Profile: Domaine Millet

Update 3.2.2017(1.3.2016)billn

DSC09219Tasted in the dark and in the middle of nowhere (Tonnerre) with Baudoin Millet, 27 January 2016.

Domaine Millet
Ferme de Marcault
Route de Viviers
89700 Tonnerre
Tel: +33 3 86 75 92 56

My navigation software was playing games with me: driving through the open countryside, almost at Tonnerre, I should (right turn) leave the highway onto a dirt track – nope, after 400m of bouncing up and down, that would be through the closed gate of a farm – okay, go back! I had anyway overshot the turn the first time and had to wait another couple of Km before I could (illegally) do a u-turn, so I knew that an alternate direction was also possible. So, take-2. But this time a road that turned to rubble. I have 4-wheel drive, but this was a no. It was now 6pm, dark, and in the middle of nowhere. One last chance, I’ll try the direction of the village called Viviers… 2-3 km later – ta-da! A sign for Domaine Millet!

But why such perseverance? The aim of my Petit Chablis blind tastings each year at the BIVB is to find interesting, well-made wines, from people I don’t know – and from this producer, this year, was a beauty.

About 30% of the wines of Domaine Millet find homes in France, the rest are exported. In the UK it is Charles Taylor and Corney & Barrow who are the importers, in the US it is multiple small importers.

The wines…

Domaine Millet have 2 Petit Chablis cuvées; that appellation covering almost 80% of their 9 hectare exploitation. Their second Petit Chablis is a parcel selection that enjoys an extra long elevage on its lees.

It’s nice to see a house style across the range here: These are not wines of massive impact, of loud energy or of aggression; these are wines of subtle freshness, clarity and beautiful engagement – I can highly recommend them.

2014 Petit Chablis
This wine sees elevage for the same length of time as the 1er cru. Normally it is bottled in June/July, but if there’s some commercial pressure, maybe a small part will be bottled and shipped earlier – usually there are 2 bottlings – June and after the harvest.
Wide and fresh with faint pretty notes of citrus. Lovely, lively fruit flavour – very fine in the mouth – reminds me of childhood fruit sweets – but not in any facile way. Very tasty wine. Yum!
2014 Petit Chablis La Perle
The only difference in vinification is the longer time on lees with the lees re-suspended a couple of times.
Also fresh, bright, seemingly precise but tight aromas all at the same time. Wider, finer textured, with flavour delivered in waves, this is more like a very tasty Chablis. Excellent

2014 Chablis
Almost a family nose that’s wide and very fine and clear – super interesting though with modest depth. More direct, fine, almost a texture of tannin here. Slowly growing wider – the mineral intensity has no aggression – it simply just tastes great.

2014 Chablis Vieilles Vignes
0.4 hectares of more than 60 year-old vines.
The family nose is here augmented with a hint of something floral, perfumed… A little more density, intensity too. Much more mineral – a wine to wait a little time for, but really a lovely balance – sitting perfectly on the palate – to wait for, but super!

2014 Chablis 1er Vaucoupin
1 hectare of vines.
A little more depth, an almost vibrant aromatic – this is different. A certain softness on the palate, a width of melting flavour. This has the form but a rather primary delivery today – most impressive in the width of the finish – super persistent. I have very high expectations after the first wines, and the aromas and finish of this wine meets those, but today the palate is guarded and not showing the clarity of the rest of this wine – or any of the others. To wait for…

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