Piuze, Patrick

  • Chablis, Burgundy, France
Patrick Piuze
  • Here is a truly thrilling new producer of hand-crafted Chablis, designed to showcase the individuality of different terroirs, not just at premier (and one grand) cru level, but within that very substantial area devoted to AC Chablis."

    —Jancis Robinson on her website, October 4, 2010

     

     

  • ...the only thing truly original in the world of wine is the underlying terroir and I have nothing else interesting to add. Anyone can copy anyone else’s techniques so what else is there to make great wines? I believe the answer is simple: Terroir. I want to work only with the fruit from old vines and even then, only old vines that are planted exclusively within the original boundaries of Chablis. If I respect these things, it will be almost impossible to make bad wine.”

    —Patrick Piuze

Patrick Piuze- a Montreal native- took the region by storm when he arrived over decade ago. He worked for Leflaive, Jean-Marc Brocard and Jean-Marie Guffens before starting his own label in 2008, and has very quickly come to be counted among the legendary names of the region. The guy is hella-good fun to hang out with... and while that may sound like an irrelevant detail, it is not: Piuze works with purchased fruit, and his great relationships with the growers of Chablis have allowed him access to choice parcels in all of the great sites.

As for technique, he is a maverick. While 90% of Chablis is machine-harvested, he harvests everything by hand, a paramount factor in the quality of his wines. While most cellars use a pneumatic press, he uses a vertical one because he likes the initial blast of oxygen for the wines in hopes of preventing pre-mox later, a way of thinking also espoused by Jean-Marc Roulot.

While most vintners make one blended cuvée from mixed sites for their villages wine, Patrick obsessively crafts no fewer than EIGHT different villages-level wines, each giving a distinctive expression of terroir. In our tastings together, he touts them as the qualitative peers of his 1er Cru’s, and with good reason—they are extraordinary. To make wines this way, Patrick has become a walking encyclopedia of the terroir of the area. On our recent visit to his winery, Patrick explained that Chablis is made up of rolling hillsides and valleys. The tops of the plateaus are generally Petit Chablis, north-facing vineyards are generally village-level Chablis and south-facing vineyards are 1er Cru; the Grand Cru hill has direct west/south-west exposure. The vineyards on the left bank of the Serein River generally have more clay and produce richer wines; here you find the villages of Courgis, Chichée, and 1er Cru vineyards: Forêts, Butteaux, and Vaillons. The vineyards on the right bank have much less clay top soil and more limestone – this is where you find the Grand Cru, also the villages of Fleys and Fyé and the 1er Cru Vaucoupin, Montée de Tonnerre, and Fourchaume. The right-bank wines are characterized by an intense minerality and more lean fruit in comparison to those from the left bank.

In the cellar, fermentations are spontaneous and go at their own pace. The village level "Terroir" series wines are fermented and aged mostly in old stainless steel tanks that are not temperature controlled. Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines are fermented and aged in used barrels for ten months. The barrels are always from high-acid years, currently 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010. Patrick explains that the first year that the barrel is used, there is not only an exhange of oak to the wine, but also of the wine to the barrel. So he avoids barrels that were first used in a warm vintage, thereby avoiding tropical notes from the barrels to his wine. All wines go through malo naturally. In some years, fermentations finish after two and a half weeks and in others, they last three months. The village level wines are bottled in the spring and 1er Cru and Grand Cru wines are bottled in July. All wines are bottled with a very gentle clay filtration. 

