Philippe Pacalet Meursault Premier Cru “Charmes” 2009
Meursault, known for power and opulence, is more appropriately understood as diverse. The rich style may be dominant, but it is not an inevitability. Proof is a naturalist producer known for high acid restraint combined with a vineyard known for seductive lusciousness and one of the hottest, ripest years in the past couple decades.
White Burgundy and the Sense of Place
The obligatory background context is: Pacalet was trained by Jules Chauvet (one of the original naturalists) and is the nephew to famed Beaujolais producer Marcel Lapierre. But the no-sulphur partial carbonic approach is not definitional. For me, Pacalet’s genius lies in his diversity. He makes no less than 30 different wines from rented parcels, including some of the great vineyards of Burgundy. I personally find each parcel speaks quite distinctively – some perhaps more transparently than others, but the best with a huge, operatic voice.
Sometimes the reds can be a little reduced or somewhat dominated by carbonic aromas. However, the white wines are almost always perfect terroir wines. Pacalet somehow manages to consistently coax transparency out of white wine vineyards that often fall prey to producer style. For example, many Puligny-Montrachets can, though great, taste similar. Many Meursault can, especially in youth, lose their sense of place and instead just become exceptionally good Chardonnay. Pacalet avoids these pitfalls.
For the white Burgundy or Chardonnay enthusiast who wants to feel reinvigorated about Cote d’Or terroir for white wine, Pacalet is the beacon for which you are searching. Expensive, but worth it.
$133 (+ tax) at Kits Wine