Francois Carillon, Puligny-Montrachet 2017

Francois Carillon


François began working with his father Louis Carillon in 1988. Fascinated, from the outset, by the vines and their environment, the vineyard became François’ main focus and remains paramount today, providing optimal ingredients in the cellar. A viticulturalist of the highest quality, he believes passionately that t e quality of wine is determined in the vineyard – music to our ears. The 6.5 hectares currently in production are farmed to lutte integrée principles; that is organically, but with the option to treat the vines if the circumstances demand it. No weed-killers are used, just ploughing, either by horse or tractor, and a mushroom-based top-dressing. Production is controlled from the outset with a strict pruning regime, followed by de-budding, the vines trained to optimise photosynthesis. The small, dedicated, dynamic team is driven by respect for the vineyard. François dismisses his work in the cellar as “traditional” – it’s impeccable, the use of oak perfectly balance "White flowers on the nose, taut and chiselled, leading into a wonderfully saline, mineral, textured palate, which has both intense, expressive fruit and a super-fine, detailed structure. It comes to a point beautifully on the finish, with brisk acidity complementing a sense of driven persistence." Petersham Cellar tasting note (16.09.20) "..showing well from bottle, wafting from the glass with a lovely bouquet of fresh pear, peach, white flowers and wheat toast. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and racy, with a charming and expressive core of fruit, fine tension and a mineral finish. " 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate "A more complex and much more floral-inflected nose reveals notes of citrus peel, spice, green apple and a whiff of oak toast. The denser if still quite seductively textured middle weight flavors possess an abundance of sappy dry extract that coats the palate on the lingering and equally complex finale. " 91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound "Light pale lemon. The nose is gentle, graceful, and immediately accessible. This is quite a classic on the palate, not too much sucrosity but a good steely backbone and a precise finish. Tasted: December 2018." 90pts Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy

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France – the home of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire and Champagne – is arguably the world's most important wine-producing country. For centuries, it has produced wine in greater quantity – and of reportedly greater quality – than any other nation. Wine is ingrained in French culture at almost every level of society; it is the drink of both the elite and the common people, and a key symbol in Roman Catholicism, France's majority religion.

The diversity of French wine is due, in part, to the country's wide range of climates. Champagne, its most northerly region, has one of the coolest climates anywhere in the wine-growing world – in stark contrast to the warm, dry Rhone Valley 350 miles (560km) away in the southeast. Bordeaux, in the southwest, has a maritime climate heavily influenced by the Atlantic ocean to its west and the various rivers that wind their way between its vineyards. Far from any oceanic influence, eastern regions such as Burgundy and Alsace have a continental climate, with warm, dry summers and cold winters. In France's deep south, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon enjoy a definitively Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and relatively mild winters.

France's appellation system was created in the early 20th century and has since been imitated in many other countries. This complex system of laws ultimately defines each wine region and its boundaries and imposes strict rules around winemaking practices. Protecting the names of French wines and guaranteeing the quality and provenance of the products themselves are its key objectives. No other country has developed its appellation system to such an extent; as of 2012, there were more than 450 controlled appellations under the AOC titles and a further 150 Vin de Pays/IGP titles.



The Burgundy wine region in central-eastern France, near the city of Dijon, is built on centuries of winemaking tradition, with close historical links to the monasteries. Burgundy’s patchwork quilt of vineyards and associated terroirs – or ‘climats‘ – gained UNESCO world heritage status in July 2015.

Burgundy wines come from several distinct sub-regions, each with its own particular character. Four of these are located at the heart of Burgundy, in a narrow strip running for 75 miles (120km) between the towns of Dijon and Macon. From north to south they are the Cote d'Or (comprising the Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune), the Cote Chalonnaise and the Maconnais.

Chablis, situated in an isolated pocket of limestone hills in north-western Burgundy, produces white wines so distinct in style from those of central Burgundy that it is often treated as a region in its own right.

The two key grape varieties of Burgundy are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both members of the extended 'Pinot' family of grape varieties. Their 'poor cousins' Gamay and Aligote are also grown throughout the region, producing more rustic styles of wine. Gamay is used in the red and rosé wines of Macon, while Aligote has its own appellation in the form of Bourgogne Aligote. In the late 14th century, the first Duke of Burgundy outlawed Gamay, dismissing it as unfit for consumption. It was still permitted within the Rhone administrative region, however, where it found a new home in Beaujolais.

The Burgundian climate is predominantly continental, with relatively short summers and cool winters, making it a challenge for the grapes to ripen fully. The greatest threats for Burgundy’s grape-growers – especially those in Chablis – are spring frosts and hail, which can cause great damage to flowering vines. The landscape here is characterized by its limestone soils, manifested either in rolling hills, steep, sharp valleys or rocky outcrops. These soils are of immense importance to the character of Burgundy’s wines, bringing a quintessential minerality and complexity – particularly to the white wines. In fact, along with considerations of orientation, it is the precise soil make-up of the best Burgundy vineyards that brings them the honor of Premier Cru or Grand Cru status