HENRI BOILLOT – THE ICON
RELEASE OF THE SUPERB 2016 VINTAGE
Henri Boillot observed that “if there was one defining element of the 2016 whites, it is their purity and in this respect, they remind me a great deal of the 2010s at the same time in their evolution or perhaps like a slightly riper version of the 2014s”
Once again Boillot has made some of the wines of the vintageand I highly recommend them to you
– Allen Meadows – Burghound
WHAT THE CRITIC SAY:
“Henri Boillot, who as usual harvested his Chardonnay early in 2016, beginning of September 21, described the year as “a classic vintage with medium-plus ageing potential”, by which he means up to 15 years of drinkability. Owing the frost, five cuvées are missing from his portfolio in 2016. As Boillot’s press is so gentle (he uses a vertical press, like those used in Champagne), the less-ripe grapes don’t even get crushed. Because he doesn’t get any heavy lees, he does not carry out a débourbage and begins with a good 15 litres of lees in each of his 350 litre barrels. He showed me samples from new barrels, to demonstrate that the oak element does not dominate his wines even in the early going.
Boillot finds more definition and purity of terroir in his young ’16s than in his ’15s, which he believes “will give early pleasure but can also age”. He went on “The ’15s show less dynamism but are not heavy wines. They’re only slightly lower in acidity than the ’16s but you can notice the difference”
– Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.
“Henri Boillot’s son Guillaume is now overseeing the production of the reds for both the Maison and Domaine operations. The younger Boillot described 2016 as an “excellent vintage though one that was much tougher to manage than 2015, which was pretty much a piece of cake. Despite the challenges though, we managed to bring the fruit to a high level of ripeness with thick skins and potential alcohols that ranged between 13.5 and 13.7% and thus there was essentially no chaptalization.
Yields though, while variable, averaged around 25 hl/ha, which explains the high ripeness levels. As to the wines, I believe that they’re better than their 2015 equivalents with better precision than in 2014 and if I had to choose one vintage to compare them to, I would suggest 2010.”
As the comments confirm, I was very impressed with the Boillot 2016s.
– Allen Meadows, Burghound.
Henri Boillot and his son Guillaume are raising the bar even further. When I tasted the wines from barrels last July 2017 and after reviewing my notes, it appeared that this very talented duo have made some of the most sophisticated wines of the vintage in Burgundy. It’s no light statement and I tasted at a lot of prominent domaines!
Therefore, I was thrilled to see that renowned critics alike Allen Meadows and Stephen Tanzer backed up this feeling. When you have Volnay premier cru wines getting better rates than some Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru or Vosnes-Romanée 1er cru, it’s a great sign and terrific value! I never doubted that the Boillot’s could deliver such wines.
The 2016s are overall precise and full of the pinot and chardonnay finesse we like built on a dynamic freshness. This doesn’t come with compromising on complexity because they have all the attributes of a very fine vintage such as 2010.
The aspect in Burgundy I love is that nothing is set, every vintage is a new story for each of the producers and the Boillot’s are definitely re-enforcing their superstar and icon status with this vintage!
In fact according to Allen Meadows, most of Henri Boillot’s wines are rated the highest of the region with the Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Clos de la Mouchère” being the best Puligny 1er cru made in 2016.
Finally, it’s an immense privilege to propose these wines to you today. My advice is not to wait to secure these magnificent bottles.
TASTING NOTES AND RATINGS BELOW.
You can order directly online by clicking below or by contacting me.
Enjoy and santé!
TASTING NOTES AND RATINGS
Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2016:
(from vineyards in Santenay, Marsannay and the lower portions of Volnay). An attractively fresh and ripe nose offers up of mostly red berry aromas that are cut with hints of earth and humus. There is really good density to the suave and sappy medium weight flavors that possess outstanding depth and length for its level and only a touch of rusticity. This is excellent. 88pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2021+. Top Value.
Volnay 1er cru “Les Frémiets” 2016:
A pungent nose of wood toast, menthol and reduction presently overwhelms the underlying fruit. The supple, sleek and precise medium weight flavors possess a lovely sense of underlying tension before concluding in a lingering and youthfully austere finish where a hint of bitter fruit pit surfaces. 91pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2024+
(these vines are 25 to 50 years old; from whiter soil that typical yields a harder, more austere style of wine than the Chevrets): Medium red. More discreet and a bit more medicinal on the nose than the Chevrets. Juicy red berry flavors are lifted by spicy high notes but kept under wraps by salty minerality and a medicinal menthol aspect.. Boasts lovely lift and inner-mouth tension and finishes with very fine-grained tannins, but this very promising wine will require at least a few years of bottle aging to loosen up a bit. 91-93pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Volnay 1er cru “Les Chevrets” 2016:
Available in magnum on request.
