Tasted in Fontenay-Près-Chablis with Thierry Mothe, 09 January 2019.
Domaine du Colombier
42 Grand Rue
Tel: +33 3 86 42 15 04
Thierry on 2018:
“2018 – was a good year, the climate was good and we had less problems with mildew versus vineyards to the south. It’s a fine vintage for both quality and quantity – with 25% of a normal vintage in 2016 followed by 70% of a normal vintage in 2017 you can see that we lost more than a whole harvest in those two years – so 2018 was appreciated!”
Thierry on 2017:
“2017 was a little bit better in terms of quantity vs 2016 – Fourchaume and the grand crus were only about half a harvest though – hardly 20hl/ha in the grand crus. For the Chablis and Petit Chablis I made about 70% of normal – the losses all because of the frost. But we have typical Chablis though, with a tension, freshness and minerality – it’s a vintage that respects well the terroir. Apart from the frost it was a relatively easy vintage in the vines with no other challenges. The harvest started 7-8 September 2017 versus 3-4 September in 2018 – but with very healthy grapes.”
A good, honest range, all of which will get better with 1-2 years of patience – today it’s the wines on both ends of the scale – the Petit Chablis and the Bougros – that will be the most rewarding in your glass.
DIAM across the range – DIAM3 for the ‘smaller’ wines, DIAM5 for the mid-range and DIAM10 for the grand cru. Thierry says he’s “Very happy with the way the DIAM is going – I see proper aging, not aging by oxidation!”
Everything is bottled here.
The produce of multiple parcels. Already bottled in January 18 – small harvest because of the frost – there’s practically no more at the domaine.
Yes – a very pretty, slightly cushioned green fruit. Full, concentration that you wouldn’t expect for the label, long, tasty frankly bravo wine for the price – green tinged throughout but in a good lime-fruit way.
40 hectares worth that needs 5-6 bottlings. Normally a blend of left plus right bank vines plus old and young vines – but in 2017 it represents only 7.5 hectares – Fontenay bringing older vines and Chichée younger vines which bring energy all left bank.
A green glint. Directly fresh, pure, depth too – super! A hint of gas, more of line and direction, growing in intensity, the same lime-style fruit of the Petit Chablis. Vibrating in the finish. Excellent!
2017 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Three little parcels of vines more than 45-60 you planted by Thierry’s father in Fontenay
Less depth but equal clarity and more aromatic width. Still a prickle of gas, but wide, less overt energy but fresh and more layered – no additional richness of texture but richness of flavour. Distinguished by a frankly great finish for the label – Overall an excellent wine.
2017 Chablis 1er Vaucoupin
Normally from 3 small parcels – 2 ha worth in Chichée, more clay here that adds to the fruit and flowers, whereas Fourchaume is more limestone, ‘More alive, more dry, more reflective.’ Here was touched as much by hail as frost, but still made an okay yield in the end – it was Fourchaume that was most affected in 2017.
Vibrant depth – not a full power nose, but one that has my full interest. Hmm, more direct, less sweet – here the emphasis is on the mineral. Growing wider in the middle. Melting, mineral, complexity. A more subtle width, but no less length vs the Vieilles-Vignes. Give this 1-2 years.
2017 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From 4 hectares of vines – but with very low yields in 2017.
A little more aromatic width, freshly mineral and attractively so. Wide on the palate too – very green fruited, a wine of mineral tension, less sweet again, certainly less tasty today with the lower sucrosity – but here’s a wine that’s less for drinking today – give it a couple of years – the finish says that you will be rewarded. Very good.
2017 Chablis Bougros
1.2 hectares in 3 parcels in the middle of William Fevre’s vines, including some old vines. No protection here, so made 20-22 hl/ha due to the frost. 20-25% barrel elevage, none new.
Not a nose of impact, but one of fineness and more yellow citrus – a little cushioned. Mouth-filling, very mineral, but all is cushioned, all has an insinuating touch of sweetness and roundness – the wine is delicious if still with a touch of youth – wait a little – not long – it will be delicious before the modest rigour of the Fourchaume and Vaucoupin fades. Excellent with a delicious saline tinge in the final flavours! I like this very much. Yum!