Tasted in Chablis with Romain Bouchard, 5th January 2015.
Parc des Lys
Tel: +33 3 86 42 18 64
Brilliant sunshine when I arrived, but only 2°C.
Romain on his 2013s:
Overall, it was a complicated Spring; late growth due to cold and wet so the vegetative cycle took its time to start – the flowering at the end of June was also wet. Despite a nice summer the harvest was still at end of September. It was also a wet harvest. We needed quick harvesting, but that’s not easy with 37 hectares, even if a part is done with machine – so we needed 10 days. It was better to harvest a little earlier to reduce amount of botrytis – but we still only finished about 10/11 October – I would prefer to harvest everything when perfectly ripe, but maybe that window was only 2-3 days, depending on the location, so we have to work fast.
About 50% of a normal harvest – 30 hl/ ha, similar to 2012.
In the end we have good degrees of alcohol, I’ve no references for a vintage like 13 – its acidity is a little lower, but older vines coped okay. I think them charming wines; round and supple.
The grand crus are in tank and close to bottling. The 1ers will probably be done next week, ‘some of them’ – the others are already done. There was very little Petit Chablis in 2013 and what was produced is already sold-out – so it wasn’t shown here.
A fine set of wines here; the smaller wines are fine, fresh, pretty chardonnay though, with one exception, you really need to drink at 1er cru and above to get classic Chablis, in this case with a hint of richness, but with no lack of depth, clarity and weight – or indeed freshness. All wines are ‘Pascal Bouchard’ except the two that are noted as ‘Romain Bouchard.’
Most of the range are sealed with DIAM, or screw-cap if ordered. Romain’s domaine and the grand crus are sealed with ‘natural cork.’
Mix of domaine and purchased grapes. The only wine tasted that was machine harvested. 100% tank elevage, bottled May/June.
A few pretty high tones, with faint, ripe fruit and a stony depth. Big and round with some fat and richness, yet it retains an interesting balance. Rather rich for villages, but I find it very tasty.
2013 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
All domaine, from 7 hectares of 60-80 year old vines. 1/3 elevaged in barrel, the rest in tank.
Higher toned, pretty and precise aromas. More direct, still some richness but intense and even quite exciting, with a hint of salty minerality. Yum, and it’s long too.
From the commune of Fontenys ‘right bank’ – the vines recovered in 2006 and biodynamic since 2007. A steep, south-facing, parcel of 0.55 hectares. Also a mix of barrel and tank elevage.
A wide, faintly salty nose – the most classic Chablis yet. A little fresher still, with fine intensity – lovely! And long finishing too!
2013 Chablis 1er Beauroy
From 2.40 hectares on the Bienes hillside. 100% tank elevage.
A faint cheese lifts to reveal more savory, indeed salty notes. Lovely, direct, mineral, narrower but intensely flavored palate. Lovely mid-palate extract too. With fine density.
2013 Romain Bouchard, Chablis 1er Vau de Vey
2.80 ha, also since 2006 and Biodynamic since 2007. In tank to be bottled soon.
A little riper nose, slightly exotic, yet fresh too. Quite big in the mouth but with a lovely intensity that grows such that it pressures you to drink or spit. Lovely length; more stony than sweet. Dried fruit in the finish. Yum!
2013 Chablis 1er Montmains Vieilles-Vignes
From 0.5 hectares of 40-80 years old vines.
Fresh, classic, Chablis of the seashore – nice. Plenty of bubbling acidity, and fine mid-palate weight too. Long-finishing – actually very long if on a modest note. Yum!
2013 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
At the limit of the forest. Practically south facing but high on the hill.
Again, classic aromas of salty seashore. Lovely freshness, just a little fat after the initial hit of acidity, and quite big in the finish. Lovely wine.
2013 Chablis 1er Fourchaume Vieilles-Vignes
1.27 ha vines planted by grandfather and father. Planted in the center of Fourchaume ‘historic’.
A little tighter and more concentrated, but with a growing weight of floral top notes. Lovely intensity and freshness. The first wine that I might call steely – grows big in the mouth before slowly decaying. Very good!
0.66 ha but only about 1900 bottles. Vines replanted in 1990.
Clean almost soapy, some salt. Very wide on the palate, lovely lovely intensity seems to grow wider and wider too. Wow, long too.
0.22 hectares from the bottom of the parcel, near the road – worked by hand and horse. Planted in 1982.
A little more weight on the nose, a little fine acid fruit too. The first wine with an extra, classic sweetness to the acidity – lithe and transparent. Really super! And elegantly fine!
2013 Chablis Les Clos
Oldest vines planted in 1965 0.67 hectares but as usual only about 20 hl/ha due to millerandes – as always.
Some riper fruit, otherwise quite a tight nose. A few faint high-tones. Full, textured, rich but finely balanced, and with really super weight of fruit flavour that goes long and deep into the finish. Super-long. A fruit wine today, rather than mineral, but carries its self in a very classy way… Second taste and there’s more mid-palate dimension – this changes lots in the glass. Excellent wine!