Tasted in Milly with Sébastien Dampt, 13th January 2015.
Domaine Sébastien Dampt
1 Chemin des Violettes
Tel: +33 3 86 42 47 23
Although my appointment was for ‘Sébastien Dampt’ the location is really signposted as Domaine Daniel Dampt (the father) though you might also find Domaine Vincent Dampt (Sébastien’s brother) or indeed ‘Maison Dampt’ which is a little something cooked up by the brothers together – nobody said that this should be easy!
Sebastien was heading to London, later today for his UK importer’s tasting of 2013s – John Armit. The rest of the family choose not to have all their UK eggs in one basket, so Daniel sells through Haynes, Hanson & Clarke, and Vincent through Corney and Barrow.
Sebastien owns 7 hectares for his own domaine wines, but working together with parents and his brother, Vincent, the total is about 35 hectares for the family. We decided to approach the tasting by appellation, so tasting the all three versions in turn, rather than running top to bottom three times for 3 domaines – oh and then a little ‘Maison’ to finish!
Sébastien on 2013:
”The Petit Chablis is usually harvested last so was quite concentrated this year. We didn’t start too early because we didn’t want unripe grapes. We began 1st October and the 1er crus were harvested in ideal conditions, but Saturday the 5th was the big rain and then began the porriture – in the end our yields were about 30% down.
“I bottled a little earlier to keep freshness as the acidity at least analytically is low vs say 14, but you would hardly notice in the glass.”
The 1ers stay in tank over the winter – the rest are already bottled. This was just a great set of wines – with a discernible style difference between the three (plus!) labels…
- Sebastian – fresh, detailed and complex.
- Vincent – more direct flavours.
- Daniel – with just a little more roundness.
2013 Domaine Vincent Dampt, Petit Chablis
From the plateau above Beauroy.
Pretty, faint herbs but it’s a welcoming aroma. Quite silky and rather concentrated. Fine intensity – the first wine of the day and it’s a real wake-me-up wine. Lovely
From the end of the Vaillons valley, only 5 metres away are villages vines and the 1er crus less than 100 metres away.
Fresh, a little more seashore impression, faintly sweet. Fuller, bigger, sweeter, super-mouth-watering. Brilliant Petit Chablis
2013 Domaine Daniel Dampt, Chablis
An assembly of multiple parcels, including many with old vines.
Deep; a really a fresh and airy nose of interest, if not specifics. A very wide palette of detail and fine acidity – super mid-palate concentration. Excellent. Nice length too.
2013 Domaine Vincent Dampt, Chablis
The main parcel comes from Milly, close to the Côte de Lechet, but there are others too.
Just a little more weight of ripeness below an otherwise airy nose. More direct flavor, bolstered with faint gas, but there’s a fine and direct line of flavour. Very fine – lovely.
From 5 parcels of vines, the main one near Lys, totaling 5 hectares – but the Lys parcel has 45 yo vines – the older vines provide more ripeness, but the young vines complete the wine with more freshness.
A core of ripeness but nice fresh higher tones above. Ouf! Direct, and easily the most mineral wine yet, with slowly growing complexity as it rolls over your tongue – quite silky too. Excellent!
2013 Domaine Vincent Dampt, Chablis 1er Vaillons
From vines located in Beugnons
Pretty high tones over a faint biscuity reduction – this reduction is quickly lost though. Fine intensity again with a twist more gas on the tongue. Lovely mid-palate energy and fine flavour – very yum!
2013 Domaine Daniel Dampt, Chablis 1er Vaillons
An assembly of multiple parcels in Lys and Sechets.
There are fresh top notes but here is a wine that majors on a concentrated depth of riper fruit. Modestly rounder than the last wine, probably no less intense and with a more present sweet ripeness. Lovely balance and much the easier of the two to drink. Lovely length.
Much of this fruit comes from Beugnon plus a little from Lys but now one cuvée just of Beugnon in the concrete egg. Vines planted by grandfather 50-60 years old
A hint of seashore over a good weight of fruit. Quite big, airy fresh, growing intensity, here is a clear mouth-watering sweet acidity . Very yum
2013 Domaine Daniel Dampt, Chablis 1er Les Lys
From the oldest parcel of vines in Les Lys – and the only one exposed north.
A nice deep but fresh nose. Again a more rich texture/style but with clear minerality and a strong finishing but not dominating acidity.
A cuvée of 2,100 wax-topped bottles whose elevage was in a concrete ‘egg-shaped’ tank with built-in thermo-regulation.
Modest but bright and pretty aromas. Large-scaled, but with only a modest plushness – mainly this majors on complexity and a discrete intensity. The combination is beguiling. Lovely finishing and really long. Not the biggest, baddest, most intense (et cetera) but really a super synthesis of all…
2013 Domaine Daniel Dampt, Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From 4 parcels of vines; the majority being quite old vines – the youngest 25…
Deeper with a very faint reduction. Some gas, but slowly growing in scale. A wine of fresh flavour delivery and a lovely mid-palate peak. Also a wine that’s relatively discreet but with a very fine length.
2013 Domaine Vincent Dampt, Chablis 1er Cote de Lechet
“The historic 1er of Milly.”
Round and a little biscuity to start. Lithe, fresh, a little reduced but with a really beautiful mid-palate and finish. The nose slowly develops a prettier freshness in the glass…
A blend of multiple parcels.
Bass notes and delicate high tones and faint florals. Really more mineral with a really beautiful, liquid, fresh flavour – this is a beauty!
2013 Domaine Sebastien Dampt, Chablis 1er Cote de Lechet
From a single parcel of 50 year-old vines. Quite low yielding…
A real seashore nose, perhaps framed with an accent of reduction. Lithe, silky, with fine minerality – quite a contemplative wine despite good acidity and intensity. Really super finish that expands before slowly decaying… Yum!
2013 Maison Dampt
Sebastien and Vincent together. This bottled just before the harvest. Fermentation and elevage in barrel – 2-6 year old barrels bought from a well-known domaine in Chassagne. They began in 2008 with Bougros and 2011 with Les Clos. So a very different elevage…
2013 Maison Dampt Chablis Bougros
Deep, and there’s plenty of vanilla, indeed a bit too much for me. Plenty of gas, but plenty of concentration and fresh intensity too – still rather too much oak character in the mid-palate for me. Rich but balanced flavour in the finish.
2013 Maison Dampt Chablis Les Clos
Also quite a strong vanilla but a little less than the Bougros. More lithe and dynamic, less obviously oaked flavours – though still ‘present.’ Very fine finish though.
Sebastien notes that “Both of these need 12 months in bottle that’s why we only sell 12 right now, even though the 13 was in bottle already since before the harvest…!”
And by way of showing that the oak influence starts to fade in the bottle, Sebastien chose a 2012 as illustration:
2012 Maison Dampt, Chablis Les Clos
Deep, mineral with faint oak component (in comparison to 13). Big, with fine concentration, more minerality and really excellent mid-palate intensity. Super extract in the finish and the oak is barely visible in the flavour.