(from 25+ year old vines). A more discreet touch of wood frames ripe cassis, black cherry and plum aromas that are laced with plenty of spice and a somewhat atypical hint of the sauvage. The rich and full-bodied flavors possess excellent mid-palate density as there is an admirable amount of sap before terminating in an impressively complex and naturally sweet finish. This should age well but thanks to the abundant sap, it should be approachable young too. 92pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2026+. Sweet spot.
Fruit in the lower section of the vineyard was wiped out by the frost): Healthy medium red. Slightly reduced nose conveys and medicinal dark raspberry aroma. Then fine-grained and graceful in the mouth, conveying an impression of delicacy to the flavors of raspberry, currant and flowers. Finishes quite suave and long, with very refined tannins. The Boillots made just 10 barrels in place of a normal 30, 3 of them new. 91-93pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Volnay 1er cru “Les Caillerets” 2016:
(from a .60 ha parcel). A beautifully perfumed nose features notes of spice, lavender, earth and cassis, all of which are trimmed in just enough wood to notice. There is lovely richness to the rich and generously proportioned yet quite sleek flavors that brim with both plenty of extract but also the hallmark minerality of a classic Caillerets. There is good power as well as fine detail on the notably firm and slightly austere but impeccably well-balanced, focused and lingering finish. In a word, terrific. 93pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Sweet spot.
(just 20 hectoliters per hectare produced; 50% new oak): Medium bright red. Denser, darker and more serious on the nose than the other Volnay premier crus at this address, offering mineral-driven scents of black cherry, spices and licorice. Wonderfully elegant and fine-grained, combining outstanding volume and an impression of finesse and weightlessness. Conveys a small-berry concentration and near-perfect balance, finishing with refined tannins and terrific length and lift. This stunning Volnay is wonderfully approachable today but I suspect it will shut down a bit by the time it’s bottled and benefit from five to eight years of cellaring. 93-95pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Pommard 1er cru “Les Rugiens” 2016:
A very pure extract of red pinot fruit-suffused nose is liberally cut with earth and rose petal hints that are also trimmed in just enough wood to remark upon. The rich, full-bodied and tautly muscular medium weight plus flavors have an abundance of mouth coating extract that helps to buffer the prominent supporting tannins that make clear that an extended period of cellar time will be required if you wish to see this mineral-driven beauty at its peak. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2031+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
(in order to allow the seeds to ripen, Boillot waited until five days after he picked his Volnays to harvest this fruit on September 28, with 12.8% potential alcohol; 50% new oak): Moderately saturated bright medium red. Brooding aromas of dark fruits and menthol. Chalky and penetrating but youthfully tight, conveying a stronger impression of medicinal reserve than the Volnay Les Caillerets. A distinctly masculine, classic Pommard, juicy but imploded in the early going. The mounting finish features firm, mouth-saturating tannins, hints of spices and white pepper, and savory soil suggestions. The Boillots’ holding is in Rugiens-Haut, on white soil and sand with relatively little iron content. 91-93pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
GRAND CRU REDS
Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2016:
(from a ~.34 ha parcel in Grand Maupertuis). A pretty and very fresh if quite restrained nose is composed by notes of plum, dark cherry and discreet wood nuances. There is outstanding richness to the round and admirably pure big-bodied flavors that possess impressive mid-palate concentration while concluding in a markedly firm, dusty, mouth coating and moderately austere finish that delivers seriously good length. Patience required though. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2033+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
(there was a lot of frost here, but the Boillots’ two parcels of very old vines in Grand Maupertui suffered less than vines at the bottom of the clos; 25 hectoliters per hectare produced; 75% new oak): Good dark red; more deeply colored than Boillot’s estate wines from the Côte de Beaune. Lovely perfumed lift to the aromas of red cherry, licorice, spices and flowers. Then fat and thick in the mouth, with dark berry and black cherry flavors energized by salty minerality. Lovely inner-palate tension and flavor complexity here. The tannins are firm but not dusty or dry on the long, rising finish. Boillot does a fermentation intégrale for most of his Côte de Nuits wines, vinifying them in barrels, then pressing them and returning them to barrel. This technique makes for gentler extraction and results in an earlier integration of fruit and oak elements, typically yielding rounder, more voluminous wines with silkier tannins but also more structure without dryness. 92-95pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2016:
