“Those with a penchant for steely Chablis raised without oak should look no further…”Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #232
We are very pleased to have begun working with Domaine Gilbert Picq, a long term favourite of mine and a source of high quality, classical Chablis at excellent prices.
Two weeks ago we visited to taste the 2017 and 2016 vintages. We were impressed, and told Didier Picq as much. Our compliments must have worked as happily he has offered us a little wine, hooray! We have two wines from 2016 and two wines from 2017, offered at special pre shipment prices.
An insiders secret…
Based in the small village of Chichée Domaine Gilbert Picq is now run by Gilbert’s children, Pascal in the vines, Didier makes the wines and Marilyn works in the office; the family have farmed this land for generations. The commitment to quality here is impressive. Old vines are retained. Yields are kept low. No oak is used, only stainless steel. Fermentations take place with natural yeasts. The aim is simple, transmit Chablis’ unique terroir as faithfully and transparently as possible.
This simple approach works, in the words of the Wine Advocate’s William Kelley, Domaine Picq is “one of Chablis’s finest, a source of concentrated and incisive Chablis that are well worth seeking out.”
When we spoke to Didier about his vineyards he told us that Chichée has long been used by négociants as a source of high quality wine to go into their large Chablis blends. In the past its name rarely appeared or was discussed, which suited the large merchants needs. When Chablis’ Grand and 1er Crus where demarcated Chichée was largely overlooked. This is a shame, as the terroir is classic Chablis; a high proportion of Kimmeridgian Clay in vineyards well angled to catch the sun. Indeed Didier’s 1er Cru Vaucoupin enjoys a similar aspect to Bougros Grand Cru. This relative anonymity does mean that the quality to value ratio here is excellent, one can buy wines from one of the regions finest domaines for little more than the blends of the large négociants. Snap these wines up!
Domaine Gilbert Picq Chablis 2017
One can tell this is Chablis immediately, and grown on good terroir at that. Didier says the soil in these parcels is high quality chalk and always gives a focused, mineral wine. Oyster shell nose. Very good weight and concentration, luminous fruit and a taut, lime soaked finish. Absolutely classic Chablis, and such good value. 2019-2023
“Notes of lemon rind, oystershell, wheat toast and green apple introduce the 2017 Chablis, a tangy but textural, medium to full-bodied wine, with excellent concentration and cut. It has all the makings of a superb Chablis AOC”William Kelley, Wine Advocate #238 89-91 points
Domaine Gilbert Picq Chablis En Vaudécorse 2016
A single vineyard wine from a site on 100% Kimmeridgian clay, En Vaudécorse 2016 is riper and shows more yellow fruit, apricots and a little honey. Lovely texture here, richer and fuller than the other wines, not as classic or steely, a little smokey and flinty. Good length.
Domaine Gilbert Picq Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2017
From 3 parcels of vines, all over 55 years old, all grown on Kimmeridgian clay. Citrus fruit and minerals here, the old vines seem to suck the terroir right into the glass. Very defined and taut, the 2017 VV offers a complex, cool interplay of fruit, minerals and flowers. Wonderful finish, peachy, crunchy and crystalline. It will be at its best between 2019 and 2025.
“The 2017 Chablis Vieilles Vignes comes from vines planted in 1953. It has a more introspective nose than Picq’s other 2017s from tank, demanding more coaxing from the glass, eventually revealing yellow flowers, struck flint and light undergrowth aromas that are very well defined. The palate is well defined with crisp acidity, good attack on the front palate and then the richness and the slightly honeyed texture washes over the back palate with a tang of lemongrass on the aftertaste. Superb.”Neal Martin, www.vinous.com 92-94 points
Domaine Gilbert Picq Chablis 1er Cru Vaucoupin 2016
Planted on a south facing slope overlooking the Serein river, Picq’s vines are in the very steepest part. A slope of over 45 degrees means everything must be done by hand. This is a brilliantly positioned 1er Cru that is rarely seen but deserves a lot more attention. The 2016 has a complex nose of oyster shell and apricot with touches of mint and butter. Mouth filling and sleekly textured with a hint of pineapple fruit on the mid palate and a long chalky finish. Drinking really well now but no hurry, say now-2024+
I am so pleased that we are able to offer these wines and I look forward to working with Didier and his siblings. He is an erudite, passionate advocate for Chablis and Burgundy in general, while his domaine and wines stand testament to what can be achieved when quality and integrity is at the heart of everything one does.
Like so many Chablis domaines the tiny yields of recent vintages are still being felt, so our opening allocations are small and when they are gone, they are gone. Buy them while you can!