One of Philippe's goals is to express the terroir effect on wine, Pacalet’s Burgundies are quite distinctive, with lovely purity and elegance, and thrilling aromatics. These aren’t wines that grab you by virtue of their size, but instead they seduce with freshness and elegance. Pacalet is clearly a master of élevage.
All vineyards are farmed by Pacalet himself and hand harvested. The grapes are then sorted in the vineyard before being brought to the winery in Beaune where they are fermented, whole cluster, in large, open top vats. He carries out a long maceration and during this time the cap is punched down twice a day and the grapes are also foot-stomped. Afterwards, the resulting juice is drained from the bottom of the vat (which makes up ¾ of the eventual wine) and the grapes are moved to a press. The press wine (1/4 of the blend) is then added to the free run juice and both undergo malolactic fermentation in barrel using the native yeasts only. No sulfur is used during the vinification process – a small amount may or may not be added at bottling, depending on the vintage..
The Pacalet 2008 Charmes-Chambertin (in fact largely from Mazoyeres) offers a high-toned, suggestively sweet nose of candied cherry, almond and pistachio extracts, along with heady, heliotrope and gardenia perfume. As this opens, a Chartreuse-like sense of high-toned herbal essences emerges as well, and on a delicate, silken-textured palate, savory suggestions of browned butter and caramel complement the wine’s bright fruit and alluring florality. I find less length and certainly less sense of minerality than in the corresponding Lavaux, but this had been bottled only a week before I tasted it. It will prove worth following for the better part of a decade. DS - 92