(from Chambolle fruit). A reserved, cool and more elegant nose combines notes of plum, black berry and violet nuances along with plenty of earth influence where the supporting wood character is more discreet. The exceptionally rich and full-bodied flavors possess a textured mouth feel in large part because of the impressive amount of sap before culminating in a driving if slightly warm finish where the very dense tannins are largely if not completely buffered. This is a classic Bonnes Mares it’s a mix of power, muscle and a certain amount of refinement. Once again though, this is not likely to make for good early drinking so buy it with the idea of cellaring it for at least a decade. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2036+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
(vinified in two new barrels air-dried for 36 months): Good medium red, not as dark as the Clos de Bèze. Classical red-soil Bonnes-Mares perfume of raspberry, redcurrant, iron and brown spice. Offers a compelling combination of thickness, density and sucrosité, with its red fruit flavors complicated by clove, cinnamon and aromatic herbs and captivating saline minerality; there’s a mineral-driven spiciness that reminds me of the Volnay Caillerets. This wonderfully energetic wine finishes with lovely subtle floral/spicy perfume and rising length, with piquant notes of blood orange and lemon contributing to an impression of weightlessness. A very sophisticated, refined Bonnes-Mares in the making. 93-96pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Bourgogne Chardonnay 2016:
(85% from Meursault and Puligny Bourgogne vines and the rest from declassified St. Romain and Auxey-Duresses in equal proportions). A well-layered nose features notes of straw, petrol and citrus rind. The crisp, intense and refreshing flavors possess fine length for a regional wine on the dry and saline-inflected finale. Fine quality here. 87pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2020+. Top value.
Pale yellow. Aromas of ripe peach and hazelnut. Fat, salty and energetic, delivering impressive stuffing and thickness for its humble appellation. Not hugely fruity in the mouth, though, hinting at stone fruits and minerals. 86-88pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
(a blend of equal proportions from Narvaux, Tillets, Clos du Cromin and Chevalières). Notes of mineral reduction, hazelnut, acacia blossom and lemon can be found on the expressive nose. The racy, intense and ultra-pure flavors possess excellent depth and persistence on the notably dry finale. A lovely villages. 89pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2022+
Bright yellow. Very ripe apricot and sexy oak on the nose. Plush, thick and concentrated for village wine, conveying an intriguing sweet/salty balance and surprisingly firm acidity and cut. Finishes saline, serious and long; this will probably need a couple years in bottle to harmonize. A very promising village wine. 89-91pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Meursault 1er cru “Les Poruzots” 2016:
(exclusively from the top portion in 2016 as the lower vines were badly frosted). Touches of matchstick and petrol add breadth to the pear, apple and, interestingly, pink grapefruit-suffused aromas. The rich and highly energetic medium-bodied flavors flash good punch and a taut muscularity before culminating in a beautifully persistent and bone dry finish. At least moderate patience required. 92pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2024+
(from an “almost normal” crop of 40 hectoliters per hectare, according to Boillot): Bright yellow. Ripe, musky stone fruits, smoked meat and a strong oak element on the nose (the blend will be 40% new oak). Fat, thick and sweet but with penetrating acidity giving the wine almost painful cut. Hints of flowers and minerals in the middle palate. This wine boasts an impressive thickness but it’s almost too salty to be fun, at least in the early going. 89-92pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Meursault 1er cru “Les Charmes” 2016:
(from vines in Charmes-Dessus). A slightly more elegant if not necessarily more complex nose offers up smoke-tinged notes of citrus rind, hazelnut and essence of pear. Somewhat unusually, the middle weight flavors possess even better richness if not quite the same muscularity on the caressing mid-palate, all wrapped in a borderline salty and youthfully austere finale. This too will require at least some patience. 92pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2024+
(made from vines that are very close to the Puligny line): Full yellow. Conveys a light touch to its aromas and flavors of musky yellow fruits, spices and minerals. At once salty and sweet, with perfectly integrated acidity giving the silky mid-palate lovely lift. Finishes with excellent length and salty grip. Rather 2014-like in style but with a bit more gras–and less austere at the outset. 91-94pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Meursault 1er cru “Les Genevrières” 2016:
An overtly smoky nose features exotically spiced aromas of tea, pear, apple and acacia blossom. The beautifully detailed, stony and delicious flavors possess a highly sophisticated mouth feel before concluding in a beautifully persistent finish. A classic Genevrières of style and grace. 93pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2024+. Sweet spot.
