Although François Carillon set up on his own in the village of Puligny-Montrachet only in 2010, various branches of the Carillon family have been growing grapes on the Côte de Beaune since at least 1611 and Carillon today remains an important name in Puligny-Montrachet. François is taking the Carillon name to a new world of Chardonnay lovers, even if his five-hectare operation is typically boutique sized.
Francois Carillon Bourgogne Blanc is made from vines up to 50 years old from three vineyards – two in Puligny and one in nearby Meursault. Like all Carillon Chardonnays, it is fermented and then matured in oak for a year, followed by six months in large vats before bottling. The result is definitive Chardonnay – pale gold in colour, with gentle citrus flavours and a hint of smoky oak, richness balanced by a fine acid structure and accompanying minerality.
Jancis Robinson MW is a keen follower. She says: ‘I cannot think of any Burgundian grower more energetic than François Carillon…’
Light golden colour, limpid and crystalline, often with greenish highlights. In the Yonne, Bourgogne blanc often develops aromas of gunflint or field mushroom. In the Côte-d’Or it is hazelnut with a hint of honey, butter, bracken, spices and sugared chestnuts. In the Saône-et-Loire notes of white flowers (hawthorn, acacia) and flint abound. On the palate it is aromatic, delicate but not over-light, full without being heavy, unctuous and firm, dry and caressing, well-rounded and quite deep, not overly structured yet persistent.