Located in the tiny quiet village of Chichée, just southeast of Chablis itself, Domaine Gilbert Picq quietly produces riveting, uber classic Chablis from its holdings in and around the village. The Picq family has farmed its small collection of vines for several generations. Today, the estate is in the deft hands of Gilbert’s two sons Didier and Pascal, and his daughter Marilyn Picq, each with their defined roles: Pascal is in the vines, Didier is in the cellar, and Marilyn manages the business. The Picq style of Chablis displays the inimitable expression of minerality that chardonnay only picks up in this rolling hillside, and limestone-laden vineyards of the Yonne Valley, coupled with racy acidity and fine depth that comes with low yields, meticulous viticulture and winemaking.
The wines are naturally fermented with indigenous yeasts and raised in stainless steel tanks to protect the underlying expressions of terroir. You won’t find a single stave of wood in the entire winery! Pascal Picq does severe pruning each winter and routinely thins the crop twice in the summer months. The serious work in the vineyards can immediately be felt in the Picq wines, as even the Chablis villages, the parcellaire wines, (also village-level) and the Chablis Vieilles Vignes offer up a depth and intensity of flavor in the mid-palates that is most often associated with at least premier cru level wines.
The winery is, in fact, a classic case of how truly amazing wines can be made from more humble vineyards when given the utmost attention on all levels. While a good percentage of the estate’s holdings are in village-level parcels, Didier feels the wines from these vineyards in many ways serve as the calling card for the domaine. They are exceptional values as well as some of the finest examples to be found in the appellation, with the structure and cut to age gracefully for up to twenty years. There are in fact four villages wines made each year at Domaine Picq: the Chablis AC, the Vieilles Vignes bottling made from the oldest parcels of vines in their village wine holdings (more than fifty years of age), plus two single-parcel wines, Dessus-la-Carriere and En Vaudecorse. They are easily the quality equivalent of a top premier cru.