Medium yellow. Discreet aromas of mandarin orange and musky smoky oak. Suave, silky wine with a lovely balance of thick yet precise yellow fruits, soft citrus flavors and saline minerality. Finishes very long, spicy and pure, with a slight youthful aggressiveness. This tactile, extract-rich premier cru should age well. 92-94pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Meursault 1er cru “Les Perrières” 2016:
A strikingly pretty mélange of white orchard fruit aromas displays back ground notes of floral and wet stone hints. There is excellent density and plenty of punch to the sleek, pure and refined middle weight flavors that possess excellent definition and particularly so on the lingering finish that goes on and on. In a word, terrific. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2026+. Sweet spot.
(from a yield of about 40 hectoliters per hectare, according to Boillot): Bright yellow. Musky scents of yellow fruits, flowers, minerals and hazelnut. Suave and seriously concentrated, with high-pitched flavors of pineapple, soft citrus fruits, spices and crushed stone complicated by a petrolly suggestion. Finishes with superb energy and carry-through: a bit more discreet on the end than the Genevrières but with a slowly building whiplash of flavor nonetheless. Very complete wine. 92-94pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
(from 1 ha of evenly mixed vines in Houlières, Charmes and Enseignères). Notes of mineral reduction, white flowers and an interesting Chablis-like hint of iodine can be found on the pretty nose. There is excellent volume to the decidedly ripe yet rich and fresh medium-bodied flavors that possess a lovely mouth feel that also characterizes the sappy and unusually complex finish in the context of what is typical for a villages level Puligny. Excellent. 90pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2023+. Top value.
Bright yellow with green reflections. Slightly reduced aromas of peach, smoke and hazelnut. Smaller-scaled than the Meursault premier crus but also wonderfully pure and smooth, conveying an impression of mineral precision. Finishes with a slightly edgy menthol note and very good length. A very promising village wine. 88-91pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Les Perrières” 2016:
Here the superbly elegant nose is compositionally similar to the straight Puligny but with notably better complexity thanks to the fine range of spice elements. The excellent depth continues onto the driving and wonderfully intense middle weight flavors that brim with both minerality and dry extract where the latter imparts a sappy texture to the strikingly saline-inflected and impressively persistent finish. This is first-rate though note well that it’s clearly built-to-age. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Sweet spot.
(44 hectoliters per hectare produced): Pale, bright yellow. Quite suave on the nose, combining stone fruits, rocky minerals and a musky smoky element. Suave and bright, with lively acidity (4.4 grams per liter) framing and lifting its citrus and peach fruit flavors; there’s a mineral element here that’s quite different from that of the Meursault Perrières. The very long, unflagging, mineral-driven aftertaste excites the taste buds without leaving any impression of weight. Most of these wines are no higher than 13.2% alcohol, noted Boillot. 92-94pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Les Pucelles” 2016:
A beautifully layered nose displays top notes of honeysuckle together with spiced pear, apple and smoky nuances. There is exceptional richness to the delicious, concentrated and punchy medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a notably dry but not really austere finish that delivers stunningly good length. This is a powerful Pucelles yet it remains a wine of grace. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Sweet spot.
(this fruit was picked at 13.2% natural alcohol and finished at 13.5%; 4.5 g/l acidity with a pH of 3.17; always the highest in alcohol and acidity, owing in part to millerandage): Medium bright yellow. Fully ripe scents of stone and soft citrus fruits, hazelnut and spices, with a sexy musky note of nutty reduction. Suave on entry, then quite powerful, concentrated, salty and dry in the middle. Finishes penetrating and long, with some alcoholic warmth. This wine was demonstrably better on second taste and will benefit from several years of cellaring. 92-95pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Les Combettes” 2016:
(from a parcel of ~.33 ha). A reserved nose is pure, cool and airy with its spiced white orchard fruit, citrus blossom and mineral reduction aromas. There is genuinely striking intensity to the gorgeously textured medium-bodied flavors that coat the palate with dry extract on the rich but gorgeously refined finish that is also strikingly saline. Lovely. 94pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Sweet spot.
Bright yellow. Deeper-pitched on the nose than the , Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrières, offering aromas of apricot, mandarin orange, smoke and hazelnut. Fine-grained and dense but still a bit hard-edged and in need of further élevage. A bit drier and more aggressive on the end than on the front half, finishing with a hint of menthol. This fruit was harvested very early with sound natural acidity. (Boillot will not bottle a Puligny-Montrachet Folatières or a Caillerets owing to frost losses.). 90-93pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru “Clos de la Mouchère” 2016 – MONOPOLE:
Available in Magnum and Jéroboam (3L) on request.
