François Raveneau – 2015


DSC09142Tasted with Isabelle Raveneau in Chablis, 12 January, 2017.

Domaine François Raveneau
9 rue de Chichée
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 (0)3 86 42 17 46

Isabelle on 2016:
2016 really was a nightmare; frost, hail, drought, sun-burn – so in the end it was only half a harvest for us – that’s even smaller than our harvest in 2015 where we had the late hail. Some of the plots were okay and the flowering was okay. So it was really mixed up, with 15-50 hectolitres per hectare. The 2016 wines could be similar to 2015 in terms of the style – 16 is very slightly more acidic but the alcohols are similar here.

Isabelle on 2015:
Also a small harvest due to the hail, earlier too, and 3 days before we harvested we had the golf-ball sized hail. The storm went from the south-west to the north-east of Chablis, a route that went through most of our crus.

All the wines here are above 13° – say 13.2. The wines are actually pleasant, open, less precise and essentially less Chablis – they are more sunny, but they are delicious too. Usually we leave them in barrel a little longer, but we are already starting to rack because we don’t want them to tire in barrel.

We discussed a little the pricing in the bulk market, and I think Isabelle captured it perfectly; “There’s a lack of reason – but in both directions.

The wines…

After 2003 this is the second earliest vintage at the domaine… Isabelle notes that “2015 is more like 2006 in terms of sugar and balance than 2003, though there’s just touch more acidity in 2015.

Not the richness of texture of some domaines, rather an intense clarity of flavour, and YES, ‘deliciousness!’

2015 Chablis
Fresh wide, pretty and pure – yum. Round, mineral, complex and delicious – really fine. Really a fine length too – the last drops in the glass opening up with a nice floral side.

2015 Chablis 1er Forêts
Bright, clean and deliciously pure with a suggestion of flowers, but also with a little vibration of minerality. Rounder, more textured, a little more fat. Clearly more concentrated in the mid–palate. A big wave to ride into the finish. This is quite full-bodied today at the back-end, but still delicious and complex with just a twist of rigour at the end.

2015 Chablis 1er Montmains
Tighter but with width – just a little tender. Ooh, that’s delicious, more line, more mouth-watering sweet acidity. A better line today than Forets – then Poof! A great finish and very, very long. Bravo, almost a hint of smokiness in the finish like silex.
2015 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Really a tighter nose. Hmm, so much more on the palate than the nose suggests – mouth-watering, faintly sweet and less faintly mineral. Really long, and again, simply delicious – the Montmains is just a little more complete today – but not by much!

2015 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Due to the hail there’s no separate cuvée of Chapelots – it’s all blended into this.
Also a more open aromatic, faintly reduced, faintly oaked with some semblance of texture. Bigger, still a flowing river of flavour but here there’s a turn to a little more minerality. A steely mid-palate and finish. Wow this holds well!

2015 Chablis 1er Butteaux
Less forthcoming but a good volume to this nose, faint flowers and citrus impressions. Ooh that’s silky, linear wine. A growing salinity and intensity. This is really a classic with just an extra ease in the texture. Big in the finish, more open and layered than the last MdT. Great! And with super length of-course.
2015 Chablis Blanchots
Quite tight, with pretty and fresh reflections. Cut from rock. A holding texture, and wide weight of flavour, mineral, mineral, no hint of austerity, faintly saline, always with an underlying power. A nice burst in the finish before a decay that would lengthen the tasting if you didnt abruptly halt it with the next wine. Hmmm…

2015 Chablis Valmur
‘From the top of the plot, more sunny, more expressive and classic each year.’
Ooh – that’s nice, more open more vibrant – almost kerosene. Super depth, nicely textured, growing wide, expressive yet mineral – easy minerality overplays it, but here is really a little more open-ness to appreciate today….more modest weight of finishing flavour, no less long…

2015 Chablis Les Clos
Really badly hit by hail – so only a little more than 6 barrels, so half normal…
Ooh, not super overt, but úber-gorgeous. Delicate, precise clean complexity. Muscular, fresh, energetic, then mouth-watering, silky a hint of fat. After swallowing, a width of flavour, holding tenaciously. Clearly another winner, but today drink the Valmur first!

And to finish…

2014 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Bottled in April
Slowly growing in volume, some yellow citrus, even suggesting flower blossom. Bright, fresh, a little richness but beautifully balanced, really fine texture with a bright light of fruit running through the core. Supple and gorgeously flavoured in the finish.

2010 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
A vintage that I might pair with 2014 so to give an idea of evolution – I think this at its peak of evolution. …
A big nose, faintly spiced yellow fruit, and a wider growth of maturing complexity. Also very silky, with a gorgeous, almost oiled, texture. A weight of silky, mineral, but growing more complex flavour. Slowly mouth-watering. More contemplative than the 2014 today – but bravo! Beautifully drinkable.

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