Why Big Red Diary?

Testut – 2014

DSC09196Tasted in Chablis with Cyril Testut, 25 January 2016.

Domaine Testut
38, rue des Moulins
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 41 45 00

Cyril Testut took over his family’s domaine in 1998, a domaine created by his father Philippe Testut in 1967.

Philippe Testut was the first in the family who wanted to be a vigneron, “it was his passion” says Cyril. Philippe’s first harvest was in 1963 at Domaine Long-Depaquit – Cyril’s grandfather was and old friend, from school-days, of the owners there. From 1966-1969 Philippe bought vineyards, helped by his father (Cyril’s grandfather). In 1975 Philippe’s father told him that he should work together with his siblings – there were 5 of them – it was something of a catastrophe, but they also managed to amass plenty of vineyard land, bought ‘en-friche.’

Eventually Philippe’s father decided to sell; whilst he’d supported Philippe, he had never had much interest in the domaine, at which time Philippe decided to go work in Château Neuf du Pape. Today the domaine still boasts 13 hectares, including a little Château Grenouilles – but it was once much more, it was Philippe’s father that sold La Chablisienne their Grenouilles.

When Cyril first came, he spent most of his time in the vines redeveloping the domaine with his father who had returned from Château Neuf. Since 1998-99 Cyril began to develop commercialisation in bottle, and exporting since 2005/6 – before that, everything was sold to the ‘maisons’. Cyril works together with his wife and two others.

Cyril Testut on 2014:
“2014 to start with, was a vintage that was rather austere during its elevage – there wasn’t much enjoyment when tasting – it changed in just a few weeks, I now find it almost as good as 2012, and I like it very much.”

The wines…

Cyril Testut – “The long-term stability of the wines is one of the most important facets for me, its why I prefer to have the longer elevage – for stability and balance.”

A mix of DIAM and natural cork are used here – Chablis and Vaillons using DIAM5.

Here is a fine range of wines that I hope to follow in the years to come.

2014 Chablis ‘Rive Driote’
Right bank – 90% from under Montée de Tonnerre. 45 year-old vines, hand harvested. ‘Looking for balance between fruit and minerality – don’t want too much acidity’ – up to 18 months elevage for the 1ers and GCs
An impression of faint toast, a nice mineral depth too. Lovely over the palate – pure, beautifully textured and with just a little fat and a faint salinity. A little contemplative, a certain richness but really finely mineral too. Excellent! Wide, quietly mouth-watering in the finish. Really a lovely wine.

2013 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Some of the oldest vines, planted in the late 50s/early 60s. From Beugnons. Went for a long elevage on the 13s to aid stability.
A very different aromatic with sweetness, and a certain exoticism. Again there is a fabulous texture, a certain richness and en even higher impression of minerality – sweetly wrapped and always richly textured. Despite my adjectives, there is nothing unbalanced here – great finishing minerality – lovely line of flavour to finish with…

2014 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Less wide, deeper, faintly herbed minerality, a note of ripe lime at the core. Wide, gushing flavour, gorgeously delivered, salt-encrusted flavour – layered – intense. This is simply excellent Bravo!

The previous 2014 wines were all in tank.

2014 Chablis 1er Les Fôrets
A big, heavy bottle. 0.20 ha vines same age as Beugnons. Only replaced with massale selections. 100% new wood – 500 litre – but acacia wood, which is becoming more common. ‘I’m looking for the authenticity of Chablis.’ Wax only for this Forêts just now.
I like. There is an impression of faint reduction, but this modestly open wine still vibrates in the nose. Wide, crystalline flavour, slowly mounting in intensity – heaven! Still the crescendo is not complete, slowly fading, more mineral, beautifully mouth-watering. This is just a great wine. The richness is totally cut by the freshness.

2013 Château de Grenouilles
0.32 hectares – the high part with the other producers – Chablisienne has all the lower part. Father planted in the 60s.
Soft but really the most complex nose, fresh, herby, spicy notes. A wine that tries to be wide and direct at the same time. Really a fine intensity – not pushing the limits, but there is a super complexity here, really not obviously a 2013, very mineral and interesting…

And you know, you can drink the Rive Droit after this without problem – seemingly more intense in the mp if obviously less richness and complexity of flavour.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: