Domaine Philippe Gilbert, 2018 Update

Having already extolled the virtues of Domaine Pellé and La Tour Saint-Martin, two leading domaines in the Menetou-Salon appellation on which I recently reported (here and here), it is only correct that I come now to Philippe Gilbert.

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe (pictured above) runs a very different type of domaine; although comparable in size to La Tour Saint-Martin (it is somewhat smaller than Domaine Pellé), the approach to viticulture here is somewhat different, as Philippe is entirely committed to biodynamics. He certified as such in 2013. The wines are great, as indeed are those made by Paul-Henry Pellé and Bertrand Minchin, who both sit on the cusp between conventional and organic viticulture. I see this as evidence that quality can be achieved with a variety of viticultural and winemaking philosophies, not just biodynamic or organic.

The Wines

I tasted wines from the 2015 and 2014 vintages with Philippe, as well as a couple of curiosities from the 2017 vintage. In white, the 2015 Les Chandelières, from an ancient clos once associated with the Abbaye Saint-Sulpice in Bourges, was particularly impressive, carrying a smoky and reductive character that feels true to the Gilbert style, but which also carries a vibrant acidity which seemed top notch for the 2015 vintage. The 2015 Renardières, a Vin de France as it was refused the agrément for the Menetou-Salon appellation for having 5 g/l residual sugar, was a step or too behind it.

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