Why Big Red Diary?

Louis Michel – 2014

DSC09224Tasted in Chablis with Guillaume Michel, 28 January 2015.

Domaine Louis Michel
9 boulevard de Ferrières
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 42 88 55

Photo Caption: “Typical. The only wood in the whole domaine and you get me to stand in front of it!”

Guillaume on 2015:
“I just remember a massive rush after the hail – we planed 5-6 September to start, but did the 3rd. We were very lucky that the hail was quite late – really a catastrophe if it had been 2 weeks earlier. Water allowed the sugars to decrease a little – so far they are a little rich, wines on their fruit, but with a tension of minerality. Today, the fermentations have almost finished, I will rack a couple of weeks after they are done. Maybe I won’t conserve much lees as I don’t want to add to their richness. Probably much bottling will start in the summer.”

Guillaume on 2014:
“Super! A classic Chablis vintage. Harvesting was started on the 17th – for me it’s a superb vintage for Chablis. Wines that are at the same time rich but with a tension, minerality and precision that are superb, reminiscent of 2010 or 2012, really wines that you can keep. Not everything is bottle yet – Petit Chablis and Chablis are bottled.”

The wines…

Almost 90% export here – almost exclusively restaurant trade in France. Lucky restaurants! Their Butteaux VV is used for Fortnum and Mason house Chablis. The GCs are to be bottled probably in May, depending on how they show.

Some DIAM 5 and 10 in use here. Higher wines are natural cork. “There are some tests on the higher wines and after 2-3 years I’m happy – I’m just waiting to see if I’m still happy after 10 years!”

2014 Petit Chablis
Really a floral nose, slowly growing support from citrus notes, more green-shaded. Vibrant, a very fine texture, faintly salted, this is touching on Chablis quality. Really excellent!
2014 Chablis
About 7 hectares, but only 6 parcels, mostly left bank.
A little narrower, very fine, precise notes – lovely citrus. Just a little more richness of texture – again saline-edged – frankly delicious wine here – long, layered finish.
2014 Chablis 1er Montmains
Deep, fine, precise nose, very discreetly reductive. Gorgeous in the mouth, sweet, attractive, begging you to swallow – and then take another sip – really super! Attractive reduction right in the finish – lovely!
2014 Chablis 1er Les Forêts
A relatively modest in terms of size, but vibrant and attractive aromas with a line of reduction. Large-scaled, but really hardly any fat, there’s a flexibility and suppleness to this wine that I really like, saline at the edges – just picture-perfect Chablis. Covetable wine.
2014 Chablis 1er Butteaux
All these parcels (except Butteaux VV) are of similar age of vines.
Starts just a little tight, slowly adding dimension of ripe fruit flavour – lemons. Wider, more dimension, complexity, ooh! I like this more than Forêts – this is my new favourite!

2014 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A nose of mineral depth, attractively so. Here it’s really fresh, very agrume flavoured, again faintly salted, a good width and super attractive finishing flavour. The longest? No, but very tasty all the same.

2014 Chablis 1er Séchets
An enclave in Vaillons. Bottled last week.
Vibrant agrume notes – fine, really attractive – it’s begging you to sip… A little fat, but lots of concentration, growing intensity, complex intensity. More contemplative than the Vaillons, but really, really super wine. Almost a new favourite!

2014 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre – moving to the right bank…
A deep, nose of vibrant minerality. Wide, really wide, layers, waves of flavour – really the most mineral wine so far, edged with salt (like a caramel) – fresh and delicious. Super!

2014 Chablis Vaudesir
From tank
Starts with a real reduction, but quickly fades. Big in the mouth, not really a wine of textural richness, but certainly richness of flavour. Wide and very complex – yet at the same time understated. No understatement in the finish – simply super length. Really impressive.

2014 Chablis Les Clos
Faintly reduced, really wide aromas – pure and precise. There’s a little gas – wait – the flavour mounts in intensity while at the same time melting over the palate. Wow minerality but with the classic sweetness of acidity that marks out Chablis. Really a beauty – just achingly long. Clearly less delicious today than the 1ers but massive potential.

2014 Chablis Les Grenouilles
A vividly vibrant nose – neither deep nor high-toned, but super involving. Wait again for a little gas to fade. More melting over the tongue, seemingly more supple and intense, not more complex – perhaps less. But really the easier to drink today. Super finishing.

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