The Wines of Pascal Clément, Bourgogne, France

Born into a family of growers and winemakers, Pascal Clément had more than 20 vintages working experience in Bourgogne before he started his own project in 2012. Based in Savigny-les-Beaune, where he owns a half hectare organic vineyard, he farms 10 hectares across 29 appellations in Bourgogne for his wines. 80% of his production is white wine, a passion honed by his years of winemaking at Coche Dury, amongst others. He farms with no chemicals, does native ferment in older, larger barrels, employs MLF (save for the warm 2015 vintage, see below), and never uses bâtonnage in his wines, leaving them on full lees after pressing.

I visited Pascal in his cellar in summer 2019, and again in late February 2020, and have had the opportunity to recently taste through new releases.

Pascal Clément Bourgogne Chardonnay 2020, Bourgogne, France
From Savigny-les-Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune, and Puligny, this was native fermented in foudres, where it was held for a year. Streamlined yet creamy, with a lees-decked palate livened with lemon pith and peel, and ample stony salinity, finishing with a lick of flint. Youthful, juicy, and bright, this is shining now. 91/100

Pascal Clément Rully Les Cailloux 2019, Bourgogne, France
From Rully’s rocky, cool soils, this youthful wine is packed with struck stone, lemon, cream, subtle white blossoms coursing along a generous palate, bracketed with fine spice and brightened with easy acidity, benefitting from the 2019 vintage. Drinking well now, especially with richer dishes. 91/100

Pascal Clément Saint Romain 2016, Bourgogne, France
From Saint Romain, a region larger and less well known than Saint-Aubin (thus a hidden gem for value-seekers). This is a powerful white, expansive on the medium-bodied palate, with candle wax, perfumed white florals, pear, and driving mineral salts through the long finish. Great energy and verve. Very youthful still. 92/100

Pascal Clément Savigny-les-Beaunes Dessus Les Vermots 2017, Bourgogne, France
From the top of Savigny’s hills, and a cooler, wind-swept site, this is pointed and tight, with a welcome lick of reduction up front. Nimble and taut, with flecks of pencil lead, this is very juicy, saline, and mouthwatering, long in the mouth with lingering mineral salts. Powerful, yet fresh, this is drinking stunning now, but will age beautifully. 93/100

Pascal Clément Meursault 2018, Bourgogne, France
True to style, and vintage, this is a full, powerful white, with lemon curd, brown butter, and green apple layered with toasted hazelnuts. There is a brace of acidity which holds this aloft, through a lingering, nutty, saline finish. Drink now, with butter drawn crab, or let rest in your cellar. 91/100

Pascal Clément Meursault Les Narvaux 2016, Bourgogne, France
From the cooler pocket of Narvaux, on white marl and limestone soils, this fuller wine has stunning ample cut, with tight green apple, crystalline lemon, and quartz chiseling through lemon curd and fresh hazelnuts on the streamline palate, finishing with ample salinity. This is such a pristine wine now, with focus atypical of the appellation, but which speaks to the site. Striking drinking now. 93/100

Pascal Clément Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Vide Bourse 2015, Bourgogne, France
In the warm 2015 vintage, Pascal stopped MLF on his whites, which is usually employed. Vide Bourse is smartly located under Bâtard Montrachet, and a great mix between the brilliance of Puligny and the richness of Chassagne. Ripe and rich, with toasted hazelnuts, lemon curd, cream, elastic, shaped by green and yellow apple, and lingering with flake salts. A more upfront, powerful and attention grabbing style. 92/100

Pascal Clément Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Baudines 2015, Bourgogne, France
In the warn 2015 vintage, Pascal stopped MLF on his whites, to preserve brightness. This comes from a mid slope plot in Chassagne Montrachet’s 1er Cru Les Baudines (the highest altitude on Chassagne), situated on the edge of Santenay. This rested 16 months in older barriques. Chiseled and shining, with lemon pith, green apple, fresh hazelnuts, flake salts livened with a brace of stony minerality, and lined with a layer of flinty lees. The finish lingers with mineral salts, encouraging glass after glass. A striking 2015, drinking beautifully now and with time ahead. 93/100

Pascal Clément Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chalumeaux 2017, Bourgogne, France
From a plot on the edge with Meursault, on an old quarry’s rocky, skeletal soils, this is a striking example of Puligny Montrachet. Tight and nimble up front, this opens into a flint lined, structural white, with lemon pith and blossoms, almonds, and fine cream on the core, and ample minerality leading to a lengthy, super saline finish. Great tension throughout, this grows in the glass, and will continue to impress with cellaring. 94/100

Pascal Clément Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2017, Bourgogne, France
From 15 year old vines in a very cool climat of Pernand-Vergelesses, this whole bunch Chardonnay was native fermented and aged 16 months in older wood. Powerful and dense and dynamic, with toasted hazelnuts, lemon curd, ample flint, crystalline lemon peel, wrapped around a green apple core. Though quite impactful on the palate, it is shaped and sharpened with a brace of broken stony minerality which lingers long on the finish. Still very much in youth, give this time to open now, or better yet, hold in your cellar for 5-10 years. 94/100

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Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]