The Carillon family
have been viticulteurs in Puligny Montrachet since the 1600s. François Carillon began working with the family winery in 1988, eventually taking over all the vineyard management. He started his own domaine in 2010 when the estate was split between him and his brother Jacques. François’ holdings are mostly in Puligny and Chassagne, with a bit in St. Aubin, and he also farms vines under sharecropping agreements in other villages.
Les Murgers des Dents de Chien is a vineyard that has always fascinated me. It’s on the Puligny side of the village, bordering the 1er Cru Puligny Champs Gains, and it sits just a few dozen meters above the Grand Cru Chevalier Montrachet. It’s one of the highest vineyards in St. Aubin, with an ideal south/southeast exposure, unlike much of St. Aubin, which is more westerly. The soil is a very pebbly thin limestone, not unlike that of the great Le Montrachet, which we find quite intriguing. It is considered by many insiders to be the finest vineyard in St. Aubin.
François purchased about 2/3 of a hectare of it in 2013 and he normally bottles only about 300 cases. Because it’s such a highly elevated vineyard, 20+ years ago there were vintages in which the grapes just didn’t get the ripeness of those famous Grand Crus beneath it, but now, as the climate has shifted, that is no longer an issue, and perhaps a former obstacle has become an advantage?
I can see this vineyard becoming a kind of cult thing eventually. There are a handful of producers that bottle it. Domaine Ramonet is reputed to make a terrific version, one that fetches $200+, but I’ve never seen a bottle. I believe Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey also used to produce one, though I’m not sure they still do. Carillon is unquestionably a blue chip white Burgundy producer and we are very excited to be able to get a tiny bit of this very snazzy 1er Cru.
His 2020 vintage shows lots of stone fruits and a touch of toast and spice, with excellent richness and great tension from that chalky minerality. As the finest white Burgundies zoom ever higher in price, into three and even four digits, St. Aubin is becoming more sought after, and its top wines, like this one, are bound to disappear quickly.
- David Netzer
2020 Domaine François Carillon
Saint-Aubin 1er Cru
Les Murgers des Dents de Chien