Philippe Pacalet is easily one of our favourite Burgundians, combining a wicked sense of humour with his own bold approach to winemaking that has placed him at the forefront of the Cote d’Or. What else would you expect from the former winemaker at the illustrious Domaine Prieuré-Roch!?
We’re always delighted to visit Philippe in Burgundy and few winemakers are able to express the complex character of a vintage in such few words (“gourmand et frais” was our tag-line for Burgundy 2020). He also gave us a good laugh when welcoming the new normal of solar vintages, confessing “we used to have cold, wet summers like in England, being in the vineyards was shit, I prefer it now”! Yet such is the genius of Pacalet that his wines are just as captivating and entertaining as the man himself.
Philippe's career began at Prieuré-Roch before he established his own maison, following a similar low-intervention biodynamic philosophy. He has quickly made a name for himself as a maverick in Burgundy, defying convention and following his own path, whilst earning a serious cult following in the process. His wines are viscerally exciting, with captivating aromatics, seductive freshness, and elegance.
Philippe's wines are characterised by energy, intensity, authenticity, complex tannins, and a unique "funky purity" that captures the essence of each vineyard. Philippe's commitment to minimal intervention is evident in his winemaking approach, which includes biodynamic farming practices and a preference for old oak barrels.
Philippe Pacalet's wines are known for their unusual distinctiveness, reflecting his winemaking philosophy of preserving grape integrity and avoiding oxidation as naturally as possible. He farms biodynamically, insists on 100% whole bunch fermentations, uses only natural yeasts, and avoids adding sulphites.
His vineyard holdings span across the Cote d'Or, with notable Grand Crus and Premier Crus sites, including Corton-Charlemagne, Echezeaux, and Ruchottes-Chambertin. Philippe's flagship wines include Corton-Charlemagne, Charmes-Chambertin, and Ruchottes-Chambertin, but the quality of his wines extends to all appellations. More recently he has ventured into the Northern Rhone, where he makes a fabulous set of wines (we’re especially keen on his Cornas, incredible value!).
Philippe's unconventional approach, such as ageing in decade-old oak barrels and forgoing grape sorting, sets him apart as a true individualist in the world of Burgundy winemaking. Despite his non-traditional methods, Philippe's wines have garnered critical acclaim and are highly sought after by enthusiasts.