Besson – 2016


Tasted in Chablis with Camille Besson, 29 January 2018.

Domaine Besson
8 chemin de Valvan
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 42 40 88

Camille on 2017:
2017 was the more difficult vintage for us – we lost 40% of our regular volume, whereas in 2016 we lost only 10%. The quantity from Vaillons was quite good but across the whole range of our other areas we lost a lot to the frost.

Camille on 2016:
In 2016 we lost the production from about 4 of our 21 hectares of vines, so certainly it’s a small volume vintage for us, particularly in Petit Chablis and Chablis – but it’s not catastrophic. If 2015 was a vintage of roundness where we lost a little of the authenticity of Chablis, it is definitely back in 2016 and with good precision too.

The wines…

A very strong range of wines from Camille – a delicious selection in 2016.

2016 Petit Chablis
Bottled in October with all tank elevage. From vines on the hill behind the grand crus plus some behind Montmains too.
A modest nose but of width and a little mix of green herb and yellow fruit. Round, fresh, complex, with growing intensity, really a great finish for the label. Yes!

2016 Chablis
Usually about 8 hectares worth, mainly from Fyé and towards Vaillons, plus another hectare in Courgis. Bottled end of September – with 5% of the wine barrel-aged. Father hadn’t used barrel for a long time – so this was Camille’s idea which began with the 2014 vintage.
Less width of aroma, but a fine distinction of lime. Wide – pure and elegant wine but with really super clarity and definition. Lip-smackingly delicious wine – long, if subtly finishing. Excellent.

2016 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Beugnons, Chatains and Sechets, 2.45 hectares.
A subtle nose, but more width of aroma. Round in the mouth, growing in volume, really a delicious blend of the acidity and sweetness of fruit. A little vibration of finishing flavour and a little more weight of flavour too. Delicious.

2016 Chablis 1er Montmains
Mainly from Butteaux plus a little Forêt, about 5.25 hectares worth. ‘For us it the more mineral and typical Chablis style.’
Nicely floral with a suggestion of minerality too. Wide, melting, fresh – ooh – a wave of intensity, silken but fresh. Really super wine.

2016 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
0.99 ha – mid-slope, plain south orientation. Plan to bottle in March after 18 months of aging.
Hmm – not the most open nose but here an agrume style of fruit. Round, silken, some richness and depth of texture. Extra salinity, and complexity – this is just delicious finishing – it will be excellent.

2016 Chablis Vaudesir
1.4 hectares in the domaine over 25 years. Still finishing selling the 2014 of this before moving onto the 2015 in March. 10% aged in oak barrels.
Ooh – now that’s a nice width of aroma. Round, lots of intensity and a growing weight of flavour. Many layers of flavour here – big wine, delicious wine – but wait for the arms to open out more as it’s tightly packed today… Very Yum!

2016 Chablis Les Clos
0.15 ha so only about 800 bottles per year – ‘If we are lucky, sometimes 1,000 bottles!’ – quite high on the hill about 50m below the viewing table. Roughly 40 year-old vines – same as the Vaudesir
A nice width of inviting sweetness. A dreamy width of cushioned but beautifully balanced texture and flavour. Really an extra tenacity to the finishing flavour. Less open than even the Vaudesir but such a great potential.

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