Tasted in Chablis with Matthieu Mangenot, 12 January 2017.
45 Rue Auxerroise
Tel: +33 3 86 42 11 13
Matthieu on 2016…
“It was historically one of the warmest winters since 1900. Of course there was the famous frost – actually there were 4 frosts in 2016 but the morning of the 27th was the one that everyone will remember. Moutonne was protected, and generally the grand crus lost very little, no more than 15% vs a good volume vintage. The other extreme was the sector direction of Viviers, Beru and the the two hillsides of Chichée – all on villages-rated parcel. It actually rained on the evening of the 26th in Chablis but with the extra altitude at Viviers it was actually snowing before the frost – here 98% was lost! This is the area that is normally last to be harvested and I did try, but at 2 hl/ha it wasn’t worth it. Bougros has the water spray and it was virtually not impacted – the best of all the grand crus here.
“Despite two episodes of hail in 2016, fortunately the domaine’s vines were not touched. Mildew caused daily inspections but we lost not much more than 2-3 hl/ha with that. And then there was some sun-burn in August which complicated matters. We didn’t de-leaf by rote which helped against the sun-burn and also conserved some of the malic acidity. Overall, we lost between 60 and 70% – essentially our villages Chablis.”
Matthieu on 2015…
“4-13 September harvest. Abnormally dry, really the last significant rain was 1st of May – June had 28mm, July – 10mm. There was a little rain on the 8, 14 and 23 of August – almost normal for the month. The night of 31st August – 108mm plus hail! Despite this dryness all the vines remained green and we didn’t have any sun-burn on the grapes. The rain did help with maturation. Clearly there was a little less acidity but super-clean grapes all 12.5 – 13.2. Hail affected us a little in Blanchots, Montée de Tonnerre and a little in Fôrets. Had planned to start on the Friday but actually started one day earlier. Lots of people look at the weather and say ‘2003’ but no, there’s really much more acidity in this vintage.
“In the end we had normal yields, not excessive – 55 hl/ha for villages, 52 for the 1ers and 35 in the grand crus – classic for us.”
All the bottles will be sealed with DIAM. The 1ers were bottled in July, the grand crus will be bottled in another 2-3 weeks.
100% tank fermented, no oak. Represents about 30 hectares worth from all around Chablis over both banks.
A wide nose, classic, faintly saline, notes of bread and citrus. Big, open, bright – classic – really an intense wine, impressive finishing. This could easily be a 2014. Sustaining a great finish. Almost too bracing today – give it longer to settle – but impressive stuff.
2015 Chablis 1er Les Lys
2 left-bank hectares worth. A more N-E exposure, almost unique for the 1ers, with less stones and more clay here so more acidity and florality. 100% in tank, no oak.
A deep nose, ripeness of green citrus but clearly a fresh wine. Supple, just a little more padding to the texture, a little more overt salinity, very fine clarity. This is slowly beginning to leach sweeter, mouth-watering flavour in the mid-palate. A suggestion of rigour just in the finish, but no harshness. Excellent!
This 2.3 hectare parcel is in the sub climate of Vaillons; Long-Depaquit was originally the only producer, but a couple more are declaring under this label now, rather than using the Vaillons label. If you don’t take care here this can really go over-ripe very quickly – so the date of picking is crucial – the parcel is protected by the forest. Again only tank elevage ‘to keep the purity of this place.’
A little extra depth to this aromatic. Brighter more overt citrus-infused flavour. More mid-palate salinity but a fine cushioning from the texture makes a perfect balance. A great combination. The finish is punctuated with different flavours and a salivating central line of finishing interest. Bravo!
2015 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A large cuvée of 4.3 hectares, from Les Epinottes (90%) plus a little Lys and Beugnons. Elevage with 10% 2-5 year-old oak, essentially from Vosges. Then blended back into tank.
Oof, also deep but with an extra floral impression too. Like the Beugnons there is a little padding to counteract the acidity. Concentrated and with a higher order of salinity today – also in the finish – which is a little more intense, though less overtly delicious at this stage. Wait a little, it should improve.
5 hectares from Chichée, the exposure resembles Vaudesir. ‘A pivot wine between the 1er and grand crus here.’ Just a little more oak here – 15%.
Hmm, lovely depth on this attractively citrus nose. Ooh. This is fresh but welcoming, with fine sweetness of acidity and flavour. There’s joy in this glass. Long, lingering flavour. Hyper-attractive wine today with a fine spine of acidity. Bravo!
2015 Chablis 1 er Montée de Tonnerre
Just a modest extra depth of colour. A larger nose, with a combination of riper, more green, citrus and salinity – more power but not the same level of ‘inviting’ as the Vaucopins. Here is a super-silky texture, more weight, a fine if less direct acidity, and a discreet extra oak-led complexity in the mid-palate. Almost a brooding wine, certainly one for the future, but the best expression of finishing flavour of any of these. Only three barrels, so all vinification in oak.
2015 Chablis Les Blanchots
1.5 hectares from the end of the valley, almost always harvested 1 week after Les Clos. 25% oak used here both for fermentation and aging – Vaudesir and Moutonne the same, though Les Clos is up to 35% – but again, no new oak, even if the average barrel-age is a little younger.
A deep, vibrant and concentrated nose – fine and mineral at the base. More gas, but wide, supple, with a growing weight of intensity, more lemon/lime style fruit. Beautiful, delicious finishing flavour, really with layers in the finish. Super-tasty wine.
2015 Chablis Les Clos
1.5 hectares worth from 2 plots.
Deeper colour. Fresher, more energy, some oak to be seen too. Also some gas, but more volume in the mouth, more energetic, a more mineral expression too, but the texture is a fine foil to the acidity – long, again with waves of finishing flavour. Here the oak is almost consumed. This will be excellent – but wait 18 months plus…
2.6 hectares of 45 year-old vines. Always harvested at the same time as the Moutonne.
Ooohh… Here is a really attractive, deep, vibrant nose with a suggestion of agrume fruit. Wide, fresh, fine but not overwhelming volume. Really a super citrus flavour with a modest cushioning texture. The finish is a burst a saline citrus aspects that go long and wide into the finish. This is already incredibly attractive. Bravo! I could happily drink this straight away – direct from the tank!
2.3 hectares that sits 95% in Vaudésir and 5% in Preuses.
A little less aromatic volume, but no less attractive – more citrus and a vibrant depth of aroma. More gas. Fine volume, really more mouth-watering, again with a modest cushioning in the texture. Wide, a little more incisive flavour and the first wine with an obvious burst of floral notes in the finish too. This will be excellent, perhaps less exuberant than the Vaudesirs but equal if different. Bravo!