Philippe Pacalet 2017
Philippe Pacalet told us he felt 2017 was a less challenging vintage than the last five, with good quantities of grapes, an easy harvest with rain a couple of weeks before picking commenced on 15th September. He maintained his strategy of whole bunch vinification as he could select for phenolic ripeness completely in the vineyard. The wines are tremendously food friendly, picking up good structure, opulence and ripening tannins in the barrel following malolactic fermentation. Unlike every other grower we met, his nearest comparable year was 1990, “a gourmand vintage”. There’s a test for your memory! Whilst Pacalet’s wines are generally on the muscular side, some of his 2017s show a more sinewy character which best displays the fresh fruit so redolent of this vintage. As for drinking windows, Philippe told us that he feels his 2012s and 2013s are showing well now, and he expects a similar maturation for the 2017s.