Clotilde Davenne – 2017


Tasted in Préhy with Clotilde Davenne and team, 18 January, 2019.

Domaine Clotilde Davenne
3, rue de Chantemerle
89800 Préhy
Tel: +33 3 86 41 46 05

On 2018:
Superb, we’re really happy. Right into the early summer it was very wet, but the spring weather was nice during the flowering so we had a great ‘sortie’ of the grapes. In the vines it started to look like 2015 and that there wouldn’t be much juice as the grapes looked like they would dry. Some small rain fell at the end of August. We waited until well into September to harvest, expecting not a lot of juice – but we were wrong. We also expected wines like 2015 – we were wrong again. Atypical, we had high sugars but the primary material was great…

On 2017:
The vintage was a nice surprise in St.Bris though harder in Chablis because of the frost. It’s a much more classic vintage – though it was hard to prune and to train the vines after the difficulty of 2016 – the cold, the frost, lasted much longer than most years – it was nearly two weeks. It was a warm but not excessive heat in the summer, which brought very classic wines, though with less quantity because of the frost; it was a 40% loss in our Petit Chablis, but in the end it’s a bit more than half a harvest here.

From 2018 there are 10 more hectares for the domaine, all in Saint-Bris with aligoté, chardonnay, pinot and just a little sauvignon blanc – the first with a Bourgogne Côtes d’Axerre label. Possibly the prices in 2019 will soften a little here as the supply situation has eased – ‘anyway the 2018s will be tender and ready to drink.

The wines…

Very good wines in 2017. There’s a serenity to some, rather than absolute energy – and that’s just fine. Lovely wines.

Lots are bottled but a few not yet:

2017 Bourgogne Aligoté
Not yet bottled.
Fresh, wide, a little floral. Fresh, plenty of volume, deliciously flavoured – mineral and delicate but short of nothing. Really excellent – a super and juicy finish – a wine that keeps getting better in the mouth – bravo.

2017 Bourgogne Aligoté Vieilles-Vignes
Actually this is bottled.
A little tighter nose but with more weight behind. Some gas, lots more volume – open, mineral, plenty of freshness and sweetness. Delicious.

2017 St.Bris
A big nose, one of energy, modest mint-leaf. Gas. Width lovely fresh intensity here – you are taking a ride – the last drops more mineral and saline. Yum!

2017 St.Bris Vieilles-Vignes
This one not bottled.
A less exuberant nose, fine width – more elegance. Gas. After the gas fades there is an extra clarity to this wine – mineral in the deep, but melting with some flavour intensity – here is more. Really a fine finishing intensity – excellent…

2017 Bourgogne Blanc
Just behind the domaine in Prehy on Kimmerigian, a little more soil depth but probably should be classed as Chablis! Planted in 1992
A nice open top to this wine – more guarded in the depth. Round, super-silky, supple, plays beautifully over the palate – composed, not super-energetic – but super wine all the same – lovely.

2017 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre
Two parcels of old vines – from 2018 in the domaine.
Ooh – that’s a beautiful nose, more mineral, more inviting. There is a hint of herby d’Auxerre style to this, but there is fine energy and a lovely play over the palate. I like this nose but prefer the flavour of the last wine. This finishing with a little stony salinity.

2017 Petit Chablis
This has a screw-cap – but not all have – it’s an option for most of the range – currently it’s mainly ordered by clients in the US.
A guarded nose, a suggestion of reduction, yet there seems some volume of aroma. More direct, more mouth-watering, a saline width of flavour here. Flashes of great flavour in the finish. More lime flavour in the finish. Super!

2017 Petit Chablis
This the same but with a cork seal.
Hmm – a nose that’s much more open. Saline, some herb, a super finishing line and intensity….

2017 Chablis
Filtered yesterday
A more forward nose – more attack! Here is an extra creamy depth of flavour – wide, fresh – good texture. Calm but with energy – the fruit is lovely in the finish – the most distinguished part – here it’s great!

2017 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Narrower at the top but showing much more below. More gas here despite both being bottled. Wide, of clarity, fresh and floral – lots more flavour complexity, less suave texture. Lovely burst of fresh finishing flavour though that starts fruity and adds floral as it fades. Excellent again.

2017 Chablis 1er Vaucoupin
Bought from same producer each year.
A broader nose, a faint herb complexity here too. Gas but not too much, Direct, complex, energetic, a little green herb in the flavour too – but like all the finish is a juicy beauty – the best part!

2017 Chablis 1er Montmains
36-year-old vines in Courgis, from the bottom of Montmains.
Another nose that is showing some herb complexity. Gas. Much more volume – even after the gas fades – more architectural and open, mineral too. Layered, mobile, complex, such an energetic complexity – this is great!

2016 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
More width of aroma, freshness, almost a suggestion of flowers too. Ooh – this is good – lots of volume in the mouth, lots of energy, minerality, a hint of rigour in the flavour – accented a little with salinity but very tasty indeed today.

No Bougros this year.

2017 Chablis Blanchots
40-year-old vines.
A nose with a twist of mint plus herb – not the largest nose but a good one! More density and much more width – fine texture, cooler fruit, layered, enveloping, saline. This is really very fine. Drinkable now – but wait a little! – A super volume of fine finishing flavour too – hmmm… yes, Excellent!

2017 Chablis Les Clos
Like all wines at this domaine, never any wood.
A less open nose, but there is some impressive depth here for sure. Composed, mineral, supple, clearly with concentration – just a little more sucrosity to add to the base of minerality, but really not that much more to add today. Another great finish though. Excellent.

Les Rouges:

2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Rosé
A very small production from Côtes d’Auxerre.
A beautiful colour. A very attractive nose too! Hmm – fresh, wide, a subtle touch of herb, super width – long, tasty wine – excellent.

2017 Bourgogne Côte d’Auxerre
Hmm – wide, a pretty nose of very fine fruit – this is a real invitation to drink. Full, round, some herb, practically a suggestion of pyrazine but only as party of an agreeable complexity. Hmm – very nice and sweet finishing!

2017 Irancy
With 10% cesar. From Paradis and Les Rez
Plenty more colour on display. Ooh wild, floral – open – darker fruit – yes! Round, plenty of tannin, sweetly framed. A touch of rusticity to the structure but an absolutely delicious and deeply fruited wine – bravo!

And for the road:

2012 Chablis Bougros
Ooh a little touch of firework in the wide, deliciously inviting aromas. Great width, a touch of tannin-like texture at the base. Calm, mineral, beautifully packaged. A baby! But a great one – long too!

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