From fifty-year-old vines planted in two parcels: one above the village, and the other on the wrong side of the old RN74, which, before the road separated it from the appellation, was classified Pommard. This is a classic, old school Billard-Gonnet wine from a very great vintage, “qui ressemble beaucoup un très bon Pommard” (that tastes a lot like a very good Pommard), according to Philippe. In a good large Burgundy glass, the wine has a limpid, saturated crimson color, with ruby flashes just at the edge. Cool red fruit aromas, including lambert cherries, wild strawberries, dried red currants, and allspice, move in and out of the foreground, later alternating with delicate suggestions of faded rose petals, black truffles, eucalyptus, and cardamom as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is vibrant, layered, and elegantly textured, with a compact, succulent core of mineral saturated red and black fruit flavors that echo the nose, all seasoned with a fine, extended thread of spicy white tobacco, dried morel mushrooms, and freshly grated nutmeg. Easily a middle-distance runner, this sensational Bourgogne remains taut, transparent, and vibrant as it grows more voluminous and compelling in the glass; the long, harmonious finish promising at least another decade in a dark cool cellar. Drink now – beyond 2035.
About this wine producer: One of the most traditionally run estates in all of Burgundy, Domaine Billard-Gonnet traces its history to 1766. Philippe Billard, who was a schoolmate of Michel Ampeau, has made wine there since he was sixteen-years-old. The domaine comprises ten hectares of perfectly situated vineyards in eight Premiers Crus in Pommard, plus a parcel of Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc, and some Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc directly above the village of Pommard. Vinification of the reds is directed at the wines’ potential for bottle age, and includes fermentation in open wooden vats; with pigeages au pied twice daily, and a cuvaison of approximately two weeks. The wines mature in a mix of new and used oak barrels (one third are new) for 18 months.