TN: A Tasting of 2012 Patrick Piuze Chablis


John Follas put on a leisurely and enjoyable tasting that was a good opportunity to get a feel for Piuze Chablis from 2012 with five wines from across the range.

The wines were good but the tasting reinforced some of my perceptions of the 2012 Chablis vintage. The wines were not typical Chablis without a strong marine component on either bouquet or palate. The wines were rich, weighty and full, with some acids, but far from the searing or razor-like acidity seen in the past. The flavour profile of these wines was not however as far along the spectrum as tropical fruit, being more typically limes and lemons.

Overall, the tasting reinforced my perception that 2012s are typically not long-term cellar wines, but often wines for enjoying in the short to medium term, if you like this style.

2012 Patrick Piuze Petit Chablis - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Petit Chablis
Colour watery lemon. A fresh, herbaceous and pleasant nose of lemon, lime, grapefruit, with some wet granite. In the mouth, a rich, lush, weighty and bright wine, with flavours of citrus and green apple, with some tartness and chalk on the finish. A nice, but fairly straightforward and generic Chardonnay, not showing a great deal of Chablis typicity. (87 pts.)

2012 Patrick Piuze Chablis Terroir de Fyé - France, Burgundy, Chablis
Slightly deeper lemon colour. A bouquet of talcum powder, chalk, flint, lemon and grapefruit. On palate, a real step up in flavour and quality from the Petit (at a similar price). Again, quite rich and ripe flavours, but tactile, with good viscosity, a leesy element (from the oak treatment?) and some salinity. Also the flavour profile is largely citric, but more limes than lemons. Good fruit weight, balance and length are present here with a better acid profile providing some tension. I’d drink this wine in the next few years. (89 pts.)

2012 Patrick Piuze Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
Slightly deeper lemon colour again. A nose of some minerals and chalk, but not of typical marine Chablis aromas, with lemon and some vanilla pod. In the mouth, the impression is again of richness and power. Also impressive persistence and good fruit weight. This wine has silky texture and serious structure. The flavour profile is citric but dominated by minerals, chalk and wet granite flavours. To my palate, I would have liked to have seen more acid cut and do not really see this as a long-term cellar wine. (90 pts.)

2012 Patrick Piuze Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
Deeper light gold colour. An attractive bouquet of lemons, limes and grapefruit, with real salinity. But the real action happens on the palate. This is seriously good and, to me, a level above the other four wines here. The 1er is primary, tight and closed, but the quality and potential of this wine is obvious. Viscous with Grand Cru level fruit weight and power. But the key is the wine’s acid cut, that makes the wine nervy, edgy and energetic. This wine needs 5+ years in the cellar. (93 pts.)

2012 Patrick Piuze Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
Slightly deeper light gold again. The best bouquet of the five wines. Aromatic complexity including aromas of small white flowers, seashells, citrus, minerals and baking spices. On the palate, the Grand Cru shows refinement, elegance and complexity but, for me, not the dry extract, fruit weight, power or acid structure of the Montee de Tonnerre. The acids are in good balance however with flavours of calcified seashells, citrus tending limes, white orchard fruit and some lees. Although surprisingly open textured now, this is a wine for the cellar in the medium term. (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

I’m not sure how much that’s the 2012 Chablis vintage, and how much it’s just the overall trend in White Burgundy in the last decade or so. Ripe tropical fruit and moderate acids seem like the rule and not the exception.

Chris, I agree. Lusher, lower acid wines is a trend over the last 10 years in white Burgundy and Chablis. I’m not sure how much that’s climate and how much winemaking.

But from the admittedly small number of 2012 Chablis I’ve seen, the vintage seems to have pushed the wines more in that direction, even if you compare them with say their 2010 equivalents.

Cheers, Howard

Thanks Howard, very timely as I have 6 of the Butteaux '12 that I’m lining up to send off to storage. Your note gives me pause……

I’d make a distinction between the '10s (which I’ve loved, and have found to have good acidity, line and length) and vintages like '05 and '09 (and probably '06 too) which have been a bit fleshier. The '12 sounds like one of these.


Peter, I agree with your comments about Chablis vintages, that’s what I was saying about '12.

With the Butteaux, if it were me, I’d pull the pin on one to see what you think. If you do, please post your thoughts on WBs.

Best, Howard

Good notes Howard - I’ve tried most of these and quite liked. Interested in your take re “rich and ripe”. I thought the wines were very light on their feet and quite clean / transparent. Often I will interpret “rich and ripe” as being fruit-driven, potentially heavy, which (to me) these wines were not. I certainly didn’t think them under-ripe.

I managed to delete the notes I took on the wines but I bought la Montée de Tonnerre as I thought that was an especially impressive wine with excellent terroir expression and grand cru weight. I also wrote observations about the good ripeness of the fruit and its generous fruit expression. No fruit blockbuster here but some approachable wines with charm and elegance. 2012 seems to have produced very accessible and generous wines with a very good cut.

Interesting question Rauno. I’d stand by “ripe and rich”, but I’m not suggesting the wines are overripe. I would probably say they’re “fruit driven” but not go so far as heavy and clumsy. I’d certainly give you “clean” but not “very light on their feet and … transparent”. As above, I’d draw a parallel with 2009 Chablis, in comparison with say a 2010.

I can see that this will only be able to be resolved by a Pobega of a couple of 2012s next time we meet up! (although it sounds like you have already got a head start on me!).

Cheers, Howard

So I open another to see how to calibrate the fruit weight: it definitely feels fuller than when I first tasted these; perhaps they have put on some weight since then (which would have been pretty soon after arrival). But it’s “good” weight - more intensity, but still a light touch for me. Taste off at 50 paces it will have to be!

You’re on! Don’t worry Mr Engel, I won’t engage in Chablis trash talk with you.

I have only bought the Montée de Tonnerre, because I only buy what Thierry tells me to, and I have not yet picked them up. So I’m presently drinking a 2010 Picq Vaucoupin, which is a very good and quite classical Chablis.

Cheers, Howard

I picked up a few of these after enjoying some of the lower level Piuze Chablis because I think there is good value in the wines. What is your definition of “medium term” and is it tempered by premox risk, or just the current openness of the wine?

Hi Jay. I think premox risk is inherent, to some degree, in any Chablis, so I wasn’t factoring that in with my drinking window. The forward and open textured nature of these wines was the reason for my assessment of medium term, by which I meant about 5-6 years. No doubt they could be cellared longer, but that’s when I’d be drinking them. Generally, I don’t see 2012 as a long term cellar vintage.

Cheers, Howard

Howard -

I did indeed pull the cork on one last night and drank it over two nights, finishing the dregs tonight.

Nose of lemon sherbet and under-ripe green apple but as with you, no oyster shell or other marine note. On night one, aggressively saline on the palate (somewhat less so on night two) and agree that there’s some cut missing. Personally I wouldn’t quite say this is flabby - to me it feels more candied (lemon pastille?) at least up-front but there’s a drying, almost pithy note at the back. Not sure what I’d compare it to - maybe '06? I did drink it on the cold side though, which may account for the difference.

As I say in my note on CT, its not a bad wine, very pleasant in fact, but a little difficult to figure out where it goes from here. I will send a few off to storage though, for a couple years.