Tasted in Collan with Emmanuel Dampt, 11 January 2016.
Vignoble Dampt Frères
1 Rue de Fleys,
Tel: +33 3 86 55 29 55
Dampt Frères began when Emmanuel’s father, Bernard, left the Chablisienne cooperative in 1981, looking to provide some guarantee of a future for his three sons; Hervé, Eric and Emmanuel. Today this domaine is the amalgamation of those three brothers and their families’ holdings. Emmanuel explains that “The vines/domaines all have vaguely different ownership, but together cover about 90 hectares in total – there have been various iterations – but all is bottled here in Collan.”
Interestingly in the late 1980s, due to the difficulty of buying new land in and around Chablis, Bernard had chosen to replant some of the ‘lost’ (to phylloxera) vineyards of Tonnerre – and as you will see, to great effect.
40-45% of production is exported, mainly to the UK (Sunday Times Wine Club for almost 25 years), Russia, US, and Japan (et-cetera). Another 20% is sold to individuals/personal callers, from roughly 600,000 bottles per year of production.
Emmanuel on the vintages:
“2014 and 2015 had similar yields – the 2014s were a little handicapped from 2013 – with a lot of coulure in 2013.”
The 1er crus have a proportion of oak elevage; from 1-10 year-old barrels of 228, 300 and 350 litre sizes – “Full demi-muids bring a little too much torrefaction,” says Emmanuel. The villages have just stainless-steel elevage – all sealed with 49mm cork here.
I find a very solid range of wines here, all are highly drinkable in this vintage, a few are very fine indeed – including a fabulous, inexpensive chardonnay from Tonnerre!
From the vines planted above les Clos
A sweet and attractive nose of freshness and flowers. Quite big and sweet, richness of flavour, but a length and depth of flavour too. Texturally this is way above my expectation for PC. Very yum and certainly well-enough balanced despite the richness.
2014 Petit Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Old vines near Milly, 85 years old.
A little fresher and a little more floral. Wide, more intense, still nicely textured and a little layered, here with a little more line and a modest salinity too. More classic PC, good finish. Tasty, but I actually prefer the rich delivery of the last wine.
2014 Bourgogne Tonnerre Chevalier d’Eon
All chardonnay. A mix of Portlandian and Kimmerigian, some parts almost Chablis, other parts only 10km from Champagne.
A relatively bright and nicely fresh nose – this could be a Chablis. Nice texture, slightly layered and still with a hint of salinity to edge the fruit. If I told you this was villages Chablis – you’d happily believe me – even more happily for €6.40 a bottle!
2014 Chablis Tradition
The team here have a ‘presence’ in 15 of the 20 villages that can use the Chablis label – here are about 12 of those villages.
Bright, much, much more floral, almost a high-toned perfume. Here is fine freshness, good texture and a nice delivery of flavour, in waves. Lovely stuff for about €8… Bright line of finishing flavour. Just an attractive twist of bitters in the finish. Nice wine.
2014 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
This nose is more dense and more guarded too – concentrated but a little tight. A more waxy, silky texture – good width with a saline crust – lovely mouth-watering line of flavour here – yum!
2014 Chablis 1er Beauroy
A more delicate floral nose, tighter below. Softer, sweeter, but supple and with a lovely complexity that melts over the tongue. Bright, a little salty grapefruit in the finishing flavours. Tasty wine.
2014 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Fourchaume et Vaupulents, 40:60
Discreet but very attractive sweet fruit and flowers. A little richness, a lot of complexity and even more tastiness – yum! This is super – complex, off-sweet mid-palate with a hint of salt. Yum! Modestly sweet finishing again.
2014 Chablis 1er Vaucoupins
A proper seashore width – a little saline, modest in-depth. Round, mouth-filling, some sweetness, indeed richness but all is very well-balanced – tasty wine which really impresses in the pretty and long finish. Yum!
2014 Chablis 1er Les Fourneaux
Higher-toned, bright, almost oysters with a twist of lemon. A little more mouth puckering but only for a second or two, then a flowing flavour and good complexity take over. A bright and wide finish that has a nice agrume aspect. Tasty wine!
Bright very pretty and discreet citrus reflections – this is really lovely and inviting. Excellent – wide, mouth-watering agrume – just a very fine, complete Chablis!
“The clos du Chateau Tonnerre a modest slope plenty of clay not unlike Preuses – a nice terroir.”
Depth, aromatic vibrancy and a little higher delicacy. Hmmm… This has lovely texture, bright flavour, nice dimension – it is really not silly that it is following Mont de Milieu – except that it costs only 8€!
2014 Chablis Bougros
Delicate but fine notes of clarity, if discretion. A little lush, supple growing more lithe and with fine, encapsulated, cushioned intensity. Not a rich wine but a finely complex one. Holds really well with a fine length. Discreet but persistent. Yum!
2014 Chablis Les Preuses
Hmm, this is lovely – wide, faintly floral, modestly mineral. Bigger in all directions a growing brightness of flavour rather than a line – round, complex, indeed a little exiting, layered, waves of finishing flavour. Lovely!!!
2013 Chablis Preuses
A little more peach and apricot but fresh and pretty. Actually this is a lovely mineral wine – lots of direct minerality here – line and length, no distractions – Lovely!