Tasted in Chablis with new ‘regisseur’ Cécilia Trimaille, 22 January 2019.
45 Rue Auxerroise
Tel: +33 3 86 42 11 13
Cécilia on 2018:
“2018 was a year that surprised! A very rainy start to the the year – always with a strong risk from storms, but this year, at least, the storms passed to the east and west. In the end the vines didn’t suffer excessively from the summer dryness because of this early rain. It was a harvest that was twice as long as usual – 20 days versus the usual 10 – that was the wait for some parcels of Chablis villages that were a little blocked and took their time to recover. The grapes pressed very easily and they were very aromatic – very ripe but actually quite good acidities too – I think that good things will come from it!”
Cécilia on 2017:
“In 2017 we had more wine than in 2016 – but only a little more. Unfortunately for us, it was more the grand crus that were impacted by 10 nights of spring frost than the rest of our range – so we had less than half a harvest in the grand crus. 2017 is a vintage that’s more Chablis-style than was the case in 2016.”
Cécilia is the new face of Long-Depaquit, having arrived in 2018. I doubt that there was little she could do to make her mark with the 2017s – even if she wanted to – but the wines are anyway showing a little differently this year. Elevage is all as it was before at this producer, except for a couple of cuvées with 100% oak elevage – which almost certainly has more to do with the volume of certain crus in 2017 than any change of winemaking direction – but certain wines are oaky this year – and that’s going to take some time to fade – that’s a shame.
Nearly everything is bottled, just 4 more wines to do – all grand crus – and they will be done in the next 4 weeks or so. All the premier crus were bottled in mid-July. The bottles are (for now!) sealed with DIAM.
100% tank fermented, no oak. This cuvée usually represents about 30 hectares worth of vines from all around Chablis over both banks. A relatively okay harvest from the perspective of volume, only a little was frosted – unlike 2016 where nearly 70% was lost.
A nose that’s very faintly tight – but the salinity is obviously there. Good volume, great freshness, a suggestion of gas but nothing overt, growing wider – lovely fine complexity here, yellow citrus. Hmm, a wide, really great finish – top!
2017 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A large cuvée of 4.3 hectares, from Les Epinottes (90%) plus a little Lys and Beugnons. Elevage with 10% 2-5 year-old oak, essentially from Vosges. Then blended back into tank.
A tight, faintly reductive nose. Ooh a big fresh wall of fine flavour – though with a relatively forward reduction. Deliciously, indeed explosively finishing – it’s great here.
This 2.3 hectare parcel is in the sub climate of Vaillons; Long-Depaquit was originally the only producer, but a couple more are declaring under this label now, rather than using the Vaillons label. ‘If you don’t take care here this can really go over-ripe very quickly – so the date of picking is crucial – the parcel is protected by the forest.’ Again only tank elevage ‘to keep the purity of this place.’
A more open nose, no reduction, decent width, though tighter below. More direct, despite that a little softer at the edges – but it’s far from a soft wine – great shape, lithe, fresh, beautiful detail – this is great and really saline in the finish too – gorgeous with a little floral complexity in the mix!
2016 Chablis 1er Les Lys
2 left-bank hectares worth. A more N-E exposure, almost unique for the 1ers, with less stones and more clay here so more acidity and florality. 100% in tank, no oak.
A little more open again – not reductive – fine clarity and inviting, suggesting of minerality. Perhaps a faint reduction of the palate – extra volume in the mouth – open, a wine of clarity – chiseled and finally layers of finishing flavour. Like the Beugnons, saline and floral finish – very similar here. Excellent.
2017 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
100% oak elevage – but older barrels than the next two.
Quite an open nose, touched with some flowers, and a very subtle oak at the base. Bright, extra mineral, driving shape – fine composed energy and great line – the oak is on quite a high level here though – have patience – I’d wait at least 3 years. Like almost all in 2017, the finish is really great though.
2017 Chablis 1er Les Montmains
20% oak elevage. From Forêts
A more vivid and mineral nose – almost a vibration of minerality. Nice volume – beautiful clarity – a suggestion of reduction at the base – but only a suggestion – a salinity in the complexity. Long, mineral wine. Pure and saline finish – yum!
2017 Chablis 1er Vaucopins
5 hectares from Chichée, the exposure resembles Vaudesir. ‘A pivot wine between the 1er and grand crus here.’ Just a little more oak here – 15%.
A considered nose – always on a subtle level but attractive with a vibration of minerality, suffused with a fine floral perfume. Very wide, incisive freshness, a little grain to the texture – a tannin – brighter and more intense finishing before fading – ooh this is excellent!
2017 Chablis La Moutonne
2.3 hectares that sits 95% in Vaudésir and 5% in Preuses. Bottled – 25% oak elevage.
A deep and wide nose – but quite oaky. Big in the mouth – highly impressive freshness, volume and minerality together. The flavour has a sucrosity to fine citrus fruit and a great shape – the oak is on a lower order than the nose, though present. Beautifully citrus fruited in a great finish. Wait a year or two (or three) for the oak, but this is a wine of great presence.
2017 Chablis Les Vaudésir
2.6 hectares of 45 year-old vines. Always harvested at the same time as the Moutonne. Tank sample – 25% oak elevage.
Hmm, different but the same – there is more aromatic drive and freshness but there is still oak – but both with a little different style. More clarity, similar volume, the oak is more overt – a creamy style, not quite vanilla or coconut but in the direction of both. A shame that I am commenting on oak rather than the wine – but it’s like that with this one – great shape but wait at least 3 years before returning – maybe it will have gone. Once more such an impressive shape and delivery to the finish.
1.5 hectares from the end of the valley, almost always harvested 1 week after Les Clos. Tank sample – 25% oak elevage.
A slight extra depth to the colour of this one. A nice freshness, not any overt oak here. Direct, fresh, plenty of volume of lovely energy, melting citrus and intensity – ooh that’s good! In fact that’s a great finishing with a myriad of tiny complexities – great! Perfectly oaked if such a phrase may be used here!
2017 Chablis Les Bougros
100% oak elevage
A fresh nose, a nose of salinity too – but still quite a tight nose. Ooh vibrant in the mouth – lots of energy, muscular but not too hard flavours, layers in the finish – there’s an extra depth of texture to this wine – perhaps from the oak – but a super wine of accommodation and openness – apart from the nose. Excellent – and once-more, such a great finish!
2017 Chablis Les Preuses
100% oak elevage.
Hmm, a sweet nose, but one that’s mainly showing it’s barrels today. Less directly oaky than some here – but still oaky – a super, mineral, depth to the flavour and a fine presence here – potentially a great wine but rather oaky. Try again in 5 years, despite another impressive finish…
1.5 hectares worth from 2 plots. 35% oak elevage.
Still a little tight, but one of the most vibrant and attractively mineral noses of all these wines – despite a suggestion of caramel. Fresh, driving, lots of energy – this has eaten its oak in the flavour – there is perhaps only some sweetness that remains. The width is very fine and the finish is grandiose – ooh that’s soo good! I think that this will be great in a year or two, it’s much harder to be positive for the others – unless you are a big fan of oaked Chablis – then you will be immensely happy!