in 2004, establishing Domaine Pattes Loup a year later with 8ha of vines inherited from his family (later expanding to 15ha), and soon won a richly deserved reputation as one of the brightest rising stars in Chablis.

Thomas took a qualitative leap in a new direction – following in the footsteps of his mentors Alice and Olivier de Moor – to farm his vineyards organically, against the wishes of his father. Organic certification, a challenge few dare to attempt in Chablis, came in 2009.

Convinced by the results, his father now farms his vineyards organically too. Pico's inspiration came from another family vigneron: "Just before my grandfather died in 2004 he said to me, 'Don’t make the same mistake I did'. That is the main reason I decided to go down the organic path. My grandfather didn’t work organically, neither did my father. What really convinced me was when I began working at wine fairs and had the opportunity to taste organic wines from other producers."

Thomas also broke from the pack by choosing to harvest by hand. "It’s ridiculous," he shrugged. "Only about 5 per cent of the growers in Chablis harvest by hand. It’s more expensive and it requires more work, but it’s a choice I have made. I could earn a lot more money if I did mechanical harvesting, if I used pesticides and herbicides. I could even take a vacation. But I like my work.”

It shows in the fields. Pico's parcels stand out for fluffy, tilled soil in a region where vineyards often resemble a sterile moonscape. Most of his vines were planted to selection massale by his grandfather in the hillsides near Courgis and Preys, the two highest altitude villages within Chablis, up to 300m above sea level.

'Pico soon won a richly deserved reputation as the brightest rising star in Chablis'

His goal is to achieve moderate yields and full maturity. He picks later than most of his neighbours, judging harvest time by flavour and appearance rather than laboratory analyses. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts occurs in neutral wood, concrete and stainless steel, varying by cuvée and vintage. He doesn't fine or filter.

His AC Chablis, from 55-year-old vines, is usually raised about 30-40 per cent in concrete egg-shaped fermenters (which bring texture but preserve fruit), with the balance in stainless steel, but the Mise en Tardive being offered today was aged 30 per cent in barrel. The premiers crus Côte de Jouan, Beauregard and Butteaux, from hillside vineyards between 25 and 50 years old, are all raised in oak ranging from new to 15 years old.

While these fundamentals came into place remarkably early on, there have been gradual refinements in technique: Pico has reduced the amount of sulphur dioxide he uses, extended the duration of maturation and used superior corks, which he believes will guarantee graceful evolution in the cellar. These subtle improvements have brought evermore precision and elegance.

Pico's wines are 'undeniably delicious, indeed thrilling, in their alliance of texture and saline nuance'

Pico's early vintages sometimes nodded to the Cote de Beaune, revealing ripe, exotic fruit. This decade's releases, however, are unmistakably Chablis – all citrus zest, spring flowers and oyster shell – without sacrificing any of their formidable concentration and amplitude.

Confronted by tiny crops in 2016 and 2017, Pico retained some of his 2015s for later bottling, an experiment he had long wanted to make. There isn't really anything like them in Chablis – imagine if Domaine Valette in Macon made wines there and you'll get a partial idea of what they're like – but they're undeniably delicious, indeed thrilling, in their alliance of texture and saline nuance. By contrast his 2014s are cut from more classical cloth, with a profile that will appeal to followers of Raveneau.

For a young winemaker in his early thirties, Pico is wise beyond his years. His drive and passion to express the soul and spirit of his land and territory reminds some of Champagne legend Anselme Selosse. These wines all scream Chablis but not just in their briny minerality. There is a sense of vitality and a textured density that can only come from dedicated work in the vineyards and transparent winemaking.

* Join our mailing list to be first in the queue for the release of the 2017 village and some premier cru ... hopefully in May 2020!

Sourcing and selling wine is a game of very fine margins: you want trophy wines to draw attention to the whole portfolio, but they are usually so tightly allocated that you run the risk of alienating those who miss out. 

This is an annual problem with our top Chablis estate, Pattes Loup. Long hailed by renowned critic Antonio Galloni as the most exciting talent in the region, Thomas Pico constantly has to juggle his battles with nature (hail in 2016, frost in 2017) with increasing demand from his partners across the world.

Several years ago I told Thomas we would happily buy four times what he allocated us. He gritted his teeth and said everyone would, and a US importer offered to buy his whole production!

They're not cheap – prices have more than doubled since we began with the 2008s – but worldwide demand is insatiable, so we say please and thank you, take every bottle we can get and constantly repel poaching raids by rival Australian importers.

We waved goodbye to the last of the 2015 village and 1er cru Beauregard recently and paid up for the next shipment: a one-third serving of 2016 village, 18 bottles of 2016 Beauregard and eight dozen of quite expensive but undeniably brilliant late-bottled 2015 Butteaux.

Thomas has turned adversity to his favour and engaged a cracking new approach that will thrill his existing fans and extend the queue of those seeking to snaffle a few bottles.

The major change is extended lees ageing. When hail destroyed his 2016 harvest, Thomas immediately stopped shipping 2014s to spread his income over two years and reduce his tax burden. Then he decide to split his 2015 yield, letting some of the village chablis go out in the first half of 2017 and keeping the rest of the AC and two premiers crus on their lees.

