Tasted in Chablis with Romain Collet, 25 January 2017.
Domaine Jean Collet & Fils
15 avenue de la Liberté
Tel: +33 3 86 42 11 93
Romain on 2016:
“In 2016 we didn’t harvest 10 of our 40 hectares. There was frost in Montmains. The grapes that remained were hard attacked by mildew in Milly – in the end we lost 60%. We had good quality grapes though. We chose to harvest quite quickly as there was chance that the grapes might have too much botrytis, but in the end I was very happy with their cleanliness.”
Romain on 2015:
“When the storm hit, it was a very noisy night/morning – and it didn’t look good next day in the vines. Fortunately everything was ready for the harvest and we doubled the manual picking team from 20 to 40. I much preferred to attack early than wait – we lost almost 30%. I’m happy with what we did.
“Because of the hail, we lost much of Montmains – but overall we still managed 40 hl/ha. After the hail we harvested 6 hectares in one day by machine to avoid the hailed parcels going in a bad direction. We were only lightly hit in Les Clos and had no hail in Vaillons. So we only lost a little more than 10% of a normal vintage.
“We will need to do some allocations of-course, and maybe add a little to the price – its complicated – probably by February or March we will have no more 2015s left…”
As always, it seems, a very good and steady quality here. A fine address.
2015 Petit Chablis
A parcel on the plateau near Lignorelles
A pretty and wide freshness. Nicely mouth-filling with a pleasing slight cushion to the texture. Wide, sweetly citrus with just a little extra minerality as you go longer. Attractive and rather easy – yet nicely defined wine. Yum!
Assembly of about 10 hectares.
A wide nose with good freshness if little focus on anything in particular. In the mouth, by contrast, this has volume, focus, fine points of complex intensity and really gives you lots to find. A little lime and salinity but no austerity. Just a really, really tasty wine. Yum!
A south, south-east facing 1.20 ha in Villy. Was an old woodland where truffles were once found. ‘AB’ label since 2015 and a longer elevage here.
Here a nose of more impact and fine vibrancy. Bigger, more intense, more mouth-watering – a suggestion of flowers in the flavour plus a very nice texture. Just a great wine, faintly saline and very long – bravo!
2015 Chablis 1er Montmains
Like the previous wines only stainless-steel elevage here. From 4 parcels of true Montmains amounting to 5 hectares.
a narrower nose, deep and direct. Oof. Much more narrow and linear, yet great energy and mouth-watering complexity – classic, dirt and delicious, despite a pronounced finishing mineral/ citrus blend. Very tasty again.
2015 Chablis 1er Butteaux
Still on lees in tank. 0.72 ha one parcel in bio since 2008. Planted in 1972.
Also a little narrow, more ripe fruit, but not a nose of impact. Ooh, that’s much less sweet, more serious, again direct, but here is a minerality to slow you down – to take your time over – really its a beauty, but not for drinking in the next couple of years! Super weight of finishing flavour. The 2010 is just opening up beautifully says Romain. It’s not austere particularly, it’s simply not anywhere near ready.
2015 Chablis 1er Le Forêt
Bought in 2005, replanted in 2008, 0.92 hectares. Like the last some oak but this time with the tank part in ‘eggs’ – also viticulture Bio. This is the third vintage after replanting in 2008, the last couple of years it went into the Montmains.
A wide nose with a subtle spice that might suggest oak. Hmm, this is very nice in the mouth, less directly fresh than many but with slowly moving waves of flavour over the palate – almost the rigour of the last wine but with a little more overt drinkablity. Tasty, but still, last position for me in this group of 1ers… a classy finish though!
2015 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A big cuvée, of parcels accounting to 9 hectares; epinottes, minot, encieres, chatains, en Vaillons. 5% in barrel the rest in tank – after malo on part goes into older barrels.
Quite a large aromatic – agrumes, perhaps a little barrel. Lovely in the mouth, plenty of volume a growing freshness of flavour, and really the most agrume-fruited so far – a super line of that fruit flavour into the finish. This is really delicious stuff. Slowly fading in the finish. Excellent!
2015 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Just one parcel, 0.32 hectares with a manual harvest as there’s a lot of millerandes here. 100% demi-muids (600 litres) for 8-9 months then in tank to finish
Really a fine and wide mineral nose. Volume, complexity, really only in the mid-palate comes the merest suggestion of barrel – a little spice in the complexity. Really a wine defined by some agrume, faint reductive minerality and tastiness. Excellent again.
2 parcels – one of 0.25 plus another of 1.80 in Les Chapots. ‘The smaller brings a richness, the other a colder area brings the tension and vivacity.’ Vinified separately and then blended before bottling. All in barrel with 5% new.
Fresh, ripe lemon fruit, just a faint accent of oak spice. Super mineral – this is brilliant – wide, silky and again, virtually zero oak. Intense with a cushioned, delicious, mouth-watering flavour. Bravo!
2015 Chablis 1er Le Sécher
0.25 hectares a cuvée here since 2008. Currently assembled in tank. All barrel, 30% new wood here.
Here the nose is obviously marked by the barrels, but there is also an attractive and ripe lemon fruit too, it’s a fresh and vibrant nose. Extra depth of richer texture, lots of oak contributing to the complexity – but wide and really lovely over the palate. Impressive weight of finishing flavour. Fading slowly – actually with less overt oak than the nose suggests.
One parcel of 0.16 hectares. First vintage 2013 now on fermage.
Also a little oak on the nose – a little less expressive than some – but an accent of salinity. Ooh – this is really lovely – a vibrant impression to the mouth-watering flavour. Oak is just a small accent to the multiple complexity – great fruit. This is really quite a gorgeous and complex thing already. Lingering flavours… just über-tasty.
2015 Chablis Valmur
Here the nose has both volume and impact, but it’s relatively difficult to point to the components. Also lots of volume, layers of mouth-watering, ever-changing flavour – the real difference between this and the Clos is the relative accessibility of all the flavours. This is clearly delicious, but also needs plenty of time – the Clos is hiding very little and offers its full, primary, tastiness. Though this is classic 2015 with its great length.