I’ve been beating the drum for Louis Boillot for a while, more and less successfully. Our 2015 offer was quite strong, but less heralded vintages have not fared nearly as well. It’s a shame, really, as these are among the best wines in Burgundy today. Louis’s wines have always been strong, but there clearly has been a significant increase in quality since 2005 on. Might it have something to do with Louis moving his cellar to Chambolle and sharing a cuve with his wife, the legendary Ghislaine Barthod? Perhaps. Maybe even likely.
Regardless, the 2016s are stunning chez Louis Boillot. And that’s not just my opinion. Allen Meadows, ak.a. Burghound, went bananas for the wines, writing “as the scores and commentaries confirm, Boillot did fabulously well in 2016, indeed I would go so far as to say that they are among the best wines that I have ever seen from him.”
Moreover, his scores are positively humming. Just check out this long string of his coveted “♥” ratings:
For those of you keeping score, that 18 for 21 on the “♥” scale score wise, we’re in Rousseau or Roumier territory here.
From previous offers: Another day, another offer of fantastic wines from a tiny Domaine, the quantities of which we get in depressingly small numbers. Louis Boillot is renowned in Burgundy circles for several reasons: 1. He’s a member of one Burgundy’s most ubiquitous and noble lines of growers, namely the Boillots; 2. He has a broad range of holdings from stretching from Beaune, Volnay, Pommard, all the way north to Chambolle and Gevrey; 3. He’s Ghislaine Barthod’s husband.
That third point is particularly salient. Not only is Louis Ghislaine’s husband, he’s also her vineyard manager. Moreover, the two share a cellar in Chambolle, and employ virtually identical practices. Yes, you read that right: Louis Boillot not only looks after Ghislaine Barthod’s vines, but he also employs the same vinicultural techniques.
“… since 2005 Boillot has been no less consistent than his wife [Ghislaine Barthod], which is a high, high compliment in my book.” – Allen Meadows on Louis Boillot
The upshot? Louis Boillot produces wines of supreme balance, elegance and fleshy fruit that is also beguilingly transparent. This is Pinot Noir from a master craftsman … and has been for generations.
Louis split his father’s Domaine with his brother Lucien, upon his father’s retirement, and what he inherited were impeccably maintained plots of very old vines, often 50 years and older, stretching from Beaune to Gevrey. Here is where point 2 above comes in: there are no truly noble terroirs here – no Grands Crus or 1ers Crus such as Amoureuses or Les St. Georges, and this fact keeps his wines ever so slightly under the radar. But as I say … slightly.
“… it is high time that Burgundy lovers started to take more notice of just how outstanding the Boillot wines are these days. To give some idea of just how high I hold the Boillot wines … I would have to say that after Domaine Lafarge, these are the best Volnays to be found …. And the great Volnays here are not the only source of fireworks! Monsieur Boillot is clearly at the top of his game at the present time …” – John Gilman, View from the Cellar
This is a truly remarkable set of wines. If you’re not buying these wines yet, frankly, you’re missing out on the upward curve. Prices here are still reasonable, in the context of Burgundy these days. A few more vintages with press like this and Louis Boillot may achieve price parity with his wife. Don’t wait for that to happen!
2016 Domaine Louis Boillot
2016 Boillot Pommard (88-90 pts.)
2016 Boillot Gevrey-Chambertin (89-92 pts. ♥ BH)
2016 Boillot Pommard 1er Cru 'Croix Noires' (91-94 pts. ♥ BH)
2016 Boillot Volnay 1er Cru 'Caillerets' (91-94 pts. ♥ BH)
2016 Boillot Gevrey-Chambertin 'Evocelles' (89-91 pts. ♥ BH)
2016 Boillot Gevrey 1er Cru 'Cherbaudes' (92-94 pts. ♥ BH)