Domaine Pattes Loup/Thomas Pico
By Antonio Galloni
Thomas Pico's 2012s are stellar. It's as simple as that. As always, yields are tiny by Chablis standards,
about 28 hectoliters for the 2012 1er Crus. In 2012 the harvest took place between September 24 and October 9.
Pico is among the last growers to harvest, so his wines are marked by considerable textural richness. Long elevage
follows, with just one racking when the wines are moved into tank about six months before bottling. In recent years,
Pico has gradually begun to work with larger barrels in order to preserve as much freshness as possible. A disciple
of Olivier De Moor, Pico's wines are every bit as brilliant as those of his mentor. Readers who can find the 2012s
should not hesitate, as they are the most impressive wines Thomas Pico has ever made.
2012 Domaine Pattes Loup/Thomas Pico Chablis: Chablis
The 2012 Chablis is gorgeous. Bright, saline notes jump from the glass in an
intensely mineral, layered Chablis loaded with class and personality. Hints of
sage, licorice and hazelnut develop later, but it is the wine's vibrancy that stands
out most. The 2012 will offer immense pleasure upon release. It is a terrific effort
from Thomas Pico. This is the only Pattes Loup wine done in tank. The 2012 was bottled
in February 2014.
2012 Domaine Pattes Loup/Thomas Pico Chablis: Côtes de Jouan
Thomas Pico's 2012 Chablis Côtes de Jouan is soft, supple and hugely delicious to the core.
Ripe apricot, peach, cinnamon and crushed rock blossom in a Chablis built on pure texture
and resonance. Bright saline notes kick in the finish, adding a further layer of complexity
to this striking Chablis. As always, the Côtes de Jouan is the most overt and forward of the
wines at Pattes Loup. Thomas Pico's preference for picking late comes through noticeably here.
2012 Domaine Pattes Loup/Thomas Pico Chablis: Vaillons
The 2012 Chablis Vaillons is an addition to the range made from purchased fruit pulled from a site
farmed according to the same biodynamic principles Pico follows in his own vineyards. Today, the 2012
is very much closed in on itself, which is unusual for Vaillons, a southeast facing site that often
yields more radiant wines. Dried pear, licorice and spice notes gradually open up in the glass. Although
quite pretty, the 2012 isn't quite as deep or resonant as the best wines in the range. Hopefully that will
come as Pico works with this fruit in subsequent vintages.
2012 Domaine Pattes Loup/Thomas Pico Chablis: Beauregard
A gorgeous, totally expressive wine, the 2012 Chablis Beauregard sizzles on the palate with intense,
piercing acidity and fabulous overall balance. This is one of the brighter, more intensely saline wines
in the range. With time in the glass, the fruit begins to open up, adding texture and richness to the
underlying beams of minerality. In 2012, the Beauregard is marked by a real sense of phenolic weight
and richness, with distinct red-fruit overtones that are impossible to miss.
2012 Domaine Pattes Loup/Thomas Pico Chablis: Butteaux
All of the elements of Pico style come together in the 2012 Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux, a wine that
brings together considerable depth in its fruit along with bright, expressive minerality. All the
elements fall into place in a gracious, deeply expressive Chablis bursting with pure class. Slate,
silex and crushed rocks add brightness and tension on the close. Readers who can find the 2012 should
not hesitate; it is striking. This is without question one of the truly great wines of the vintage.