Jean-Claude Bessin – 2013


DSC05937Tasted in La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne with Jean-Claude Bessin, 14th January 2015.

Domaine Bessin
11 rue des Cours
89800 La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne
Tel: +33 3 86 42 46 77

Jean-Claude on 2013:
“It was a small volume in 2013. We lost about 50% – that’s even lower than the harvest in 2003. Depending on parcel we saw 26-33 hl/ha.

“It was brutally hot and wet in September, in just 24 hours after the big storm of the 5th October the colours of the berries changed completely – almost violet! Before I’d thought some still under-ripe, but after that it was clear we had harvest – the grapes even started to fall to the ground by themselves – so in the end it was necessary to harvest quickly. Two days were enough for us to harvest without losing too much, yet the grapes were still quite heterogeneous.

“I see very perfumed wines and no bad rot, though some notes of over maturity. As a benchmark you might look at 2003 which was ripe though with lower acidity than 2013, but the grand crus from 2003 after 10 years were real Chablis. The wines will keep some minerality even if it’s not obvious at the start. I will definitely keep some bottles, but I will drink many sooner – I think. But it’s a shame that anyway, 95% of bottles are drunk in the first 2-3 years.”

The wines…

Overall, fine freshness and importantly, these are wines full of conversation rather than outright power or intensity. A très bonne address in 2013.

2013 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Bottled December
Bright, clean and fresh, with lovely depth. Lovely in the mouth with a wide and clean panorama – not lots of depth to start with, but a fine weight of intense flavour that goes very long. Lovely…

2013 Chablis 1er Montmains
A deeper, finer, more discreet nose. Wide, fine and detailed – there’s a hint of oak in the flavour. But nice length. Very much finesse here.

2013 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Planning the bottling for March.
A much deeper nose with some faint reduction. Brighter, more intense but again elegant detailed and complex – no obvious richness here. A super, rather contemplative finish. Lovely…

2013 Chablis 1er Les Fôrets
There are some fresh high tones, but this wine is modestly hiding a tight core of something riper. Fresher in the mouth, lithe, transparent and really beautiful. This is showing more minerality and more tension – Super!
2013 Chablis 1er Fourchaume La Piece au Comte
A very discreet but clearly very fine nose. A little more attack after the Fôrets, but still a lithe and complex wine that talks to you, rather than pushing you around with its power. A reboot of flavour in the finish too – excellent!

2013 Chablis Valmur
A little extra weight, but more a weight of complexity, with very faint floral note too. More width and a little more intensity too – wide and complex . Modestly long on but only on weight not actual length. Maybe too modest today but I would gladly drink it any day.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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