Tasted in Chablis with Frédéric Drouhin, 23 January 2017.
Domaine Drouhin Vaudon
Moulin de Vaudon
Chemin du Moulin
Tel: +33 3 80 24 68 88
Frédéric on 2016:
“Our vines are mainly in the old heart of Chablis, so very central, it’s really only the grand crus that are protected from the frost. We were not much affected by the hail, but we lost about half of our villages and premier crus. Mildew was of-course a problem – lots of work by people and machines because there was rain every couple of days so we needed to re-treat every couple of days. Because it was so wet, much of the spraying was by people with back-packs – the machines would have sunk in the vines!
“Summer arrived allowing the vines to dry – in the end it was a good – but really a physical year. Much silice and arnica were used, trying to minimise the use of copper. We did just one treatment in Chablis in 2016 which was non-bio….”
Frédéric on 2015:
“2015 is all now in bottle. We decided not to go for a very long elevage to keep as much freshness as possible in the bottles. We had no real winter so it was a precocious Springtime. We saw the first flowers in Bougros at the end of May. It was actually an easy vintage from the perspective of treatments – the rain tended to arrive just as the vines were starting to stress – perfect! It was hard to precisely judge veraison, we were harvesting 03-11 September. Hail went diagonally through the vines with 20-30% losses for those in its path.”
More from Frédéric: Only the grand crus see some barrel elevage, and it’s usually a blend of larger barrels and tanks for elevage. The villages and 1ers are all in tank. In 2015 we had 12.5-13.5° for the cuvées.
The soil in our GCs is worked by horse – every second row of the Chablis and 1ers too. We use a plant cover whose roots help ‘destratify’ the soil. We started with Biodynamics in Secher in 1992. Really I have the feeling that the vineyard is rejuvenated. Our Mont de Milieu was bought in 2013, and was the first bought by Drouhin on the ‘other bank.‘
Simply a fabulous result for the team here, and I’d go as far as saying that, proportionally, they have a better result in 2015 than they had in 2014!
Domaine – Represents 23 hectares a mix of horse and tractor work here in rotation so to allow treatments but not to compact the soil too much.
A sweet, modestly round and certainly attractive ripe citrus note. Wide, super volume, fresh, energetic, beautiful clarity. Fine line. Simply delicious – bravo! Super, super villages…
2015 Chablis 1er Montmains
Mainly Montmains with a small part of Forêts. Vines in the mid 20s year old. A little more than 2 hectares. Risky for frost here at the bottom of the hill as there’s not much air circulation.
Wide, bright, saline – classic! A little extra richness of fruit, but really a fine, saline, slightly herbed. Perfect points of fresh citrus in a modestly mineral finish. I find this faintly tight, maybe discreet is a better word – I might expect more impact, yet this is simply delicious!
Mostly from the lower levels of about 25 years old, 3-4 hectares.
A brighter and fresher nose, saline citrus – just perfectly inviting. Ooh, this is a fine and intense line of agrumes, almost sharp, but never hard – just gorgeous. Easily bravo!
Almost 2 hectares. Higher on the hill, two parcels, the young about 20 the older more like 35.
Faintly paler colour. A more herbed, more tight nose. Hmm, this could be a 2014 in it’s beautifully mouth-watering fresh flavour. Narrower, but a fine beam of light in the finish, finely persistent and complex – compelling, not easy!
Always some of the earliest vines to grow and harvest. Two parcels, one very old that has been pulled out this year.
A little touch of green to the colour. This is tighter in terms of volume, but the aroma has a spherical quality, complex and really super-inviting. Wow. Great volume, an almost sizzling acidity, yet despite all the energy, despite all the complexity, this has a brilliant composure. Finishing wide, faintly saline. I find this great wine!
2015 Chablis Les Preuses
Relatively new in the range – 0.25 ha on the shoulder of the hill which was replanted almost 10 years ago. This is the 4th vintage as Preuses, before was mixed in other labels. Mainly with elevage in demi-muids up to 500 litres.
A round nose, medium volume – fresh, complex, oak being a modest part of that complexity. A little more weight of impact, a little extra richness of texture. Weight and complexity, plenty of salinity here, almost an attractive hint of phenolic in the finish. I think the oak will have gone very quickly from this, it’s very modest in the mouth… very tasty, volume, texture, needing a hint more clarity perhaps – but lets see.
An attractive sweet but fresh fruit – a silky agrume. Ooh, that’s great in the mouth, some richness of texture, fine fresh acidity and complexity – mouth-watering. Absolutely delicious, modestly steely in the finish. Great wine!
Almost 2 hectares of the 3 of grand cru that Joseph Drouhin own are here – with some old vines too yet still vigorous – about 40 years in the oldest parcel. The same person has done the vineyard work here for 30 years!
A deep, more mineral nose, vibrant and inviting. Very wide, intense with a modest richness of texture but this is so mineraly mouth-watering that you have little time to assimilate that. I like the term ‘a mineral caress‘ I think that fits here. A hint of the bitter and of the salt in the finish. Just super wine – bravo!
Old vines no question about quality but they struggle on quantity so a small parcel has been pulled out for replanting. Harvested quite quickly after the hail – the second vineyard to be harvested.
Hmm, very good volume – fresh despite ripe citrus. Ooh, this has power, waves of flavour, intensity, yet the intensity has a little cushioning. Fine energy. Always fine volume. Mineral yet retaining its delicious side – more than a suggestion of agrume in the finish, a wide, persistent slowly narrowing finish. Great again…!