The last time I saw Philippe Billard, I was lucky. It was the summer of 2015 and I sent him an email at the last minute when another appointment was cancelled. Amazingly, he answered right away confirming our appointment. I had no idea at that point how lucky I was because after returning home, it took another 25 emails and one very awkward phone conversation (as neither of us really speaks the other’s language!) to finally get some wine sent.
He apologized profusely for the delay but he explained that he is a one man show, farming the vines, making the wines, seeing guys like me in the cellar….for a 60-something year old guy, it’s an absolutely insane work ethic.
That dedication was pretty clear at our tasting, a whirlwind exploration of the best vineyards of Pommard. Like that work ethic, Philippe’s wines are old-school, structured wines, built for the long-haul. Needless to say, I left there a huge fan.
His latest library release, direct from the domaine, is the 1er cru Pezerolles The total production was nuts, 3 barrels max, a casualty of hail at flowering. Despite that setback from Mother Nature, what she left on the vine was pretty special. Of all wines I tasted with Philippe that fateful day, this one was most elegant, a high-toned Pommard with great aromatic complexity, fine texture and great length.
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