Tasted in Chablis with Laurent and Charlene Pinson, 09 January 2018
5, quai Voltaire
Tel: +33 3 86 42 10 26
Laurent on 2017:
“Not a big difference in volume, but we had a little more in 2016 than in 2017. Actually in 2017 the grapes looked great but there really wasn’t a lot of juice to extracted. Clearly we lacked water before the harvest – we had nothing in August – unlike the Côte d’Or, so it’s roughly half a harvest. It was frustrating because we thought we’d have much more. Actually there are lots of similarities between 2016 and 2017 – I’m not saying that they are the same, but they are in the same vein.”
Laurent on 2016:
“2016 was a complicated year right to the end – with a little dryness (like in 2017) at the end. The biggest impact here was the frost, 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. But the wines have good balance and acidity, with a nice train of minerality.”
It’s always a great pleasure to taste here – very fine to great wines in 2016 too!
Everything has been bottled except Les Clos, that will be done in the next week or two.
2016 Charlène and Laurent Pinson, Petit Chablis
From close to Maligny, third vintage bought.
A very faint touch of biscuit reduction but wide, fresh and inviting with a touch of ripe fruit. Round, slowly melting flavour, a little d’orée – lithe and with a good mid-palate concentration. Very tasty wine and very easy to drink for such a young PC – Yum!
2016 Charlène and Laurent Pinson, Chablis
From about 1.5 ha – one parcel near domaine parcels – fourth vintage
A similar biscuit reduction to start – actually this nose is a little tighter. Ooh – brighter, directly more intense, soft textured but with lovely energy and enjoyment. More mouth-watering and charming – a nice combination – yum!
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!
More depth, faintly reductive minerality. Wider, a little more freshness, tension and minerality in a finely textured package – the mid-palate flavour is a little brooding so will need some time to open – give it 12 months but this is really excellent!
The 1ers get 10% new oak for their elevage, for fermentation the 10% is new, for later elevage its older barrels.
2016 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Only three barrels – the smallest cuvee of the domaine
Fresh and transparent with a base of more oak-inflected aromas. Ooh – bright, lots of volume, lots of sweet-edged minerality. There’s a lot of oak here today that will need at least a couple of years to fade – if you don’t want to see it. But here is a lovely blend of mineral energy and concentration with a seriously great finish.
A small parcel. South-facing, similar soil to Forets. 25 year-old vines. 4 barrels, should be the double.
Again a lovely open nose, fresh mineral with plenty of oak at the base. Big in the mouth – even nicer fruit vs the Vaillons – tremendously mouth-watering with delicious flavour. This is really special and a little less overtly oaked in the mouth. Great!
The vines planted 1955/56, right at the start of Forêts – a very limestone soil.
Nice aromatic width – engaging depth too and the oak is barely present. Extra direct, melting, layered, a little saline, so wide and mineral. Beautiful wine. This is my new favourite. Almost a hint of austerity at the end of the tongue – super wine!
2016 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.
A deep, more mineral impression. A little more richness to the texture, wide, silky, more melting in character than layered. Really a fine and tasty wine – yum! Long again – impressively so…
Now moving to the right bank:
2016 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
In Vaupoulot just changing the orientation a little, similar to that of the middle of Montée de Tonnerre. Some hail here but mainly the yield was cut by the frost.
Pure open nose, with a smoky mineral depth. Open, depth of more openly transparent flavour – silky, a little twist of richness. Layered in the finish – super wine…
2016 Charlene et Laurent 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 big nose almost perfumed with flowers, more modest depth but super width of aroma. Very fine volume in the mouth – wait and it starts to melt with mouth-watering flavour – really mineral – ooh this is good. Excellent wine – steely but delicious not with any austerity – fine and pretty precisions in the finish. Close to a new favourite!
Biggest parcel of the domaine, 4.5 hectares in two blocks, ‘the big parcel works really well raisonné because there is no neighbourly influence.’
A nice volume of aroma – a very subtle oak, pretty flashes of minerals and fruit. Big, bright, fresh, very mouth-watering – really a big wine but without any excess weight, all in balance. Top and really the prettiest finish of all the wines so far…
2016 Chablis Les Clos
Direct from tank – there’s some fining. From 4 different parcels, but the total is 2.5 hectares. Various vine ages from 8-45 years. The fermentation in new oak before swapping to older barrels before the malo – then 12 months further elevage.
Not the biggest nose – but there is an extra complexity of fruit – complex and charming at the same time. A similar volume to the Mont de Milieu, but everything is on a higher level – width, intensity but always deftly cushioned. Very mineral but again with nothing sharp or austere. A really super wine. Excellent Clos.
A couple of 2015s to finish:
2015 Chablis 1er Forêt
A little less wide and a little more saline but a fine vibration of minerality at the base. Really wide, mouth-watering, less directly fruit-driven than 2016, almost a little aniseed in the finish. Very tasty wine.
A little more ripeness of fruit – some vibration of minerality too. Fresh, direct, layered, delicious wine – ooh that’s so good! Lots of mouth-filling volume but enough energy to balance this silky wine, fine, complex and long. Great wine!
Ooh – there’s a vibration of something in the depth of this nose, yet I have the impression that the nose is tightening in the glass! Extra width, acidity, layers – this is fabulous. Really mouth-watering and very long too. I guess 2014 Forêt – half wrong – my second guess is the 2012 – correct second time and what a super wine. The nose is opening out now – precise and gorgeous.