Tasted in Chablis with Matthieu Mangenot, 15 January 2016.
45 Rue Auxerroise
Tel: +33 3 86 42 11 13
Matthieu on 2015…
“4-13 September harvest. Abnormally dry, really the last significant rain was 1st of May – June had 28mm, July – 10mm. There was a little rain on the 8, 14 and 23 of August – almost normal for the month. The night of 31st August – 108mm plus hail! Despite this dryness all the vines remained green and we didn’t have any sun-burn on the grapes. The rain did help with maturation. Clearly there was a little less acidity but super-clean grapes all 12.5 – 13.2. Hail affected us a little in Blanchots and a little in Fôrets. Had planned to start on the Friday but actually started one day earlier. Lots of people look at the weather and say ‘2003’ but no, there’s really much more acidity in this vintage.”
Matthieu on 2014…
“A very hot year, quite remarkable in Spring and until end of June hot and particularly dry. July and August were less good but it was really the end of August and onwards that made the vintage – it could easily at this time have gone in a bad direction! Dry, nice weather, not so hot, the termination of the maturing phase went really well. Extraction was complicated as the skins were quite dry, needing more pressing time and there was less juice. Just a little lower yields here in 14 versus 15. 15-26 September harvest.”
For the first time with the 2014 vintage, all the wines will now be sealed with DIAM. Previously the Moutonne was left with cork, but 49mm DIAM30, without chamfered edges will be used in this vintage.
The first vintage with the full new cuverie. The wines here are fine, direct and very clean, almost remarkably so – it’s difficult to ascribe personality to the first wines, but as you progress through the wines, there is also a progression in character and how the flavour is delivered. Precision – certainly – but also genuine excitement as you mount the range!
100% tank fermented, no oak. Represents about 30 hectares worth from all around Chablis over both banks.
Bright fresh fruit – a lime/lemon mix – also an accent of salinity. Bright, fresh and wide, but there’s also a growing depth of flavour, slowly expanding and almost surprising at the end. Good fruit and a nice long finish. Tasty wine.
2014 Chablis 1er Les Lys
2 left-bank hectares worth. 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.
A less fruit-driven nose but just as intense and showing a fresh top-level accented with lime. Lithe, flowing, layered flavour – rather mineral, just enough cushioning and rounding of edges to avoid anything sharp. Fine intensity here – a wine that eventually shows a warm side, but is rooted in minerality. Excellent finishing length.
2014 Chablis 1er Les Beugnons
This 2.3 hectare parcel is in the 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 – the parcel is protected by the forest. Again only tank elevage ‘to keep the purity of this place.’
A bright nose again, but with more depth and width than the Lys – a more overt aromatic personality. Super-clean, a little more complex flavour – bright individual points of complexity. Really a wine that’s more talkative today. Again very fine length, this time with a hint of green herb to augment the citrus feel…
2014 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A large cuvée of 4.3 hectares, from Les Epinottes (90%) plus a little Lys and Beugnons. Elevage with 10% 2-5 year-old oak, essentially from Vosges. Then blended back into tank.
A slightly more rounded nose, faintly spiced and herbed. Also in the mouth there are no sharp edges here, everything smoothed, the flavour flowing over the palate starting rather nondescript and then becoming ever-more interesting as it stays in the mouth. Really a wine that grows with you. The finish mounts a small peak before slowly sliding down the other side with a modest floral reference. Hold the last note very long…
5 hectares from Chichée, the exposure resembles Vaudesir. ‘A pivot wine between the 1er and grand crus here.’ Just a little more oak here – 15%.
A certain warmness to the fruit – riper lemon – but with a fine top layer that resembles a cool wind. Really a wine of flavour concentration, complexity, a little richness of flavour – though less richness of texture. There is much to find here and it is delivered in very svelte manner. A little extra dimension as you head into the more mineral finish. Excellent – the most character so far!
1.5 hectares 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. This will be bottled in the next days.
Ooh – vibrant and complex nose – yum! A little gas, wait for it to melt and there is a flowing of flavour – a generous flow of flavour, fine balance, slowly developing new references and directions. This is super this year. Large-scale finish with lots of hooks to different flavours. This is very lovely.
2014 Chablis Les Clos
Also to be bottled over the next days. 1.5 hectares worth from 2 plots.
Here is a weight of aroma, rather tight above with a faint suggestion of spice (nutmeg?) but really not much more. In the mouth this is also large-scaled – real mouth-filling volume here, but it is not the luxurious complexity of Blanchots, rather it is the silky, slow delivery, almost grudging delivery of a more mineral expression. Clean, wide and very impressive finish – essentially this wine is rooted in tit’s minerality and will require more patience. Not easy today, but excellent wine.
2.6 hectares of 45 year-old vines. Always harvested at the same time as the Moutonne.
A fine nose with lovely high-toned yellow fruit – lemon. Below a freshness that suggests salinity. Really not just the nose, but the palate too is like a blend of the previous two wines – there’s a certain luxurious complexity of fruit yet also with a more obvious mineral aspect. This is super and with a fine, not aggressive intensity. The mouth-watering flavour is almost a river in the finish – bravo!
2.3 hectares that sits 95% in Vaudésir and 5% in Preuses.
Ooh! This is really a super nose –it has depth and a certain vibrancy that recalls minerality, agrume and reduction all rolled into one. Some gas here – I have to be patient. But ooh – the most intense and mouth-watering yet backed with really tasty flavour and mouth-watering delivery. Multiple points of complexity – bravo! Really the best in this lie-up today. Super wine.