Notes on the 2019 Vintage: “2019 was another warm year in Chablis and coupled with very little rain, it reduced yields in the 1er and grand cru vineyards by 40%. Piuze is excited about the quality and describes it as, "having the density of the Côte d'Or with the balance of Chablis." - Michele Peters, Bowler Portfolio Manager

Image Producer PRODUCT Description Country / Region

DB5350-20
Sustainable
Piuze, Patrick Bourgogne Aligoté 1953
2020
Aligoté
From an old Aligoté plot in Saint Bris, planted in 1953. The field is surrounded by hemp. Fermented and aged in tank. Impressive saline and...
France

DB9800-21
Sustainable
Piuze, Patrick Bourgogne Tonnerre Boutots
2021
Chardonnay
From a south-facing single-vineyard in the commune of Vaulicheres, east of Chablis. Two thirds of the fruit is barrel-fermented and aged,...
France

DB0937-20
Sustainable
VFTC:92
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "La Grande Vallée"
2020
Chardonnay
From the Les Pargues vineyard in the valley between the 1er Cru Montmains hill and 1er Cru Vaillons hill; this is considered a top site by...
France

DB9737-20
Sustainable
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "Plateau de la Cornasse"
2020
Chardonnay
From a parcel in Beine on the west side of Chablis. Vinified and aged in tank. Bright acidity with more tropical fruit.
France

DB0910-21
Sustainable
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "Terroir de Chablis"
2021
Chardonnay
From two parcels, both north-facing, very near to 1er Cru Montmains. It’s fresh and rich on the palate with an herbal finish. Fermented and...
France

DB5126-21
Sustainable
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "Terroir de Chichée"
2021
Chardonnay
Chichée is on a plateau near the 1er Cru Vaucoupin vineyard. Vinified and aged in tank. Savory, taut, and mineral.
France

DB0911-20
Sustainable
VFTC:91+
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "Terroir de Courgis"
2020
Chardonnay
Courgis is from a single vineyard on the left bank with clay topsoil on top of Kimmeridgian limestone bedrock. It’s typically the most...
France

DB0936-20
Sustainable
VFTC:90+
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "Terroir de Fleys"
2020
Chardonnay
From a vineyard near the eponymous village on the right bank of the Serein and very near to the 1er Cru Mont de Milieu. Normally the...
France

DB9801-21
Organic
Piuze, Patrick Chablis “Terroir de la Chapelle”
2021
Chardonnay
From a plot on a plateau on the left bank of the Serein, across from Fourchaume, from vines planted in 1974.  A fresh cuvée because the...
France

DB9964-20
Sustainable
VFTC:90
Piuze, Patrick Chablis "Terroir Découverte"
2020
Chardonnay
From a single-vineyard just next to 1er Cru Vaulorent, the north facing side of the Grand Cru hill, named Des Couverts. The vineyard lies...
France

DB0938-20
Sustainable
VFTC:93+
Piuze, Patrick Chablis 1er Cru Les Roncières
2020
Chardonnay
Roncières is a sub-climat of Vaillons with 35 year-old vines and eastern exposure.
France

DB9091-20
Sustainable
VFTC:94
Piuze, Patrick Chablis 1er Cru Les Sechets
2020
Chardonnay
Sechets is a sub-climat of 1er Cru Vaillons. Minots is the warmest part of the valley and as the valley opens up, the sites are cooler....
France

DB0915-20
Sustainable
VFTC:93+
Piuze, Patrick Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons "Les Minots"
2020
Chardonnay
‘Les Minots’ is a specific parcel within 1er Cru Vaillons with 70-year-old vines that benefit from southern exposure. It's Patrick's...
France

DB0924-20
Sustainable
VFTC:94
Piuze, Patrick Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent
2020
Chardonnay
Vaulorent is a sub-climate of 1er Cru Fourchaume; it is located on the same hill as all of the Grand Cru, but is not Grand Cru because it...
France

DB0934-20
Sustainable
VFTC:95
Piuze, Patrick Chablis Grand Cru Bougros
2020
Chardonnay
From vines planted in 1956 that are located on the plateau.  
France

DB0909-20
Sustainable
Piuze, Patrick Petit Chablis
2020
Chardonnay
From a parcel on the Grand Cru hill that is just next to Preuses, a petit Preuses. Fermented and aged in stainless steel.
France