Gilbert Picq Chablis AOC 2011

Gilbert Picq Chablis AOC 2011

This tiny domaine of Gilbert Picq et Ses Fils is one of the lovely, small, up-and-coming producers of the Chablis region. They can be found in the village of Chichée, southeast of Chablis proper. The Picq family has exploited its small parcels of vines for several generations, with father Gilbert now having fully retired and handed over the reigns to his two sons, Didier and Pascal, and his daughter Marilyn Picq. Pascal is in charge of the vineyards for the family, while Didier looks after the cellar and makes the wines with sister Marilyn looking after the office and administration.

Gilbert Pic ChablisThe Picq style of Chablis is a classic style of Chablis,. It shows that expression of minerality that chardonnay can only attain from the rolling hillside vineyards of the Yonne Valley, with a racy acidity and fine depth that comes with low yields, meticulous winemaking and fine parcels of vines.

With Pascal’s low yields providing strength and acidity, Didier vinifies only in stainless steel tanks and a longer lees ageing time than most. This contributes a breadier nuance to accentuate the ocean breeze, iodine quality and the lemon, pear fruit.

Clear and bright. Pale, lemon gold in colour. Fresh and expressive nose with aromas of spring flowers, acacia with citrus, melon and pear fruit. Still youthful. The palate is fresh with a concentration of stone fruits, lime, honeysuckle, minerality and a steely firmness. A great balance of fruit sweetness and acidity with a long savoury, mineral, sappy finish. Drink now or enjoy over the next 4 years. Good value at around $45 RRP.  Greg Mincher

Domaine Gilbert Picq et Ses Fils also offers up a pair of fine premier crus, both located in the village of Chichée. These include a beautifully pure and complex bottling of Vaucoupin, one of the very underrated premier crus in Chablis, and a more powerful, but equally soil-driven premier cru of Vosgros, which is produced from the family’s oldest premier cru vines. Vaucoupin lies to the northeast of the village of Chichée, on a slope that overlooks the Serein River and faces primarily due south, with some undulations turning around towards the southeast on the westerly side of the vineyard.

The Picq parcel is in the steepest section of the vineyard, on a forty-five degree slope and must be completely tended by hand, including at the all important harvesting time. It is a beautifully situated premier cru, which produces a wine with a lovely chalky, oyster shell base of soil, and notes of spring flowers and beeswax augmenting the lovely tart citrus core of fruit.

The premier cru of Vosgros lies to the west of the village, on a slope that also includes the premier cru vineyard of Vaugiraut, and has a more varied exposure that generally orientates towards the east. The Vosgros vines are between thirty-five and forty years of age, and this more easterly-oriented vineyard tends to produce a beautifully tensile and complex Chablis that starts out life with a bit more youthful austerity, but unfolds brilliantly with bottle age to deliver a racy and very complex and minerally expression of Chablis. It is the longest-lived wine in the Picqs’ fine portfolio of wines.

Love Chablis and want to know more?

The Wines of Chablis and the Yonne by Rosemary George

The Wines of Chablis by Austin Biss and Owen Smith

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