Weekend Vinopolpick- February 15

February 15, 2014
Henri Boillot
From Maison to Domaine

The Boillots have been making wine since 1855, with 5 generations of winemakers spreading throughout the Cote D’Or, creating a web of Boillot wineries across Burgundy.  While some Boillots are continuing their family’s traditions and some have struck out on their own; Henri Boillot is a little bit of both. At first leaving the domaine his grandfather started behind to find his own style, Henri has now returned home and continues to make his mark in his family’s long history of stellar wines.

After working and learning at his family’s property (Domaine Jean Boillot) for more than a decade, Henri quit in 1984 to launch his own negociant business, aiming to produce more concentrated and powerful Pinots and Chardonnays. His wines were soon recognized with great acclaim by the press, and after impressing his father, Jean Boillot, Henri rejoined the family domaine in Volnay.  When Jean Boillot retired, he passed on his estate to Henri.  Henri bought out his brother, Jean-Marc Boillot, and quickly changed the name of the winery to Domaine Henri Boillot to eliminate confusion between the two, while also continuing his negociant business, Maison Henri Boillot out of Meursault. In the very short space of time since, Henri has built an extraordinary reputation for the sheer quality and variety of his wines.

Whether the wine emanates from one of the various family-owned plots (Domaine labeled), or is sourced from one of Boillot’s dozens of managed sites (Maison labeled, or simply labeled as Henri Boillot),  Henri makes stunning wines that receive praise with every new vintage. Today, Domaine Henri Boillot consists of 14 hectares evenly split between white and red. Henri’s wines include several Premier Crus from Meursault (Les Poruzots, Les Charmes, Les Genevrières, Les Perrières),  Puligny Montrachet (les Folatières, les Perrières, les Pucelles), Chassagne-Montrachet (Chevenottes, Embrazees), Volnay and Savigny-les-Beaune, including the impressive and exclusive Les Mouchères monopole in Puligny-Montrachet.  From village level to Grand Cru, Boillot’s wines are revered as intense, structured, and extremely age-worthy.

The cuverie(left) and the massive barrel room (right) where all of Henri’s wines are made and stored

A perfectionist above all, Henri oversees all viticultural practices throughout the growing season. He avoids insecticides and herbicides, preferring sustainable farming techniques to preserve the integrity of the soil. Vines are pruned heavily in the spring to ensure low yields, the fruit of his vines harvested as late as possible to ensure maximum maturity. The wines of Maison Henri Boillot are produced using the same practices as the Domaine Henri Boillot bottlings. As much care, if not more, goes into their vineyard management, with the negociant 1er and Grand Crus sourced from vineyards with a single proprietor to preserve the authenticity of the wines. Since 2007, with the exception of the Clos de Beze property, Henri oversees every aspect of the production, including harvesting, in every vineyard he works from, holding each site to his strict standards.

The quality of these wines is testimony to the steadfast work Henri does in both the vineyards and cellar to produce wines that are excellent examples of Burgundy’s most celebrated sites. White grapes are gently crushed to avoid bitterness, and fermentation is done in 350-liter barrels (larger than the classic French barrique) to retain freshness and minerality. Entirely hand harvested, the red grapes must pass through two rounds on the sorting table to ensure that only perfect berries make the cut. During a relatively long fermentation (up to 30 days), the skins are regularly punched down to extract maximum flavor and color. The Pinots are aged in barriques for 18 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

In 2006, Henri’s son Guillaume joined his father after completing a degree in viticulture and winemaking. As of 2011, Henri and Guillaume, have moved production of all wines to Meursalt to consolidate their facility and lessen confusion between the bottlings. With father and son working side by side in the vineyard and the cellar, the already established quality of Henri Boillot’s wine is sure to continue. As Robert Parker neatly stated of one of the domaine’s recent vintages, “As a group these wines showed vibrancy, excellent acidity, genuine vineyard character, and they tasted damn good too! ..In every case, the Boillot wines served as excellent representatives of the fundamental character one has come to expect from these vineyards.”

We are pleased to provide an array of Henri Boillot’s bottlings, organized below by availability and vintage.

