Although François Carillon set up on his own in the village of Puligny-Montrachet only in 2010, various branches of the Carillon family have been growing grapes on the Côte de Beaune since at least 1611 and Carillon today remains an important name in Puligny-Montrachet. François is taking the Carillon name to a new world of Chardonnay lovers, even if his five-hectare operation is typically boutique sized. Francois Carillon Bourgogne Blanc is made from vines up to 50 years old from three vineyards – two in Puligny and one in nearby Meursault. Like all Carillon Chardonnays, it is fermented and then matured in oak for a year, followed by six months in large vats before bottling. The result is definitive Chardonnay – pale gold in colour, with gentle citrus flavours and a hint of smoky oak, richness balanced by a fine acid structure and accompanying minerality. Jancis Robinson MW is a keen follower. She says: ‘I cannot think of any Burgundian grower more energetic than François Carillon…’
Soft and round… Sound with some substance. Drink 2016-2018. 16/20 points, Jancis Robinson.
2014 is a fantastic vintage for white Burgundy, the best we can remember, and this is the time to catch the Bourgogne Blancs, because they are really strutting their stuff at the moment and the good ones are outstripping their status at the bottom of the hierarchy. This beauty from François Carillon has a stylish array of aromas, with a hint of struck match, an impression of snapped flower stems, wild garlic, white oak, grapefruit and yellow plums. If you took a gamble on this in a restaurant, and picked it instead of a village wine, you'd give yourself a little fist pump under the table for being so clever. The palate has plenty of substance for a humble Bourgogne Blanc, with plenty of expression and a fine line of acidity… Drink now-2019. Vincognito (UK).
...vivacious fresh fruit and engaging savoury flavours. A concoction of lemon and lime that has satisfying concentration and some drive. Highly recommended. Decanter (Dec. 2016, UK).
Domaine Francois Carillon's Bourgogne Chardonnay is made from vines of up to 50 years old, from three different sites – two parcels in Puligny and one in Meursault. Very pretty fruit, apple compote and warm sponge cake, refreshed by lemon zest. This has lovely balance, vanilla biscuit richness, freshness, together with an attractive air of vitality and determined focus, through to a persistent finish. Corney & Barrow (UK).
I cannot think of any Burgundian grower more energetic than François Carillon in Puligny-Montrachet. Each of my visits there over the last three or four years has been to a building site, whose scope seems ever more ambitious every year. It's easy to find the domaine; just look for the crane. This is the viticulturist brother of the two who used to run Domaine Louis Carillon. Winemaker Jacques is a quieter character in much quieter premises across the street. He now has a total of 10.5 ha (26 acres) but François inherited five hectares from the old family domaine, and the two brothers spent considerable time preparing for the sharing out. Macherelles and Perrières are the only vineyards shared between the two of them. François already seems to be thinking of the future with a son at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune. His first proper vintage solo was 2010. He used two (very similar) labels, one for his own vines, and one for the vines he rents. Much is made of the date, 1611, when his house was built. Carillon is no great believer in new oak, using a usual maximum of 10%. He describes 2014 as 'easy to grow (Chardonnay grapes were of no interest to the pesky Asian fruit fly) and easy to make – unless you were hailed. Jancis Robinson (2016).
Light golden colour, limpid and crystalline, often with greenish highlights. In the Yonne, Bourgogne blanc often develops aromas of gunflint or field mushroom. In the Côte-d’Or it is hazelnut with a hint of honey, butter, bracken, spices and sugared chestnuts. In the Saône-et-Loire notes of white flowers (hawthorn, acacia) and flint abound. On the palate it is aromatic, delicate but not over-light, full without being heavy, unctuous and firm, dry and caressing, well-rounded and quite deep, not overly structured yet persistent.