François Raveneau – 2016

Update 22.1.2018(11.1.2018)billn

Tasted with Isabelle Raveneau in Chablis, 11 January, 2018.

Domaine François Raveneau
9 rue de Chichée
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 (0)3 86 42 17 46

Isabelle on 2017:
2017 was frosted, but still different to the frost of 2016. In 2017 it was the bottom of the Valleys that were effected – the Spring-frost style. About one-third was affected, so less was lost than in 2016. We were in the first wave of harvesters but not in August. I see more acidity but also a little more ripeness of fruit. Fermentations went well and we’re starting elevage now.

Isabelle on 2016:
2016 really was a nightmare; frost, hail, drought, sun-burn – so in the end it was only half a harvest for us – that’s even smaller than our harvest in 2015 where we had the late hail. Some of the plots were okay and the flowering was okay. So it was really mixed up – some places with 15-50 hectolitres per hectare.

In 2016 there’s no much of some cuvées, but only one is missing, and that’s Chapelots.

The wines…

This tasting started very well but not outstanding – just the position of the first two wines in their respective elevage – then the fireworks started – great wine, followed by great wine. Really delivering the goods for 2016 – well done! And my favourite today? The Forêts!

2016 Petit Chablis
Third vintage for this wine – I tasted 14 but not 15.​ An area that frosts so was only 15 hl/ha.
Fine with nice depth and a more modest width of aroma. Hmm, this is a match for many Chablis as there is ripeness and roundness this year – pretty acidity and nothing aggressive – simply lovely.

2016 Chablis
Close to normal here with 45 hl/ha
Again good depth and fine silky top notes too, like the last a little tighter in the width. Ooh more direct, layered, melting flavour – really mouth-watering. Faintly saline – super – really classic with an ounce of extra depth of texture.

Compared to those that follow the previous two wines were much less open:

2016 Chablis 1er Montmains
Not lots of this after the frost.
This is more open, higher-tones and beautifully transparent too – a touch of attractive reduction. Wide, really very wide, slightly reductive minerality, silken, wine. Not overtly energetic but more than enough. Nicely balanced richness and minerality.

2016 Chablis 1er Forêts
Practically a normal yield at harvest
Ooh the first really vibrant nose – yes! Extra bright and mineral – wow for the energy and intricacy. Super complex – really my style – faintly saline accented. Great wine!
2016 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A tighter, more reduced nose, slowly opening with some agrumes. Ooh – wide, silky, more wide and more silky. Just a hint of richness but such a lovely line of fine acidity. Open in the finish – long…….
2016 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
A very small yield – 15-20 hl/ha
Nice… a depth of modestly vibrant minerality – lovely. Lots of mouth-filling fresh volume – finer than the Vaillons, more elegant, and quite simply beautiful…
2016 Chablis 1er Butteaux
A good yield here in 2016.
A much more modest volume of aroma – elegant and complex though. Silky, very mineral a suggestion of richness – wide and insinuating, haunting finish. Love….
2016 Chablis Blanchots
​A big nose, pure, complex, hyper-attractive. Big in the mouth too with extra intensity – there’s no padding here and you will have to hold on for the ride – but what a ride. Lots of rocky limestone in the finish…
2016 Chablis Valmur
‘From the top of the plot, more sunny, more expressive and classic each year.’
​Wider, more floral more green citrus. Like the Blanchots, this is intense and energetic, both of these wines need time. So much width of finishing flavour also in the finish – great wine!
2016 Chablis Les Clos
The dirtiest looking barrels – so it must be Les Clos!
The most intense and vibrant nose. Extra wide but with more density of flavour too – energetic but not like the the last two – it’s a very different style, but pure and intense. Great wine again!

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