Alain Geoffroy – 2017


Tasted in Beines with Nathalie Geoffroy, 21 January 2019.

Domaine Alain Geoffroy
4, rue de l’Equerre
89800 Beines
Tel: +33 3 86 42 43 76

Nathalie on 2018:
I’m really very happy as we had very good maturity: It was dry and we had some worry that the grapes were shrinking and concentrating – and we had a lot of grapes as it was a really great flowering period. Right before the harvest was a small amount of rain and we don’t harvest very early so it allowed a little more maturity – not big grapes but plenty of them! We’ve seen the quantity before but not with such degrees.

Nathalie on 2017:
We had a lot of frost in 2017 – so made only about half a normal vintage – which is about the same as we made in 2016 – we were lucky I suppose that it was mainly the frost to blame, we didn’t have any hail as was seen in some other villages – but the mildew took it’s toll too. In 2017 we would have liked more juice – we pressed but there was no more…

No price change here – ‘there’s more volume but it’s a great quality, so…’

The wines…

Never the most profound or concentrated but often some of the most delicious wines of my trip – so it is again in 2017 – bottles that will empty so quickly…

The bottling is all finished here, and not only that – as you will see – some 2018 is already bottled!.

The 2017 Petit Chablis is long gone, so:

2017 Chablis
The classic cuvee that sees only tank elevage. Usually 30 hectares worth of vines here. Beines, Lignorelles and Chapelle le Vaulpeteigne
Fresh, floral – nicely elegant. Supple – a nice depth of texture – almost a richness – but fresh, wide, a nice citrus – not too energetic, but far from contemplative. Just a delicious wine.

2017 Chablis Domaine le Verger Vieilles Vignes
Oak elevage in this cuvee, not new barrels but 100% barrel. Average age of this assembly of parcels is 50+ – mainly from Cornas in Beines
This is the only wine with vinification in barrel. Wide and fresh. A little lime, perhaps a sweetness that could suggest barrels – but the wood is ultra-discrete. More incisive, less richness, more volume and freshness. Extra power in the finish – a citrus skin bitters in the finish – highly attractive!

2017 Chablis 1er Beauroy
The historic cuvée of the family – almost 9.5 hectares averaging close to 40 year-old vines principally in the area of Troesmses. Have sometimes bottled as such – but it was a hard sell!
Hmm – vibrant and fresh – Beauroy is often a little soft, but never here! Hmm, some saline, some intensity, direct and mineral – properly chiselled wine – beautifully proportioned – never the most concentrated but always pure, fine and deliciously put together. Fresh finishing, juicy waves in the finish – excellent!

2017 Chablis 1er Vau-Ligneau
About 2.5 hectares – ‘Not a big parcel for us! There’s less sun here. The vines are now about 35 years old and the cuvée gets more and more interesting.’ Only tank elevage.
Bright, pure, some nice energy, almost a suggestion of salinity. Hmm – extra mineral, more composed to start but growing in intensity – still more mineral than citrus but ever-more of the latter. A beautiful saline wave of finishing flavour. Beauroy is the more delicious today – this potentially has more for the future – excellent again!

2017 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
A parcel of 2.5 ha all in the same sector of ‘real’ Fourchaume. This is already bottled in the summer as it’s more in demand – the others tend to be bottled closer to the harvest.
A nose that reminds of the Beauroy with a more expressive freshness and sucrosity to the nose – vibrantly mineral at the same time. Almost an impression of gas here. Intense, mineral – almost a half-way house between the Beauroy and the Vau Ligneau – the sucrosity and exuberance of the former and the mineral intensity of the latter. This is more than excellent – super wine.

2017 Chablis Les Clos
Not proprietors here, but each year buy from friends. He is also oak on one part that is assembled with tank wine. Only a small production. This with about half barrel elevage.
Like the Chablis Vieilles-Vignes, this may be oaked, but it’s very discretely done; A good volume of aroma, some ripe, yellow-fruited sweetness and an impression of energy behind. Oh this is fresh, it is also very direct and intense – a slight richness to the texture and flavour in the mid-palate, and a very fine clarity to that agrumed complexity too. A peackock’s tail, a mouthful of small fireworks and then finally a little touch of salinity – ooh another excellent wine.

The first bottlings from a series, but already 2018:

2018 Petit Chablis
Bottled in December.
Ooh – this is a big, sweet, fruit-salad of a nose. The palate is almost a surprise as it’s quite driving and saline, only modestly sweet – clearly ripe fruited and could even be from Chablis – the nose is very non-standard, but it’s a very good wine! The nose will calm with time – it needs to if it has a Chablis’ label – but impressive wine.

2018 Chablis
Bottled last week.
There is a ripeness here, but much more forward is the freshness and drive of the nose – that’s a fine invitation. Like the PC – it’s almost a shock in the mouth after the relative sweetness of the nose. This is forward, concentrated but with plenty of freshness – a considered weight of mineral flavour. This seems like a vintage that I’d want to drink very young or wait at least 5-6 years – let’s see what everyone else brings next year!

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