Tuesday, July 8, 2014

2012 Chablis from Thomas Pico

Thomas Pico In His Own Words
"30 years old today, I spent my childhood in a small village of Chablis called Courgis. Growing up with a father and a grandfather who were both winemakers, I quickly inherited the passion for the job. So I naturally chose to turn to viticulture and oenology studies in Beaune BTS.
My passion for winemaking, my curiosity and my desire to respect the environment and the health of my family were paramount in my thinking. Organic cultivation of my vines, became obvious.
Back in 2004 I took over the family estate of Bois d'Yver, converting the 8 hectares to organic (ECOCERT). I thus created my own domain, "Pattes Loup or the "Wolf Paws".
In 2009, I got my certification in organic farming."

I've enjoyed Thomas Pico's Chablis for the past few years, but getting some to sell has eluded me, until now.

Pico's production is small, to be sure. He has been farming a mere 6 to 8 hectares of vineyards over the past decade. But demand for his wines in France and around the world is massive. He exports to 28 countries! Thus, not much of Pico's Chablis makes it to the US. I'm elated to finally get hold of some from the 2012 vintage, a terrific vintage. I was in Chablis last September visiting Alice de Moor in Courgis, the same village where Thomas Pico lives, in fact he's just around the block. There are only 3 Chablis producers in Courgis: Alice et Olivier de Moor, Thomas Pico, and Thomas Pico's father. Thomas happened to be busy the day I visited but after having tasted the 2012s of de Moor, I must say it is an awesome vintage! In fact, de Moor's wines are already sold out. I'm lucky to even find some of Pico's 2012.

Chablis, when made in the quality that de Moor and Pico make it, is as great as high-end white Burgundy from the Cote d'Or. The only key difference is instead of paying $60 to $100 for a Puligny or Meursault, you'll spend much less than $40 for Pico's Chablis.

Pico achieves such high quality in his Chablis by farming organically and doing a lot of manual work in the vineyard and by making the wines as naturally as possible, without additives, vinifying with natural yeasts, and adding just a minimal amount of sulfites to protect the wine.

If you love great white Burgundy that's pure and mineral but don't want to spend big bucks for Puligny, then this Thomas Pico Chablis is for you. My only warning is you might obsess about it after you've enjoyed a bottle. It happened to me.

Chablis "Vent d'Ange", Domaine Pattes Loup (Thomas Pico) 2012 $33.00 (order here)

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