Tasted in Chablis with Laurent Pinson, 11 January 2017 – Charlene said ‘Hi’ then left for her English lesson!
5, quai Voltaire
Tel: +33 3 86 42 10 26
Laurent on 2016:
“It was certainly a particular vintage – right from the end of 2015 – a very wet and not cold winter, more rain in the spring. For us, it was the frost that really impacted the domaine, fortunately the hail didn’t touch us. It really did seem a catastrophic start to the vintage, but after the summer it was much more favourable; the mildew calmed, the maturity came through well, and the season finished well. We have a ‘petit’ half harvest. The left bank was not impacted and delivered lovely stuff. A little porriture arrived right at the end, mainly where the frost had been. The wines are fermenting gently and some malos are underway.”
Laurent on 2015:
“With 2015 we’re very happy. Of-course the black mark was the hail, but fortunately it was only a couple of days before the harvest and, let’s be honest, it would have been catastrophic if it had been two weeks earlier. It helps that we harvested everything by hand. We lost the most, probably, in Les Clos in terms of proportion. We had a lovely summer and a fine maturity. The wines have a good freshness and are really tasty – they still have a good tension, though they are full-bodied, more dense, less crystalline vs the 2014s…”
All bottled – the last, the grand crus, just before Christmas.
From close to Maligny, second vintage bought.
Rather a tight nose, faintly saline a suggestion of fruit weight below – but only a suggestion! Lovely in the mouth, supple, a little layered, easy to appreciate, then a fine citrus, mouth-watering wow! – delicious.
2014 Charlène and Julien Pinson, Chablis
From about 1.5 ha – one parcel near domaine parcels – third vintage
A more open nose, not by much, but here is a little more depth. A little richness of texture, yet it is carried well and there’s no lack of finishing minerality – indeed this grows and grows. Nice layers in the finish, a strong finish. This tastes really well.
4 hectares here, about 50:50 right and left bank, sealed with DIAM. 100% tank elevage here.
Also just a little more open, a freshness of fruit on display here. Hmm, lovely, this is clean, pure, slightly cool in style, but with a nice layered delivery of flavour – a nice mineral tension in the mid-palate and onward into the finish. Not super overt, but fine! Long finishing, an easy classic = yum!
2015 Chablis cuvée Mademoiselle
A single tiny parcel on top the hill some way above the Montée de Tonnerre. More skin contact with this – red style – just for about 20 hours. Just a small cuvée, but starting with great quality grapes. Elevage and fermentation in old barrels – 5-10 years old. 3-4 barrels only.
A deep nose, ripe fruit, clutching some oak notes. Lithe, fine texture – beautiful texture – a richness but almost a richness of minerality. Of-course there’s a lot of oak, but also clarity of flavour. Very tasty in its style, but a wine to wait for the oak to fade.
The 1ers get 10% new oak for their elevage, for fermentation the 10% is new, for later elevage its older barrels.
2015 Chablis 1er Vaugiraut
A small parcel. South-facing, similar soil to Forets. 25 year-old vines.
Here a much more open nose, plenty of oak too. Hmm, this has a beautiful line in the mouth, fine texture again, an almost open-ended finish – very impressive. Less overt than the previous wine, but still an accent of oak that I would look to fade. It will be a beauty!
2015 Chablis 1er Forêts
65 yo vines, right at the start of Forets – a very limestone soil.
More open, top and bottom notes – this is lovely! Lithe, cool, growing energy, mineral a little linear but not a hard minerality. Really rather delicious, the oak already harder to spot. Really excellent and a great finishing line of flavour too, only here is the oak clear today.
2014 Chablis 1er Montmains
Right at the end of Montmains (real Montmains) about 150 metres from the Fôrets but same height up on the hill. Argille blanche/bleu less white stone than Fôrets.
An open nose, very open above with a nice yellow citrus fruit – some suggestion of oak, but slowly adding depth too. Supple, mobile, finely mineral, the texture suggests fine oak, the finish is wide and beautifully complex. Very yum!
Now moving to the right bank:
In Vaupoulot just changing the orientation a little, similar to that of the middle of Montée de Tonnerre
A more vibrant nose, fresh, the oak really harder to find. Fresh, agrume fruit, a little texture like tannin in the mid-palate, growing minerality. A big growth of fine finishing flavour. Bravo!
Biggest parcel of the domaine, 4.5 hectares in two blocks, the big parcel works really well raisonné because there is no neighbourly influence…
Open, vibrant, mineral, just a great nose, a suggestion of oak support. A suggestion of gas too, wide, volume without the pressure (to spit or swallow), mineral, again more an agrume style. Energy rather than overt texture. A very fine finishing flavour too. Hardly any oak today – a few months and there will be none. Bravo again!
2015 Charlene et Julien Pinson, Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
This from bought grapes ‘its not that we need the volume, but I love to complete a nice range of crus’
A little more oak on the nose, a certain vibrancy of aroma below, but tighter than the previous two wines. Wide, very mineral, but no hard edges or rigidity. A joyous impression in the mid-palate – of course still some oak. But this is simply delicious wine – with a classy citrus length too.
2015 Chablis Les Clos
From 4 different parcels, but the total is 2.5 hectares. Various vine ages from 8-45 years. The last wine bottled – in December. The fermentation in new oak before swapping to older barrels before the malo – then 12 months further elevage.
Wide, fine but present oak. Fabulous combination of richness and texture, but clearly a wine based on minerality. Not the most energetic Clos you will find, but energetic all the same. A burst of flavour in the finish – also some oak. Just excellent length.
2014 Chablis Les Clos Cuvée Authentique
Here with 2 years elevage – a label similar to the cuvée Mademoiselle. Vinification and some more months in new oak before older barrels with the lees. Two winters in barrel – this was bottled in September 2016.
Wide, fresh, some citrus also still plenty of oak. Fabulous texture and cool style in the mouth. Way too much oak for this palate but really the minerality, texture, intensity and overall joy are just engrossing. Bravo, pure and simple! And what value – ttc ex cellar 45€!
And to finish…
Only a little deeper colour. A hint of reduction, and a little age, slowly a little creamy accent. Lithe, fresh, a little cool, wide, fine energy, never over-facing, a mature lemon, fine texture and really great complexity in the finish. Some aging but beautiful wine!
Certainly more golden colour. Deep, vibrant, mineral and beautiful older wine. Wide, a little hint of fat, really fine acidity and starting to add a little lanolin. Super complex – this is simply great wine!