Wines in Stock and Available Now:

Domaine Henri Boillot Beaune Clos du Roi 2005 ($109.95) $89 special 3 bottles available
Burghound 90 Points “A completely different aromatic presents itself here with strawberry and raspberry aromas introducing very rich, dense and beautifully textured flavors that are supple yet serious, underpinned by ripe structural elements and a lovely, long and deep finish. A very pretty effort that is generous and balanced.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay Caillerets 2009 ($169.95) $135 special 10 bottles available
Burghound 93 Points 
“Very mild reduction suppresses the red berry fruit somewhat but the notes of mocha, plum, stone and spice still shine through. The rich, minerally and impressively concentrated flavors brim with dry extract that buffers the solid tannic spine on the elegant, pure and balanced finish. Lovely.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Beaune Clos du Roi 2009 ($119.95) $89 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 Points
 “Saturated medium ruby. Deep aromas of kirsch, smoke, minerals, flowers and earth are reticent but pure. Big, rich and broad, with harmonious acidity framing the black cherry, chocolate and leather flavors. This classic, complete Beaune wine spreads out to saturate the palate, with lush tannins reaching the front teeth. Quite thick in the style of the vintage but without any excess weight.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Pommard 2010 ($59.95) $49 special 23 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
 “The 2010 Pommard is pure sensuality. Sweet roses, dark red fruit and spices wrap around the palate in this supple, refined wine. The Pommard impresses for its elegance and richness. It is a beautiful and highly representative 2010. Sweet floral notes linger on the finish. The Pommard is made from vines in Clos Blanc, a 1er Cru vineyard. – Henri Boillot turned out a superb set of 2010 reds. Best of all, readers won’t have to shell out a fortune to enjoy them, as a number of the more modestly priced wines far exceed the quality of their respective appellations”

Henri Boillot Chassagne -Montrachet 2010 ($59.95) $47 special  14 bottles available   
“This is notably earthy as well but here the earth character is different and not quite as pungent. There is a trace of SO2 sitting atop the almond and pear suffused nose that introduces rich, round and concentrated flavors that are not especially refined but possess plenty of personality, all wrapped in a delicious, intense and bone dry finish where a hint of saltiness surfaces. Worth considering.”

Henri Boillot Chassagne Embrazees 2010 ($99.95) $79 special   17 bottles available
Burghound 92 Points
 “An elegant and attractively cool nose of stone, pear and citrus nuances gives way to well-delineated and energetic flavors that terminate in a cuts-like-a-knife and mineral-inflected finish. This is also very dry with fine complexity and almost Chablis-like salinity on the balanced backend.”

Henri Boillot Criots-Batard Montrachet 2010 ($249.95) $199 special  5 bottles available
Burghound 93 Points 
“Moderate wood frames ripe, dense and expressive yellow orchard fruit that also evidences discreet notes of exotic elements. The equally well-concentrated, powerful and imposingly scaled flavors possess an abundance of palate soaking dry extract, indeed so much so that this displays an almost chewy mouth feel on the massively persistent finish. This is not at present extraordinarily complex though there is so much material that my score offers the benefit of the doubt that it will develop in time as this will need at least a decade to arrive at its peak.”

Henri Boillot Bienvenues- Batard Montrachet 2010 ($299.95)$239 special   2 bottles available
Burghound 95 Points
 “Very mild reduction moderately reduces the expressiveness of the honeysuckle, white peach and pear suffused nose. There is unusually good underlying tension to the precise and lightly mineral suffused medium weight plus flavors that culminate in an almost painfully intense, driving and tautly muscular finish where a touch of wood surfaces. Within the context of the appellation, this is a powerful and unusually linear Bienvenues that has no trouble standing up to the Bâtard in terms of intensity if not size and weight, something that is rarely the case.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Savigny les Beuane Les Lavieres 2011 ($69.95) $49 special 36  bottles available
Burghound 89 Points 
“A pungently earthy nose of lightly spiced plum and various dark pinot fruit aromas leads to energetic and well-detailed flavors that exude a fine minerality on the delicious and solidly persistent finish. I like the mouth feel as it’s relatively fine and about the only nit is a bit of gas so I would suggest decanting this if you’re going to try a bottle young.”

Henri Boillot Chassagne- Montrachet Chaumees 2010 ($89.95) $69 special  9 bottles available
Burghound 91 Points 
‘OUTSTANDING’ “This is aromatically quite different from the Embrazées with an exceptionally pure and cool nose that features extract of white orchard fruit, lemon zest, wet stone and subtle spice nuances. There is a sophisticated mouth feel to the generous yet refined middle weight flavors that possess a remarkably well-delineated, even chiseled finish that avoids any hint of austerity.”

Henri Boillot Chassagne- Montrachet Embrazees 2011 ($79.95) $69 special   24 bottles available
Burghound 90 Points
 “A discreet application of oak surrounds the notably ripe aromas of several different yellow orchard fruit scents along with hints of the exotic. There is an appealing succulence to the broad-scaled flavors that manage to retain a fine sense of detail on the lightly mineral-driven, saline and vibrant finish. If this can add a bit more depth with time in the cellar my score may prove to be overly conservative.”

