Tasted with Jean-François Bordet in Maligny, 15 January 2018.
8 Chemin des Hâtes
Tel: +33 6 45 47 44 42
Jean-François on 2017:
“2017 started terribly with the April frost. Here with Villy, Lignorelles and Vaupelteigne we were the worst hit of the frost. I did a little better than some neighbours, at the cost of a lot of candles. The candles were in a 6ha parcel of Chablis – villages – I was lucky to have made the big order in November. We managed a yield of 38-40 hl/ha with candles – neighbours who didn’t heat had much less than 20. The two vintages (2016+2017) together have less wine than one normal vintage. June was very nice but between the hail of 16 and the frost of 17 it’s still unsure that there will be much in 2018 in some of the young vines. Otherwise it was quite a simple and dry vintage without complications – I actually harvested relatively late in mid-September. I probably remember the year more for losing my grandfather in December though.
“Last week I did some first rackings and the wines look very promising – a lovely freshness – I think I’m happy with what I taste. The main complication is that it’s the second low harvest in a row… At many domaines you will find wine in their export markets, but there is none left to sell at home!”
Jean-François on 2016:
“After Beru, Maligny is, yet again, one of the worst affected areas, both frost and hail. We saw just a small amount of frost but on the 13 May, 16h00, it started with just a few hailstones then stopped – I thought we’d escaped – but then it came so fast, hail and flooding at the same time – it didn’t last long but there was an enormous amount of water. If that wasn’t enough the rest of May and June it kept raining – how to treat? The weather only changed for the better around the 13-14 July. Effectively two very complicated vintages in a row – here was less than 20hl/ha overall, only Fourchaume wasn’t hailed. It was complicated mentally too!
“But 2016 only has a problem of volume, here the wines are nicely fruity, as good as in 2015, though 2014 is still the reference. The 2016s are somewhere between those two. I’m happy with them.”
There are screw-caps, but no DIAM here as they have the impression that there’s a taste from the adhesive – on questioning, actually wasn’t a DIAM, rather an equivalent, also they consider DIAM expensive. Note that there’s no Vaillons in 2016 – as normally it’s an exchange for Chablis, but there wasn’t enough to exchange in 2016!
A fine address for 2016s, thank-you Jean-François.
2016 Petit Chablis
Plateau in Maligny is all clay, almost no stones – this brings a floral, just some large stones – indistinguishable from the grand cru rock. This with screw-cap – also plenty screwcaps for villages Chablis. Bottled in July after elevage on lees.
A nice width, yellow fruit some herb. Good volume and really a super transparency of intense and pure flavour – this is a proper mouthful of fresh flavour. Really excellent
Here from Maligny, there are some parts with clay but mainly it is more stony ground. ‘Maligny does have a certain roundness though.’ Not is all bottled at the same time.
A finer blend of citrus and herb – nice depth too. Silky with a hint of richness but wide and growing in intensity – this is really mineral but with a caress, not austerity. Super wine. Bright, faintly saline finishing. Again really excellent wine!
A mix of vine ages – between 45 and 108 – hard to say exactly the blend in 2016.
A less overt but very fine nose – faintly sweet flowers in the mix. More direct, a little more melting – just achingly beautiful, pure flavour – waves of flavour with a tiny accent of salinity. Bravo – top villages!
Today this is 100% from Homme Mort, 55-56 year-old vines. This bottled in July.
Not so wide, but a very fine depth of silky aroma – yellow citrus complexity. Really more mineral, but the shape and character of this wine is exactly that of VV – very pure, mobile and changing – here there is a little more density only. Still great wine!
2016 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From bought grapes only 16 metres from the domaine vines. This bottled later – in December – labelled Jean-Francois Bordet.
The aromas are a little more open – ample even – but fresh and fine. A little extra richness – more depth of flavour and concentration. A weight of great flavour here – I’ve a slight preference for the first but all the same, this is very fine and is already drinking great.
2016 Chablis Les Preuses
A new label. Also bottled December. Elevage only in stainless-steel – inspired by the old wine of Billaud-Simon which JF loved.
Not the largest nose, but the deepest nose – very fine and pure weight of fruit at the base. Really a mouth-filler but not with the type of energy that presses, rather an energy and weight combination that impresses! Deep, complex, weighted pure flavour but beautifully balanced – this drinks great already – but it will only get better – what a great debut!
Two 500 litre barrels – not new. The last three were all bottled the same day – 11 Dec
A totally different nose – more open higher tonality – quite floral. Weighty, mineral, layered, not a hint of oak waves of deep faintly saline flavour – great wine again – plenty of richness but it never stops moving over the tongue – I don’t see any wood, just great wine!
The last ‘forgotten wine’ was served blind:
The biggest nose but it’s quite a classically saline nose – and very inviting. Some richness of flavour – lots of fruit and layers of fruit too – clearly the fruitiest wine here. Concentrated but with a good balance, tasty wine with less finishing length. This a 2016 Bourgogne Chardonnay. A 1-1 blend of local grapes with Mâcon grapes. There’s richness but not the flavour of Mâcon – it’s very well done. Jean-François liked this so much that he will do it again in 2017!