(from 60+ year old vines and the vineyard is a whopping 4 ha monopole within Perrières). A highly restrained nose requires considerable swirling to liberate the beautifully well-layered aromas of mineral reduction, white rose, spice, citrus and a wisp of exotic tea. Like the Pucelles there is excellent richness and detail and much more minerality-suffusing the almost painfully intense finale that is breathtaking in its persistence. This is a gem of a Puligny 1er and in 2016 is a lovely blend of power and finesse. In sum, this is a knockout. 96pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
(13.3% alcohol with 4.5 grams per liter acidity; cropped at 38 hectoliters per hectare, from vines up to 80 years of age): Bright light-medium yellow. Utterly pure scents of stone fruits, apricot, nuts and honeysuckle. Rich, deep, silky and moderately saline but also powerful and backward, displaying terrific precision and purity in the mouth. A superb, classic Clos de la Mouchère: utterly plush and seamless without being heavy or over the top. Boillot noted that he will slowly replant these very old vines in a series of tranches over the next 15 to 25 years. 93-95pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
GRAND CRU WHITES
(100% from Aloxe fruit in Le Charlemagne). A distinctly smoky nose combines notes of mineral-reduction with those of green apples, lavender and spice. The super-intense and well-muscled flavors seem to be built on a firm base of minerality before culminating in an explosively long finish. Note well that like the Montrachet, this presently taciturn effort is very clearly built-to-age and is going to require a minimum of 7 to 8 years of cellaring first and reward far longer. 96pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2031+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
(75% new oak; 4.4 grams per liter acidity; from vines in Aloxe, which Boillot picked last in 2016 before starting on Pinot Noir): Bright light-medium yellow. Subtly complex, musky aromas of peach, caraway seed, nutmeg, mace and hazelnutty lees. At once densely packed and penetrating, with a stony citric pungency giving precision to the seamless middle palate and cutting through the wine’s texture. Wonderfully pure and energetic for this cuvée, finishing tactile and unflagging, with terrific citrus lift. This has the palate-staining length and structure for a slow and graceful evolution in bottle; it’s also the only 2016 here that struck me as tannic, but then classic Corton-Charlemagne typically shows structure more like a red wine. 93-96pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
(one contiguous parcel measuring about .24 ha is spread evenly between Chassagne and Puligny; Boillot calls it his Bâtard du Milieu!). A faint trace of the exotic can be found on the cool, pure and fresh nose that offers up notes of yellow orchard fruit, white peach, floral and lemon peel. There is good precision to the generously proportioned big-bodied flavors that deliver outstanding depth and length. As good as this is though, the Mouchère is even better. 95pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
Palish yellow. Bright, subtle aromas of pear drop, white peach and lemon. Juicy and lively in the mouth, with fresh acidity giving cut to the wine’s very intense citrus fruit flavors. Really titillates the taste buds on the very long, penetrating finish. Boillot told me he harvests Bâtard for healthy acidity (4.4 grams per liter in this case, with a pH of 3.13). “I don’t pick it late at 14.5%,” he explained. “For me, Chardonnay at 12.5% is ripe. A white wine needs energy.” 93-96pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous
(Boillot noted that Chevalier was the only grand cru that didn’t freeze in 2016). Like several wines in the range there is a subtle whiff of the exotic in the form of mandarin orange to the acacia blossom, green fruit and mineral reduction-suffused aromas. The dense, serious and powerful broad-shouldered flavors flash plenty of minerality on the chiseled, even crystalline finish that delivers huge length. This tautly muscular effort is seriously good though patience will of course be necessary. 96pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound – 2028+. Don’t miss! Outstanding.
Bright light-medium yellow. Very sexy, quintessential Chevalier nose of citrus fruits and white peach, crushed rock and ginger, plus an element of smoky oak. A wonderfully glyceral wine with a powerful salty impression of extract and strong supporting acidity. Finishes chewy and very long, but without any excess weight. Juicy lemony cut gives this wine a distinctly crystalline quality. A classic Chevalier-Montrachet in the making. This and the Bâtard are in 100% new oak, while the Pucelles, Clos de la Mouchère and Combettes are around 50%, but Boillot notes that the larger (350-liter) format of his barrels is very important. 93-96pts – Stephen Tanzer for Vinous