Henri Boillot Chassagne- Montrachet Chaumees 2011 ($84.95) $69 special 24 bottles available
Burghound 91 Points
 ‘OUTSTANDING’ “This is aromatically quite different from the Embrazées with an exceptionally pure and cool nose that features extract of white orchard fruit, lemon zest, wet stone and subtle spice nuances. There is a sophisticated mouth feel to the generous yet refined middle weight flavors that possess a remarkably well-delineated, even chiseled finish that avoids any hint of austerity.”

Henri Boillot Meursault Charmes 2011($99.95) $79 special  22 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 Points
 “Pale, bright yellow-green.  Subtle aromas of lemon, vanilla, white flowers and hawthorn.  Silky and creamy on the palate, with a fine-grained texture and a touch of salinity.  A delicate style of Charmes with an understated, slowly building finish.  All in finesse.”

Henri Boillot Meursault Poruzot 2011 ($99.95) $75 special     24 bottles available
Burghound 91 Points
 ‘OUTSTANDING “This is quite floral with additional aromas of white peach, yellow orchard fruit and resin. There is good volume and plenty of power to the sappy and mouth coating medium weight plus flavors that possess fine depth and excellent persistence. This is a big but balanced wine and very Poruzots in character.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Clos Moucheres 2011($109.95) $88 special 21 bottles available    Burghound 94 Points ‘DON’T MISS! OUTSTANDING’ “A very mild hint of reduction reduces the expressiveness of the otherwise cool and pure floral, citrus rind, stone and soft spice notes. There is plenty of volume to the rich, intense and mouth coating middle weight flavors that exude a fine minerality on the gorgeously complex, strikingly well-delineated and bone dry finish. This saline-infused and clearly built-to-age effort is spectacular.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Perrieres 2011 ($109.95) $88 special    26 bottles available
Burghound 93 Points
 ‘SWEET SPOT OUTSTANDING’ “A cool and pure nose features notes of citrus peel, pear, apple, wet stone and white peach. There is a lovely sense of refinement and underlying tension to the medium-bodied flavors that also coat the mouth with plenty of dry extract before culminating a saline mineral-driven finish. This is terrific.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Pucelles 2011 ($119.95) $99 special   14 bottles available
Burghound 94 Points
 ‘DON’T MISS! OUTSTANDING’ “A strikingly well-layered, elegant and pure nose of honeysuckle, apple, pear and notably ripe white orchard fruit aromas are trimmed in soft wood. There is a lovely sense of freshness to the cool and restrained yet succulent medium weight flavors that possess a highly sophisticated mouth feel before terminating in a balanced, classy and stunningly intense finish. This offers absolutely crystalline purity and epitomizes Pucelles at its finest.”

Henri Boillot Criots-Batard Montrachet 2011 ($269.95) $219 special   12 bottles available  
Burghound 93 Points “This is notably riper than the Caillerets with overtly exotic dried yellow fruit, spice and floral aromas. There is outstanding richness to the powerful and broad-shouldered flavors that possess a distinctly muscular mouth feel before culminating in an opulent, clean and very dry finish. This retains a fine sense of balance and while there is certainly fine complexity, it isn’t at the same level as displayed by the other grands crus in the range.”

Henri Boillot Bienvenues- Batard Montrachet 2011($299.95)$249 special  12 bottles available
Burghound 94 Points 
“This is also notably ripe but the aromas do not run to the exotic as the honeysuckle, apricot, white peach and subtle spice notes are entirely classic. There is an appealing succulence to the delicious, intense and strikingly fine medium-bodied flavors and while there is certainly a sense of focused power present on the long, clean and refined finish, this is essentially a Bienvenues of finesse.”

Henri Boillot Batard Montrachet 2011 ($349.95) $299 special  9 bottles available
Burghound 95 Points
 ‘DON’T MISS!’ “There is just enough reduction present to suppress the nose though it seems reasonably clear that it is both ripe and clean. There is superb size, weight and mid-palate density to the mouth coating big-bodied flavors that ooze dry extract that does a fine job of buffering the firm acid spine on the very dry, even saline-infused finish. While I would call this a wine of finesse in the same vein as the Bienvenues, it is relatively fine in the context of the appellation. Either way, this delivers outstanding quality though be aware that it’s going to need plenty of cellar time.”

