Tasted in Fleys with Lucie Thieblemont and Charly Nicolle, 17 January 2019.
Domaine Charly Nicolle
17, rue des Près Giraud
Tel: +33 3 86 42 80 08
Charly on the 2018:
“2018 was a year full of surprises. Lots of rain to start but in the end it didn’t affect the quality of the grapes. Before the harvest we saw very small grapes and didn’t think we had much to harvest – until we pressed. Degrees that were very high – ‘take a photo, I’ve never seen that, some at 14°’ – I think everyone had some happiness from this harvest, the tension of the last couple of years was lifted.”
Charly on the 2017:
“2017 has brought us some serenity, the volume is still not great but there’s more than in 2016! A nice vintage of sun. Not too badly hit by the frost, so we still managed to have correct yields – with very balanced wines – it’s a very Chablis vintage, more alive than 2016. When I harvested we had good degrees and a nice sunshine – I never expected that we would have such a nice tension – I like surprises like that!”
Very classy, cool presentation to the wines – a sort of in-built elegance. I liked them very much.
2017 Petit Chablis
From plateau above Fleys and Chichée – No frost as on the summit of the plateau – it was the bottom of the hill that got hit. The only PC in Fleys, it’s surrounded by Chablis and was declassified from Chablis a few years ago – some red clay here. This and the Chablis sealed with DIAM.
Wide, calm, an attractive ripe lemon. Good volume, supple, ripe but nicely complex and tasty wine – good balance. Really excellent with a citrus zest finish.
2017 Chablis Per Aspera
Usually about 12 hectares represented by this wine.
Deep, vibrant though touched by a slight biscuit reduction. Ooh that’s a finer texture with a cooler fruit-minerality complexity. Plays beautifully over the tongue. There could be more energy, but not much more class – excellent!
2017 Chablis Ante MCMLXXX
These two are playing with me with their cuvée names! The name is Charly’ birthdate, but the (parcel selection) vines are older that than vintage.
Hmm, also a hint reductive but with a more agrume stance to the fruit. Like the last a cool impression, fine – less directly delicious, a touch more rigour to the minerality but what a great wine – a more bubbling energy. More complete I think. Excellent again.
2017 Chablis les Fourneaux
Two parcels overlooking the village of Fleys – directly opposite the winery with yellow clay soil – steep, south-facing, and very warm in the summer.
The most open nose, plenty of fine and vibrant minerality. In the mouth too this is vibrantly mobile, never too much energy, but following a great line of flavour. Still, broad in the finish. Excellent again – a super 1er Cru with a lip-smacking finishing flavour.
2017 Chablis 1er Les Fourneaux Ante MCMLXXX
Again a parcel selection with vines of a minimum 40 years of age – ‘we don’t like writing Vieilles-Vignes’
The nose is more agrume but also tighter. Hmm, less overt energy, tighter, more mineral, certainly more saline and silky. A little burst of finishing flavour again.
Also direct south-facing with less clay than Fourneaux but with more limestone. The domaine’s oldest vines are here, ‘but we don’t have a separate VV cuvee, as it’s all old vines here – they are nearly all older than me!’
A nice width here – it’s on a modest, subtle, level but this is a very nice nose. Lots of volume, like the rest with a beautiful texture helped by a little depth of cushioning. Agrume, complexity – a base of minerality. Composed, elegant, classy like the whole range. With a delicious extra in the finish. Bravo.