Why Big Red Diary?

Jean-Claude Courtault + Michelet – 2014

DSC09164Tasted with Stéphanie Michelet in her almost finished, nice new tasting area in Lignorelles, 13 January 2016.

Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault
1 route de Montfort
89800 Lignorelles
Tel: +33 3 86 47 50 59

Stephanie on 2015:
“They are tasting quite good now that the malos are over – there anyway wasn’t much malic acid! We experienced only a little problem from hail, on the plateau above Fyé and a little in Montmains – in all about 3 hectares were touched. Still, there was more yield in 2015 than in 2014 – but no large difference – both vintages roughly ‘correct’ in terms of yields. The weekend before the hail it was 38°C and the grapes were really not that great looking, they seemed blocked, but the rain really changed that, it was super-helpful for the young vines. In Lignorelles it was necessary to harvest reasonably early to keep the acidity, but the rest benefited from not just the rain but the cool nights that helped avoid any bloom of botrytis.”

The wines…

The two domaines, as always presented together; the wines of the Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault usually being the more fruity, approachable wines. The last three wines represent négoce purchases, and these wear, in most markets, the Jean-Claude Courtault (but a different colour) label, but sometimes, like in Harrods, UK, they wear a Michelet label.

A DIAM-type closure is used for the Petit Chablis, the rest are ‘natural cork’.

2014 Jean-Claude Courtault, Petit Chablis
Bottled in July, versus in March for the 2013 but only because there was so little wine last year. Mainly from Lignorelles, average 20 year-old vines
Pretty, bright, pure notes. A certain richness of texture here, but a nicely supporting acidity. Some width and lip smacking flavour. Tasty wine – a real wake me up! Yum!

2014 Michelet, Petit Chablis
Parcels from Bienes, Maligny and Fye. More like 10 year-old vines. Bottled also in July.
A greenness of fruit supported by a faint pyrazine note. Again a supple modestly rich texture, really lovely complexity and width of flavour in the mid-palate and into the finish. This tastes really great!

2014 Jean-Claude Courtault, Chablis
A blend of Lignorelles and Beines. Usually more fruit from Lignorelles, structure and minerality comes more from Beines.
A fresh top note with a little herb, below is a clearly more mineral line. Like the previous wines, a little fat to the texture, a decent weight too – fine acidity and silkiness. Tasty wine and with good length too…

2014 Michelet Chablis
One parcel of young vines in Beines and the rest .80 ha of which 0.60 are old vines of 55 years that normally produce less than 50 hectolitres per hectare. Majority from Lignorelles.
A nice vibrancy of fresh aroma. Bright wide, more direct, silky but not fat, a good mineral impression too. This is finely mouth-watering and very tasty – like most of the wines here just a suggestion of pyrazine – ‘minerality’ says Stéphanie!

2014 Jean-Claude Courtault, Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
From purchased grapes. Bottled at the beginning of August, only stainless-steel for the elevage.
A mineral complexity of good freshness, wide and elegant. A good volume in the mouth, really mouth-watering and tasty, complex flavour delivered in waves. The flavour turning more floral in the mid-palate and towards the finish. You will find more concentrated and more complex and more mineral wines, but the elegant presentation here is really fine. Lovely!

2014 Jean-Claude Courtault, Chablis 1er Beauroy
Here about 10% of the elevage was in older barrels – youngest 3 years.
Really a more subtle nose, ripe and wide but very much more discreet. Larger in the mouth, a modest richness of texture but with a layered and fine flavour – a certain mineral aspect at the base, this is very tempting wine already. Discreetly sweet, long in line. A very good wine – a crowd-pleaser, perhaps, but essentially a little less involving than the Mont de Milieu today – very good length though!

2014 Jean-Claude Courtault, Chablis Valmur
A cuvée here since 2013, no oak used here.
Also a rather modest, somewhat tight nose – fine saline top notes though, even a suggestion of fumé. Large-scaled in the mouth, really impressive flavour that is delivered in layers, coated with a little salt, a faintly exotic impression to the fruit in the mid-palate – but all hangs together very fine. A really super finishing growth of pure, clean flavour. Holding very well. Not an extrovert today, rather a wine that waits for you to ask the questions. I find it a great partner – Bravo!

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