Tasted in Chablis with Mélanie Zuber, 19 January 2018.
Domaine Drouhin Vaudon
Moulin de Vaudon
Chemin du Moulin
Tel: +33 3 80 24 68 88
Mélanie on 2017:
“2017 was hard – a little more damage in the grand crus versus 2016, but the villages struggled too. ”
Frédéric Drouhin (last year) on 2016:
“Our vines are mainly in the old heart of Chablis, so very central, it’s really only the grand crus that are protected from the frost. We were not much affected by the hail, but we lost about half of our villages and premier crus. Mildew was of-course a problem – lots of work by people and machines because there was rain every couple of days so we needed to re-treat every couple of days. Because it was so wet, much of the spraying was by people with back-packs – the machines would have sunk in the vines!
“Summer arrived allowing the vines to dry – in the end it was a good – but really a physical year. Much silice and arnica were used, trying to minimise the use of copper. We did just one treatment in Chablis in 2016 which was non-bio….”
Very good to absolutely top class wines in 2016!
Up to and including the 1er crus it’s all tank elevage for these wines. Racked after fermentation and in tank for about 12 months, aiming for 16-18°C during fermentation to keep some of the floral aromas. Mostly bottled in the Summer.
Domaine – usually representing 23 hectares – a mix of horse and tractor work here in rotation so to allow treatments but not to compact the soil too much.
A nice yellow colour. The nose is a little tight, showing a hint of minerality, slowly adding a little riper fruit. This is very nice, wide, transparent – a lovely freshness and with melting partly saline flavour this is lovely. And long too – it starts modestly and finishes as really excellent wine!
2016 Chablis 1er Montmains
Mainly Montmains with a small part of Forêts. Vines in the mid 20s year-old. A little more than 2 hectares. Risky for frost here at the bottom of the hill as there’s not much air circulation.
Also a relatively compact nose but there are some agrume notes here. Extra zip, more direction and an extra salinity. Really a lovely wine, opening wider and wider in the finish – excellent.
2016 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Mostly from the lower levels of about 25 years old, 3-4 hectares.
More open, wider, a lovely minerality here. Extra again – wider, more depth of energetic flavour really a fine definition, lots of delicious citrus energy. Excellent again – even better.
Always some of the earliest vines to grow and harvest. Two parcels, one very old that was pulled out last year.
A little tighter again. Some green fruit maybe. Ooh this is really intense, a wine of line, more limited volume but pure citrus fruit, I’ve hardly met a wine as direct as this – frank, but there’s not really austerity just intensity. It will need to calm but this is potentially a great wine!
2016 Chablis Bougros
Old demi-muids between 350-500 litres for all the grand crus.
A little more roundness of aroma – riper lemon-yellow fruit. Fine volume. An intensity that reminds of the MdM but with a more accommodating roundness. Here is a little oak in the complexity today – but there will be nothing to see in 2-3 years. Round, concentrated and delicious wine!
Almost 2 hectares of the 3 of grand cru that Joseph Drouhin own are here – with some old vines too yet still vigorous – about 40 years in the oldest parcel. The same person has done the vineyard work here for 30 years!
A little rounder nose again, this with more than a hint of oak on the nose. More overtly mineral and wide, but still with such an insistence if intensity – great wine. Wait for the oak again but bravo!
2016 Chablis Les Clos
Old vines no question about quality but they struggle on quantity so a small parcel has been pulled out for replanting. Harvested quite quickly after the hail – the second vineyard to be harvested.
Still not a big nose but there’s a vibrant depth of aroma. Almost more composed than the others – but the widest, with a hint more concentration and plenty of overt minerality. An insistent intensity again. Less visible oak. Excellent wine – the most composed, but I think, despite the oak, I’d take a glass of the Vaudesir today.