Pacalet 2010: Burgundies of Poise, Purity, and Substance

Posted by Ian McFadden

Burgundies of Poise and Substance
2010 Pacalet
Gevrey - Chambolle - Nuits St. Georges
Echézeaux - Ruchottes-Chambertin

Pacalet's Burgundies are unapologetically transparent, lithe, ethereal, poised.

This is Burgundy at its most restrained; Philippe Pacalet is famous for crafting wines that possess a purity that leaves the impression that they've been stripped of anything unessential.

Another way of saying this is that they present only what is essential.

While Philippe Pacalet remains well outside of the Burgundy mainstream (see below,) he has developed a strong, strong following. The wines are that good.

Comparisons are not easy. They definitely share some of the delicacy, the jewel-box sparkle of the reds of Drouhin. The bigger wines like the Gevreys and Pommards can have a fine texture and mineral spine not unlike the reds of Bachelet, Mugneret-Gibourg or Lafarge. Certainly fans of any of the producers above are strongly encouraged to try a bottle.

Expectations of the 2010 vintage are very high, and quantities are short, which is going to lead to a tricky buying environment. Get ready.

Early impressions are that we're about to be blessed with a vintage that's not only very, very good, but also a vintage that's classic in its scale and pristine in its expression. Burghound sums up the vintage as "delivering superb flavor authority with such impeccable balance and grace."

It's hard to think about vintage better suited to Pacalet's style. For all their delicacy and gossamer textures, Pacalet's can have deceptive substance. They just strut it by walking on tip toes.

Pacalet does not own his own vineyards; instead he is one of a new type of negociant popping up around the Côte d'Or (and other places where land is prohibitively expensive), a "mini-negociant" who seeks out parcels of vines that are old, that are well cared for (when it's possible, he employs organic methods) and that have the older clones he is looking for.

It is a collection of parcels that is carefully curated, from Gevrey to Pommard and beyond, including miniscule holdings in Charmes, Ruchottes and Echézeaux. (Note that because of the limited quantities, priority will be given to balanced orders.)

The only bad news about the 2010 vintage is that quantities were down anywhere from 30-40%. With Burg collectors poised to go deep and there not being much wine, it's difficult not to imagine things getting somewhat ugly.

Pacalet is always limited, but this year it's even more so. Please give us your maximum order, and we'll do our best to allocate fairly. Again, preference will be given to balanced orders.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2010 Pacalet