2012 Chablis, Les Clos, Grand Cru, Domaine Pinson Frères

2012 Chablis, Les Clos, Grand Cru, Domaine Pinson Frères

Product: 20128013697
Prices start from £163.62 per case Buying options
2012 Chablis, Les Clos, Grand Cru, Domaine Pinson Frères


From first sniff, this is a fabulous wine. Tasting it, even in its youth, brings a smile to the face. There is a brilliant rich white fruit bouquet and a great density of flavour on the palate. This wine displays a serene quality, with tremendous intensity of fruit, yet light on its feet. Terrific!
Jasper Morris MW - Burgundy Wine Director

This long-established family domaine impresses us more and more with every vintage. The Pinsons have always picked by hand and they are now using natural yeasts for the vinification process. Most wines are vinified in stainless steel, with a small percentage in barrel for the top wines, then matured in barrel for up to a year. The only bad news in 2012 is the quantity: 20% down for straight Chablis, 25-30% less across the Premier Cru vineyards and minus 50% on the Grand Cru which was affected by frost.

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About this WINE

Domaine Pinson

Domaine Pinson

Louis Pinson himself retired in 1983 having made some fabulous old style Chablis wines. His great grand-daughter, Charlène, along with her father, Laurent and her uncle Christophe have now taken over. There is a Rue Pinson in Chablis, dating back to an earlier generation when three Pinson brothers lived in identical houses in the street.

Everything is hand-harvested, with sorting of the grapes both in the vineyard and at the winery. Fermentation is mostly in stainless steel using selected yeasts, then the wines are transferred to barrel for the maturation process. The barrels for Les Clos are one to two years old, for the premiers crus three to six years. The straight Chablis stays in stainless steel.

Having such a large holding of Mont de Milieu, the Pinsons organised a swap of half a hectare with some Fourchaume from Nathalie & Gilles Fèvre, so that each domaine would have an extra appellation. Their holdings comprise 2.20ha Chablis ,   0.68ha Chablis 1er Cru Forêt, 0.50ha Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume,  4.76ha  Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu, 1.05ha Chablis 1er Cru Montmains , 0.34ha Chablis 1er Cru, 0.50ha Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons and 2.57ha Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos.

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Chablis Grand Cru

Chablis Grand Cru

These are the biggest, richest and most complex Chablis, which cover a total of 100 hectares – just two percent of the appellation. At their best, they can match the quality of a Grand Cru Chardonnay from the Côte d’Or, yet often at half the price.

They may lack their southern neighbour’s opulence, but they share the latter’s intensity and have a nervy minerality that set them apart. Inexpressive in youth, they should ideally be aged for 10 years, and can mature for up to 30 years. Styles vary according to producer, with some maturing and fermenting in stainless steel while others use barrels, sometimes even new oak.

All seven Grands Crus are grouped together on a single south-west-facing hill just north of the town. La Moutonne is an unofficial eighth Grand Cru straddling Les Preuses and Vaudésir, and is allowed to use the name on its label. The rich, fine Les Clos and the intense, spicy Vaudésir are generally considered to be the best, and are certainly the most full-bodied.

The delicate Blanchots and the racy Grenouilles are the most aromatic, while Les Preuses is full, complex and the least minerally. Valmur is fragrant, rich and smooth while La Moutonne is elegant and incredibly expressive. The vibrant Bougros tends to be the junior member of the group, but in the right hands can also be very good.

Recommended producers: Billaud-SimonDuplessisJ.-P. & Benoit Droin.

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Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

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Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate
This wine was tasted blind at the Burgundy 2012 tasting in Beaune. The 2012 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos from Pinson is missing some intensity and complexity on the nose. The palate is fresh and almost shrill on the entry with sharp bitter lemon. There is good weight in the mouth with a slightly nutty finish, but it is missing a little harmony and consequently dips below my expectation. It could well be that this is in the middle of a dumb phase, so I will forego scoring on this occasion.
Neal Martin - 30/10/2015 Read more
Here the wood is less subtle as there are vanilla and toast hints in evidence on the otherwise very fresh and cool aromas of white flowers, pear, green apple and wet stone. There is notably good concentration and plenty of palate coating dry extract to the big-bodied flavors that exude a fine minerality on the saline-infused, explosive and seriously persistent finish. This will need up to a decade to reveal its full potential but thanks to all of the extract, be approachable young.
Allen Meadows - Burghound - 0ct-15-2013 Read more