Pre-Arrival Wines, Arriving Friday, February 21st: 

Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay 2010 ($59.95) $49 special     5+ cases avilable
Burghound 90 Points ‘OUTSTANDING TOP VALUE’ “This is more aromatically reserved with an elegant nose of red and dark pinot fruit, earth and an interesting note of smoked tea. There is even more refinement to the mouth feel of the lightly mineral-infused medium-bodied flavors that possess a dusty and rather serious finish of impeccable balance and persistence. This may be labeled as a villages but it’s easily of 1er quality.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Savigny les Beaune Les Lavieres 2010 ($59.95) $49 special 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90-92 Points
 “The 2010 Savigny-les-Beaune Les Lavieres boasts striking inner perfume and an expressive core of dark red fruit. This is another big wine within the context of its appellation, but the balance is first-rate. Layers of fruit continue to build to the powerful, textured finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Beaune Clos du Roi 2010 ($74.95) $59 special    6 bottles available
Burghound 91 Points & Wine Advocate 89-91 Points
 “The 2010 Beaune Clos du Roi is a huge wine bursting with dark cherries, plums, menthol and spices. Firm, yet silky tannins frame the intense, powerful finish. This is Boillot’s first plot to ripen. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay Chevrets 2011 ($99.95) $77 special      23 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 Points 
“Bright red-ruby.  Rather brooding aromas of cassis, blackberry, smoke and licorice are pure and discreet.  Surprisingly rich on entry, then lush and seamless in the middle, but with very good acidity framing and lifting the black fruit and game flavors.  The powerful, rising finish features building tannins and a distinct thick-skinned character.  The old vines in Boillot’s parcel were strongly affected by millerandage, which largely explains this wine’s extra measure of texture and concentration.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay Fremiets 2011 ($99.95) $77 special  24 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 Points
 “Deep red-ruby.  Highly perfumed, musky aromas of black raspberry and smoky minerality.  Large-scaled, round and rich but not yet complex; less creamy and fine-grained than the Chevrets, showing a youthful toughness from the calcaire-rich soil.  Despite the fact that this was the first pinot parcel Boillot picked in 2011, this wine relies more on its big, ripe tannins than on its acids for balance.  Really saturates the palate on the aftertaste.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay Caillerets 2011 ($119.95) $99 special    17 bottles available
Burghound 94 Points 
‘DON’T MISS! OUTSTANDING’ “In contrast to the jovial expressiveness of the prior wines this is much more reserved with its ripe yet cool aromas of dark berry fruit liqueur, spice and wet stone. The silky and equally cool and restrained middle weight flavors offer outstanding definition on the rich, energetic and hugely long saline-infused finish. This is one seriously impressive Caillerets but note well that it’s built to age.”

 Henri Boillot Volnay Santenots 2011 ($119.95) $99 special 24 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 Points
 “Deep red-ruby.  Black raspberry, dark chocolate, game and a wild hint of leather on the nose, with a floral element emerging with air.  Sweet, rich, broad and deep, boasting a velour-like, utterly mouthfilling texture that’s rare for the vintage.  Excellent acidity gives this firmly tannic, very long wine terrific energy and lift.  Very strong Santenots.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Meursault Genevrieres 2011 ($119.95) $99 special    6 bottles available
Burghound 94 Points
 ‘OUTSTANDING’ “A naturally exotic nose of green apple, pear, acacia blossom and green tea aromas is very much in keeping with the detailed, highly energetic and mineral-laden middle weight flavors that are blessed with an abundance of palate coating dry extract. This classy effort delivers outstanding length and I very much like the understated style.”

Henri Boillot Pommard Rugiens 2011 ($119.95) $99 special      24 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 Points
 “Bright dark red with ruby highlights.  Noble perfume of redcurrant, tobacco, mint, spices and medicinal herbs.  Peppery, spicy and dynamic; not at all a thick style but light on its feet and youthfully imploded.  Finishes very long and subtle, with a medicinal juicy element and a very firm tannic backbone.  This will need extended bottle aging.”

Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Combettes 2011 ($119.95) $99 special  36 bottles available
Burghound 93 Points
 ‘SWEET SPOT OUTSTANDING’ “(the first vintage of this wine for Boillot, following his recent purchase of this parcel):  Pale green-tinged color.  Sexy aromas of lemon, lime, ripe stone fruits and hazelnut.  Lush and fine-grained, with silky flavors of stone fruits and hazelnut.  Can’t quite match the Folatieres for finesse, but this has more volume and power.”

Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Caillerets 2011 ($149.95) $119 special 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93-95 Points
 “Another of the more intense wines here, the 2011 Puligny-Montrachet Les Caillerets stands out for its huge, extroverted personality. There is a pure drive and resonance in the aromas and flavors that is quite unusual for the vintage. Expressive yellow stone fruits, smoke and crushed rocks blossom on the large-scaled, muscular finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014+.”