Jean-Claude Bessin – 2015

Update 26.1.2017(11.1.2017)billn

Tasted in La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne with Jean-Claude Bessin, 11 January 2017.

Domaine Bessin
11 rue des Cours
89800 La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne
Tel: +33 3 86 42 46 77

Jean-Claude on 2016:
“I almost prefer not to talk about it – it was really catastrophic. Mainly due to the frost, we had hardly any hail. The Forets and Montmains was badly hit – 4 hectolitres per hectare! Perhaps the vines were not in the most robust shape after the hail in 2015. It had been very wet too, so it was almost impossible to make all the treatments, so there was also the problem of mildew. In the end a nice and dry summer, gave us nice clean grapes – we finished in good conditions and what was lost was lost! overall we lost 80% – it was a tough year, even my tractor broke down!”

Jean-Claude on 2015:
“We had hail, lots in Montmains and Forêts, losing up to 50%; 20 hl/ha in Montmains, 28 hl/ha in Forêts. There was some damage in Valmur too, but only a little, as it was really at the edge of the storm. We started harvesting 4 days later; the first day looked a catastrophe, almost the impression that there would be nothing to harvest, but two days later it was apparent that it would be not so bad, and the weather forecast was also not bad. We did 3 hectares in 2 days – the grapes were well dried. Of course, much of the 110mm of the rain ran away, but a good percentage of that was absorbed by the grapes, and it made a big difference to the overall yields.

“I think that with 6-7 years they will find their origin of Chablis terroir much more than they show it today.”

And a vintage that Jean-Claude thinks has some parallels with 2015 – how about 1992!

The wines…

The Chablis cuvée was bottled here in mid-December. The rest of the cuvées wait in tank and in barrel. Beautifully textured wines with brilliant depth of flavour. Today, at least, the energy they display is more variable, but given time…

2015 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Here a very pretty, floral nose, still with a fresh brightness. Round, beautifully textured if certainly rich. Layers if flavour over the palate – sumptuous wine that really defines itself as Chablis in the finish. Really tasty though über-concentrated.

The following wines were samples from tank, the wines on their lees:

2015 Chablis 1er Montmains
The neighbouring parcel to the domaine’s Fôrets.
Here a beautiful, vibrant, mineral nose – super! Also very silky, less ample. More direct and intense. Here is really a broad palette of flavour, floral fruit and mineral direction. Chablis for sure – and really tasty! Yum! Love the length of this mineral finish.

2015 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Vines located in the heart of Fourchaume.
A wider nose, salted, mineral. Fresh, bright, fine fresh intensity, pure Chablis and finely persistent too – indeed really a brilliant persistence of flavour…

2015 Chablis 1er Les Fôrets
A little more flowers, a lot more pure lemon. Simply a beautiful nose. Also beautifully direct, here even sleeker, citrus complexity, salinity – bravo wine without doubt – brilliant. The most perfect representation of what the vintage can offer.

2015 Chablis 1er Fourchaume La Piece au Comte
Vines also located in the heart of Fourchaume, here the cuvée name reflecting the once previous owner of the plot.
Here is more oak showing today, coming together in the glass to show more flowers, and a very silky ripe fruit – more like peach. Depth of complex flavour, very silky, some fat, this is really an executive texture and beautifully complex – indeed delicious. But it really needs a pep more of energy in the middle today – fine expansive and very tasty finishing – grand cru style. This is similar in style and form to the Chablis VV…

2015 Chablis Valmur
A lovely deep and vibrant nose. Again, gorgeous texture, extra minerality, a deep well of slowly changing flavour – modest in energy but enough, and its mighty impressive, saline edged and really long. Less delicious, a little more energy and certainly more rigour today, but really lots to look forward to.

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