Tasted in Chablis with Matthieu Mangenot, 7th January 2015
45 Rue Auxerroise
Tel: +33 3 86 42 11 13
The new cuverie is up and running, with big new presses in series now; one big one for lower appellations which were machine picked and the rest with a new large giraffe for the 1ers and GCs whose grapes are now transported in cases rather than trucks. Matthieu says the difference was massive – ”You see it straight away in the debourbage, no pieces of skin and it turns clear so much faster.”
The new cuverie is also now fully connected; temperature controlled stainless steel tanks – all installed just in time for the 2014 vintage.
Matthieu on 2013…
”2013 was another crazy vintage, the winter was very cold and was followed by a nice warm spring in April – so growth started quite quickly. But then there was a period of cool and rain near Easter so everything slowed down. Flowering was cold and quite rainy; June was wet and cold too, so we clearly lost some crop during this time – the flowering was the last week of June compared to normally in mid June.
“July and August delivered a beautiful summer with little or no rain, but September was cool again – so actually a long nice maturity without burning away the acidity in a hot September. We began picking in October, risky due to wetter and cooler weather, with a big risk of botrytis toward the end of the harvest – we had much rain 4-5 October. Normally it’s a 12 day harvest, this year to minimise the impact of the botrytis threat it was done in 8 days with longer shifts and bigger teams.
“What really surprised me was, particularly at the beginning of October, it was very warm in the nights; 4am could still be 12-13°C. Those that waited until after the rain lost most of their harvest to botrytis.
“The wines in the end are quite nice with a fresh fruity character – acidity is not as high as 07 or 11 but we’ve a nice aromatic character. Yields are very low; minus 30% for villages and delivering only 30-35 hl/ha for the 1ers and GCs.
“Despite more volume of bulk wine in 14, the buying campaign has not really started so it’s still not clear where the prices are going. Of-course the growers want to hold onto the recent increases, but for producers it’s hard to place the wines with such increase. There are some decreases in sales which are not just due to lower volumes but also in part to the high prices. For example if you want to buy petit chablis in bulk right now you will only be able to sell the product at a loss because you cannot sell for more than €10 in volume….
“DIAM 10s, 54mm for first time with grand crus in 2013 – only Moutonne kept natural cork – for now…”
A very good set of wines here in 2013. I miss the sweet, mouth-watering ‘Chablis-style’ acidity of their 12s – but it’s the same at all addresses in 2013…
100% tank fermented, no oak.
Medium yellow. Round, with a fresh top note that’s quite inviting. Modest, but quite enough acidity. The concentration grows in the mouth bringing really interesting, nicely fruited, flavour and with good weight too. Very tasty villages.
2013 Chablis 1er Les Lys
A more N-E exposure, almost unique for the 1ers, with less stones and more clay here so more acidity and florality. 100% in tank, no oak.
More herbs and green-skinned fruit. Sweet, silky, quite mouth-filling. Mouth-watering in the finish too – just a little more savoury in style but with fine freshness.
A sub climate of Vaillons; Long-Depaquit was originally the only producer, but a couple more are declaring under this label now, rather than using the Vaillons label. If you don’t take care here this can really go over-ripe very quickly – so the date of picking is crucial. Again only tank elevage ‘to keep the purity of this place.’
High-toned, saline, seashore – quite the classic here. More mineral, lithe and with growing fresh intensity. Really, just a super, super wine!
2013 Chablis 1er Vaillons
From Les Epinottes (90%) plus a little Lys and Beugnons. Elevage with 10% 2-5 year-old oak for about 8 months, before being blended back into tank.
More depth and a little more aromatic ripeness too, just a hint of flowers and eventually a little salt too. Wide, intense, very mineral and fresh, and the mouth-watering flavour just keeps going… Very good!
Just a little more oak here – 15%.
A deeper nose, again with florals, though this time it’s less overt. More density on the palate and a slow-burn of growing, growing flavour – this is excellent in a slightly more understated way, yet with just a little more gravitas.
2013 Chablis Les Blanchots
From the end of the valley, almost always harvested 1 week after Les Clos. 25% oak used here both for fermentation and aging – Vaudesir and Moutonne the same, though Les Clos is up to 35% – but again, no new oak, even if the average is a little younger.
Again a clichéd, pretty Chablis nose of seashore – here with an impression of more ripeness below. Mouth-filling and round yet also mineral and silky. Lots of density here. An embryonic but very impressive wine. Yum!
2013 Chablis Les Clos
Medium yellow. A deep, faintly spiced nose with a faint whiff of vanilla. Big, almost lush in attack but there’s no lack of minerality or acidity. Long finishing on something of a diminuendo. Complex but perhaps a little too upfront flattering without totally delivering… Still, it’s quite a looker!
A wide silky nose with just a hint of pepper. More of an up and down than a wine of aromatic width. Really more obviously mineral, and much more obviously floral in flavor too. A big kick of intensity before you hit the finish. This is really direct and excellent and will repay a little patience.
A wider and clearly more complex nose. Big in the mouth but with no fat. Lots of minerality and a really wide flavour panorama with a very mineral and mouth-watering shape and delivery – more of a peacock’s tail finish. Very, very different but also excellent. Today I’ve a slight preference for Vaudesirs – but not by much…