'There's nothing else like this in Chablis' – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

The first results were a sizzling 93 points for the village from new Wine Advocate reviewer William Kelley and 94 for the Beauregard. Held back for release until this year, the 2015 Butteaux rated 94-96! To compare, the 2015 Raveneau AC scored 90 and the Butteaux 95 points (and has been on wine-searcher.com for $400!).



THE DOMAINE


Edited notes by William Kelley of Wine Advocate and other sources: The energetic Thomas Pico was born and raised in Courgis, the village where he lives and works, leaving only to study viticulture and oenology in Beaune. He returned in 2004, establishing Domaine Pattes Loup a year later with 8ha of vines inherited from his family (later expanding to 15ha), and soon won a richly deserved reputation as one of the brightest rising stars in Chablis.

Thomas took a qualitative leap in a new direction – following in the footsteps of his mentors Alice and Olivier de Moor – to farm his vineyards organically, against the wishes of his father. Organic certification, a challenge few dare to attempt in Chablis, came in 2009.

Convinced by the results, his father now farms his vineyards organically too. Pico's inspiration came from another family vigneron: "Just before my grandfather died in 2004 he said to me, 'Don’t make the same mistake I did'. That is the main reason I decided to go down the organic path. My grandfather didn’t work organically, neither did my father. What really convinced me was when I began working at wine fairs and had the opportunity to taste organic wines from other producers."

Thomas also broke from the pack by choosing to harvest by hand. "It’s ridiculous," he shrugged. "Only about 5 per cent of the growers in Chablis harvest by hand. It’s more expensive and it requires more work, but it’s a choice I have made. I could earn a lot more money if I did mechanical harvesting, if I used pesticides and herbicides. I could even take a vacation. But I like my work.”

It shows in the fields. Pico's parcels stand out for fluffy, tilled soil in a region where vineyards often resemble a sterile moonscape. Most of his vines were planted to selection massale by his grandfather in the hillsides near Courgis and Preys, the two highest altitude villages within Chablis, up to 300m above sea level.

'Pico soon won a richly deserved reputation as the brightest rising star in Chablis'

His goal is to achieve moderate yields and full maturity. He picks later than most of his neighbours, judging harvest time by flavour and appearance rather than laboratory analyses. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts occurs in neutral wood, concrete and stainless steel, varying by cuvée and vintage. He doesn't fine or filter.

His AC Chablis, from 55-year-old vines, is usually raised about 30-40 per cent in concrete egg-shaped fermenters (which bring texture but preserve fruit), with the balance in stainless steel, but the Mise en Tardive being offered today was aged 30 per cent in barrel. The premiers crus Côte de Jouan, Beauregard and Butteaux, from hillside vineyards between 25 and 50 years old, are all raised in oak ranging from new to 15 years old.

While these fundamentals came into place remarkably early on, there have been gradual refinements in technique: Pico has reduced the amount of sulphur dioxide he uses, extended the duration of maturation and used superior corks, which he believes will guarantee graceful evolution in the cellar. These subtle improvements have brought evermore precision and elegance.

Pico's wines are 'undeniably delicious, indeed thrilling, in their alliance of texture and saline nuance'

Pico's early vintages sometimes nodded to the Cote de Beaune, revealing ripe, exotic fruit. This decade's releases, however, are unmistakably Chablis – all citrus zest, spring flowers and oyster shell – without sacrificing any of their formidable concentration and amplitude.

Confronted by tiny crops in 2016 and 2017, Pico retained some of his 2015s for later bottling, an experiment he had long wanted to make. There isn't really anything like them in Chablis – imagine if Domaine Valette in Macon made wines there and you'll get a partial idea of what they're like – but they're undeniably delicious, indeed thrilling, in their alliance of texture and saline nuance. By contrast his 2014s are cut from more classical cloth, with a profile that will appeal to followers of Raveneau.

For a young winemaker in his early thirties, Pico is wise beyond his years. His drive and passion to express the soul and spirit of his land and territory reminds some of Champagne legend Anselme Selosse. These wines all scream Chablis but not just in their briny minerality. There is a sense of vitality and a textured density that can only come from dedicated work in the vineyards and transparent winemaking.

* Join our mailing list to be first in the queue for the release of the 2017 village and some premier cru ... hopefully in May 2020!

12 thoughts onThe incredible tightness of being: how Pattes Loup kept the wolf from the door The incredible tightness of being: how Pattes Loup kept the wolf from the door

  1. avatar obqazbx says:

    500 Mg[/url] Amoxicillin Without Prescription mor.lccq.eurocentricwine.com.au.zag.tg http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya2/

  2. avatar ixicukugix says:

    Amoxicillin[/url] Amoxicillin 500mg xmt.geur.eurocentricwine.com.au.cpe.kh http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya2/

  3. avatar oxexibwoguyi says:

    Amoxicillin Online[/url] Amoxicillin 500mg Capsules nsi.ydmq.eurocentricwine.com.au.uda.ju http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya/

  4. avatar okixoxrqom says:

    500mg Capsules[/url] Buy Amoxicillin Online Without Prescription pik.yluy.eurocentricwine.com.au.lhx.pl http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya/

  5. avatar aisodazac says:

    500 Mg[/url] Amoxicillin Online tke.yhbn.eurocentricwine.com.au.ckr.rj http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya/

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll To Top

#title#

#price#
×