Domaine Ballot Millot
Ballot-Millot Bourgogne Aligoté was one of our surprise star whites of 2016 but frosts in 2017 meant none was produced. This however was the only disappointment of our tasting at the domaine in November with Charles Ballot, who was unambivalent in his enthusiasm for the vintage. Whilst 2016 was straight, fresh and intense, Charles suggests 2017 has a broader mouthfeel with good ageing potential and is closer in style to 2014 with similar acidity, concentration and phenolic maturity. Whilst discussing the evolution (and improvements) in Meursault in recent years, Charles points to the appellation’s historically drier soils than Puligny and Chassagne, that have tended to result in bigger, more opulent wines. Now he suggests many Meursault growers are preferring earlier harvests, more reduction, less battonage, and less and bigger new oak barrels, all of which preserve freshness, elegance and tension. He is certainly leading the pack here and the wines were again exemplary.