François Raveneau – 2017


Tasted with Isabelle Raveneau in Chablis, 08 January, 2019. Pictured together with cousin Maxime Raveneau who has been at the domaine just over a year and is responsible in the vines.

Domaine François Raveneau
9 rue de Chichée
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 (0)3 86 42 17 46

Isabelle on 2018:
2018 – like everyone we have lovely volume! We started very early – the end of August – Thursday 30th. Almost 1 week earlier than in 2017 – but the average temperature and rainfall were very different. The growth in 2017 was earlier, but that’s why it was frosted – 2018 was a little later. In 2018 we had very little rain – in fact it was too dry for the maladies! Many fewer storms in 2018. In August it was like the very small rain that we had about 27-28 August simply woke up the vines, leaves that were slightly curling woke up and straightened. The earliness of the vintages is about the only similarity, but both vintages had great grapes! Malos now finished for the 18s and it’s clear that the wines are really very different – there’s less alcohol and more acidity in the 2017s.

Isabelle on 2017:
2017 was frosted, but still different to the frost of 2016. In 2017 it was the bottom of the valleys that were effected – the normal Spring-frost style. ​In the right bank premiers, and Valmur too, we lost plenty to the frost – not so catastrophic as in 2016 though. Left bank was better, but the domaine as a whole still lost about 30% in total vs the half that was lost in 2016, but even in 2016 there were parcels that made their correct yield.

The wines…

Always such a rewarding visit – even the wines that are not great – are still excellent!

There wont be any bottling before April – but it will be for all the wines – and with just one bottling for each – so it’s the same wine wherever you drink it. We started with a nice little run of Petit Chablis:

2017 Petit Chablis
Most is in tank now, just a couple of barrels remain here for tasting.
A slightly soft sweetness but nicely defined nose. Bright, fresh, delicious. Growing, delicious, long and pure – High-class PC!
2016 Petit Chablis
Only 13 hl from 1 hectare – strongly frosted. ‘It’s rarer than most of our grand crus’
A tighter nose but with very fine precisions. Ooh, there’s a depth and a richness here – opening even wider in the mid and finish – a touch of barrel caramel here – gorgeous, gorgeous wine – bravo! My only criticism is that this has so little to do with Chablis – if you were told it was a Chassagne-Montrachet – you would be happy!
2015 Petit Chablis
This nose is less open, though showing concentration at the core. More transparent, layered, delivery of flavour – also good concentration, but it can’t compare to the 16. Complex – sweetness intertwined with herb – bravo! So delicious again.
2014 Petit Chablis
This is a reluctant nose – even more-so than the 2015 – and what you can find is not so inviting. Ooh – but it’s so vibrant in the mouth, almost a touch of gas in this energy, much more mineral, almost a reduction – don’t touch it for a few years yet. But really opens out in the finish – it seems longer than both of the previous wines. Clearly great wine for the label – but not for current drinking.

2017 Chablis
Ooh there’s a fine touch to the nose here a sweetness – almost floral – much easier than the 15 and 15 PC. But there is a proper strict minerality to the width of flavour – not an austerity – but ‘correct!’ Super wine

2017 Chablis 1er Montmains
More intensity and a greener width to the fruit. Wide, more zip, more growing, direct, intensity. Layered finishing to the fresh flavour. Holding a great line. Excellent.

2017 Chablis 1er Forêts
Usually one of my favourites, but here’s a wine with a heavy dose of oak from this particular barrel – even though it’s a barrel from 2015. I love the shape and the mineral depth, the oak is the dominating factor today though. A great finish.

2017 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Such a different nose – no overt oak, high-toned – more mineral than floral. More open and melting, easier, but always with mobile delicious flavour. Long again…

2017 Chablis 1er Butteaux
Ooh – that’s a beauty – not so big, but transparent and mineral, slowly a little flora. A touch of mineral reduction – the merest touch – wide – an expanse of fabulous flavour. Yes!

2017 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Less overt but a more mineral width. Plenty of gas in this barrel – but open, complex, transparent wine – mineral but like all no austerity. Even if a little stricter – fine and wide, subtly finishing.

2017 Chablis Blanchots
A bigger nose – yet in the volume still has a tightness. Fuller, more intense yet with a giving texture. So many layers – so great!
2017 Chablis Valmur
‘From the top of the plot, more sunny, more expressive and classic each year. But a small rendement because of the frost – about 13 hl/ha’
A much tighter nose the finer precisions right at the bottom of the glass. More direct, more strict, mineral tension. The last already hedonistic – this not, this is simply not ready. But wow – what a finish – floral, mandarin – great.
2017 Chablis Les Clos
A vibrancy of minerality in the bottom of this glass – though still quite a tight aromatic. Hmm – wider – almost as strict as the Valmur – but with a rounder, fuller, shape to the wine. Again that burst – that peacock’s tail of a finish of flowers and fruit. Bravo!

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