Profile: Domaine Roland Lavantureux


Tasted in Lignorelles with David Lavantureux, 11 January 2018.

Domaine Roland Lavantureux
4 Rue Saint-Martin
89800 Lignorelles
Tel: +33 3 86 47 53 75

Brothers, Arnaud and David​ Lavantureux have been working together at the family domaine since 2010, their father Roland, together with his wife Brigitte, were the first of the family to start commercialising wine in bottle – since 1979.* Roland had studied in Beaune and worked for a number of years at Moet, in Champagne, before returning to Chablis.

At that time is was, typical of the region, a mixed farm. Roland started with about five hectares of vines but over time built that up to 20. There have been some updates to the cuverie since that time, most recently in 2012, so all of the wine produced here is now commercialised in bottle. David mentions that on his mother’s side of the family there are some old-vines in Epineul that will come to the domaine in 2019 – planted by his grandfather but will come here when his uncle retires – the space is already prepared and waiting for the first grapes!

David explains, “We look for the minerality but we like concentration too. We make some parts of the elevage in barrel, following the fermentation, some malos are in barrel though, a mix of barrels, including some of 350 litres. Typically the barrels already have 3-4 wines behind them – we’re lucky to have a good supply from a producer in Meursault. For us its really important that each wine shows its personality, but that it changes each year too.” There are 2-3 bottlings per year, here.

David on the last 2 years:
We were more hit by the frost in 2017 than in 2016 – here it’s about 40% of a regular volume in 2017. Practically we have the combined volume of 1 vintage from the last 2 years.

The domaine exports about 70% of their production, and their main export market is the US.

The wines…

Being responsible for voting this domaine ‘Young Chablis talent of the year’ in November – then of-course I was going to have to visit. As you can see, a very fine address.

All natural cork is used here, nothing peroxide treated. Wax topped from the Vauprin onwards.

2016 Petite Chablis
Here is the only wine that with 100% stainless-steel for all vinification and elevage. All from Lignorelles
A very attractive nose some sweetness, a suggestion almost of salted lemon. Direct, mineral, accented with citrus. Hmm, delicious – with lots of complexity.

2016 Chablis
All the domaine’s wines are vinified parcel by parcel – this comes from a single parcel in Lignorelles but a big parcel of 5ha and is the biggest cuvée of the domaine.
Less effusive but deeper, wider and more mineral aromas. Lots of mouth-filling volume, really a beautifully mineral wine – layered in flavour and becoming more complex and slightly saline as you head into the finish. This will just get better and better over the next couple of years – but it’s already great now! A little floral lift in the great and long finish too! Bravo!

The previous two wines bottled in July. It’s a more recent bottling, from the end of August for the next:

2016 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
3 parcels in Lignorelles – vines planted by grandfather – 50-60 year-old vines
This nose betrays a little oak-spiced sweetness – a great core of fruit here though. Hmm, this is fine – fresh, mineral, extra sweetness of flavour, extra intensity of flavour – pure and transparent minerality – really delicious and extra fine. Wait a little for the oak to fade, but bravo!

2016 Chablis Vauprin
No, not my bad spelling, this is a villages climat – a high parcel in Lignorelles, south, south-east facing, but 300m high so cool and exposed.
Really a deep and interesting nose – a little savoury, with a saline impression. Ooh – sleek, direct but slowly mouth-filling too – almost a toffee style accent – but I love the combination of width, texture and mineral freshness here. Slowly mouth-watering in the finish, accented here with a little oak spice. Excellent

2016 Chablis 1er Vau de Vey
Too steep for animals here and slippy too – so everything done by hand. A similar exposure to Vauprins, but at lower altitude. Half with barrel elevage.
A bigger nose, some modest oak notes but also an attractive accent of reduction too. Ooh – such a rush of direct flavour but there’s also width too – lots of fine and fresh flavour complexity and intensity. The oak accent is here too – but in 1-2 years this will be even more magnificent – bravo!

2016 Chablis Vaudesir
Bought – normally it’s bought as grapes but the harvest volume was quite low in 16 so it came as must.
Not quite as large a nose as the Vau de Vey but with a little more weight – slightly fumé – almost silex style with some oak-spice. Intense, insinuating flavour – this is great – a little too much fumé from the barrel today – but give it the 2 years it deserves and you won’t note the oak – but absolutely super wine with a super length of finish.

An older wine:
Deep, fresh a little oxidative but in a butterscotch style – slowly more creamy and lanolin. Plenty of richness here, a good texture, toffee, butterscotch again not overtly acidic. Classic mature chardonnay – ‘we didn’t have much 1er cru in those days, so some was probably included in this‘ – I guess 90 or 92 because of the richness but it’s a 79! Roland’s first vintage.
*And here’s a great story – Roland didn’t have enough place for all his bottles in this first vintage, so asked a neighbour if he could store some for him. The neighbour knocked on the door only 3-4 years ago saying that he was having some renovation work done, and could Roland collect his bottles! Roland had forgotten about them. He said ‘yes of-course’ and assumed a few dozen to be collected – there was actually 1,200! Of-course not all were in great shape as some had leaked, others had low volumes – but all were opened and they could assemble 300 good ones which were all re-corked! A great story and a lovely wine!

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