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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
20 Jan 2012

From €13 a bottle or £150 a dozen in bond

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Patrick Javillier is a thoughtful Meursault producer who makes some of the most consistent white burgundies, always refining what he does with the fruit of his well-kept vineyards. He is also lucky enough to have at least one of his two daughters, Marion, already working at the family domaine.

Patrick's father was a courtier (broker) who was, I learn from Bill Nanson's new book The Finest Wines of Burgundy, particularly well connected via the late Harry Waugh to British wine merchants. This perhaps helps to explain how Patrick, who now concentrates on wine production, sells to such a wide range of UK importers. For years he has done heavy duty behind many a tasting table throughout London's Burgundy week. His wines are usually chock full of charm and flavour, so the crisp acidity of 2010 suits them well. Lees contact has long been a cornerstone of élevage in this ex courtier's well-kept, well-lit cellars.

One of his best-value wines is Domaine Patrick Javillier, Cuvée Oligocène 2010 Bourgogne Blanc, made from 30-year-old vines in Les Pellans lieu-dit to the west of Meursault village towards Puligny which, unusually, is classified partly in the Meursault appellation and partly as Bourgogne Blanc. He is lucky enough to have 0.75 ha of Les Pellans. enough to make this wine in reasonable quantity, and the mineral-infused wine is so called because the vineyard is based on ancient Oligocene deposits under brown limestone.

This wine is being offered widely en primeur for around £150 a dozen bottles in bond and, unlike some Bourgogne Blancs, it is actually suitable for primeur offers. Although it is (just) bottled, and carries the humble Bourgogne appellation, it continues to evolve for many a year in bottle. I would drink this highly successful vintage between 2013 and 2017. At OW Loeb's tasting I had proof of the unusual ageing potential of even his relatively modest wines when he gave me a taste of his Meursault Tillets 1992 from a bottle he had been brought by a fellow taster. It was still, if not exactly in the first flush of youth, much more youthful than you would expect from a village wine at nearly 20 years old.

Think of this wine as a particularly well-priced Meursault. It has the most wonderful combination of richness and tension with great lusciousness, not a sign of the sort of lack of juice that plagues a few 2010 white burgundies. It benefits from both racy acidity and the structure to last.

The image is from Berry Bros' website where I learnt, via Jasper Morris MW, that this particular cuvée was picked relatively early in 2010 - and certainly hasn't suffered as a result.

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