Tasted in Chablis with Guillaume Michel, 05 January 2017.
Domaine Louis Michel
9 boulevard de Ferrières
Tel: +33 3 86 42 88 55
Guillaume on 2016:
“16 was very complicated, just about every perturbation for the grapes, 2xhail in different areas, 1st in Maligny, fortunately no vines for us in this area, but then the south of Chablis we lost some areas completely. Two big frosts, in some areas that never previously had such problems – my uncle and grandfather remember frost, almost every year, but myself not we have much better protection today. Then there was exceptional mildew pressure. Overall a half harvest here in terms of volume. It’s easy to see the effect by looking at the bulk prices – there’s no wine in 2016 so the prices are really high for whats available. I have a good feeling about the wines though, despite there was even a bit of botrytis!”
Guillaume on 2015:
“Our souvenir was the hail, right as we were preparing to harvest. Agreeable wines though, a different style of wine vs 2014 of course, more fruit, more generosity, but the feeling in tasting is much better than you might expect from the analytical acidity. There was plenty of volume before the hail, we simply doubled the teams and harvested as fast as possible. In the end we only lost about 10-15%. Maybe it is a vintage that will have a wider appeal than a vintage like 2014.”
Some DIAM 5 and 10 in use here. Higher wines are natural cork. Nothing systematic here, all wines have the same, usually long fermentation in tank, only the length of time in the tank is the difference between the cuvées – longer for the GCs of course. “I really do the minimum possible, sometimes a small collage but only if the individual wine needs that.”
These are young wines of-course – despite the ease of the vintage – they will require a modicum of patience, but here is ripeness and minerality dovetailed beautifully together…
Hmm, this has a nice fresh, sweetness of fruit – good width and very inviting aromas. Supple, fine, this is simply gorgeous, easy drinking stuff. Long finishing, saline too. Top!
About 7 hectares, but only 6 parcels, mainly between Montmains and Vaillon.
Hmm, fresh and really rather floral. More intense, but with a little comfort in the texture. Nice long waves of finishing flavour. Simply delicious!
Now following the same valley hillside; Montmains, Foret, Butteaux:
2015 Chablis 1er Montmains
Also a little floral, but vibrant and deep too. Classic in the mouth, really mouth-watering flavour, very subtly reduced, ripe lime. Long, long, very mineral finish. Needs time, but impressive wine all the same.
Again, a floral note, some lime, and with a suggestion of mineral reduction. Fresher, wider, more enveloping wine – this is really excellent, and grows in saline intensity in the mid-palate into the finish. Bravo!
2015 Chablis 1er Butteaux
All these parcels (except Butteaux VV) are of similar age of vines. This has similar soil to Montmains, but Montmains is cooler, Forets has more stones
A little less wide nose, flowers up top again, below is a riper but fresh fruit. Silky, really fine texture, fresh but with more considered waves of flavour, long, tighter width in the finish. Again, achingly long – super in the finish – lovely wine.
2015 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Fresh, deep, ripe fruit, yellow fruit. Wide on the palate, growing intensity of flavour but never overbearing. A nicely mineral mid-palate, the finishing flavour equally long as the others but here with just a little more sweetness. Super!
A nose similar to the last – ripe but almost gelée lemon type fruit – very faintly edged with saline aspects. Wide again, a little more vibrant flavour, slowly bubbling with complexity. Less overt, ultimately more delicious today. Faintly saline finishing. Less forward but fabulous stuff!
All the last were bottled mainly between the end of July to the beginning of September. Next, follow the wines in tank – the GCs will be the last to be bottled, probably April/May.
A little larger palette of aromas, more saline, more classic. Some gas, eventually very fine texture, and super mouth-watering flavour, a tsunami of finishing flavour rolls over the tongue. Great wine!
An enclave in Vaillons.
A more subtle but nuanced nose of flowers, fruit and salinity. Also a little gas, here more fresh and mobile, indeed energetic over the palate. Mouth-watering, and then holding a very fine line of finishing flavour. Beautiful flavour, not quite the punch in the mid-palate of the last wine, but it doesn’t need it – a beauty…
2015 Chablis Vaudesir
From the north-facing hillside which helps conserve the freshness in warm vintages, but needs later harvesting…
Hmm a much tighter nose but it more than hints of weight – everything with a subtle halo of seashore. This is complex in the mouth, no shouting, not overtly energetic, but with very pretty complexity. Really open-ended in the finish – really the most obvious and open aspect of this wine today. It should be worth a little patience.
Hmm, this is a top to bottom nose – fresh high tones and a more mineral depth. Fresher in the mouth, more energy, very fine texture and then mouth-watering tasty flavour. This is perfect in form. Very long with real intensity of finishing flavour. Not yet delicious but all that it should be – be patient.
2015 Chablis Les Clos
A vibrant nose, subtly, attractively reduced. Wide, muscled – but relaxed muscle – flavour that melts over the palate, yet flavour of both power and intensity. Really a mineral finish, long and impressive. Super wine.