Tasted in Chablis with Charlene and Laurent Pinson, 25 January 2019
5, quai Voltaire
Tel: +33 3 86 42 10 26
Charlene on 2018:
“We’ve not done any early bottling, it’s not our approach. The vintage is certainly something exceptional – we asked around and nobody has an idea of an equivalent – the wines are probably better than 1990 and who really has experience of 1947? It was probably a vintage that favoured the older vines with roots that could reach the, fortunately, generous water that came in the Winter and Spring. The dryness didn’t swamp the young vines but it wasn’t easy for them either. Total acidity is not especially high but from the perspective of pH which is more what you taste, we have 3.1-3.2 – that’s perfect. A nice feeling – especially after 3 small vintages. It was the Chablis villages with about 10 years of age that had the most yield, but we’ve also never seen so much from the old vines.”
Charlene on 2017:
“Grapes were superb and the wines vinified very easily. Nice grapes – each bunch was a small present! On average we made less wine than we did in 2016 – but it’s very much different in each parcel – it was 9 nights of frost with -8°C in Fourchaume that was the cause. The grapes looked great but there really wasn’t a lot of juice extracted. It was frustrating because we thought we’d have much more.”
Delicious wines – some great in 2017.
Everything has been bottled except Les Clos, that will be done in another week.
2017 Charlène and Laurent Pinson, Petit Chablis
From close to Maligny, 4th vintage bought.
Hmm – a nice line of aroma here, cushioned citrus fruit. Fresh, round, melting flavour. Intense flavour in the finish – ooh – great!
2017 Charlène and Laurent Pinson, Chablis
From about 1.5 ha – one parcel near domaine parcels – 5th vintage. Always same supplier, vines in Les Boucherons the hillside that sits between Montmains and Vaillons
Less density but a fine saline-edged citrus here. More depth of flavour, wider too, just a little more roundness to the flavour and deliciously finishing – excellent!
Right bank below Mont de Milieu plus a parcel that sits next to the previous bought wine. About 50 years old vines on average.
Narrower, but fresher and deeper. Ooh, more direct attack – no hard edges, delicious citrus flavour, silky. Flavour that vibrates through the core into the finish – great wine!
2017 Chablis Cuvée Mademoiselle
Vines high in the valley of Montée de Tonnerre on white soil. Skin contact for 18 hours followed by old barrel fermentation and malo, followed by final part of elevage in tank – didn’t make the 2016 as didn’t feel the grapes were clean enough.
A little more colour. Deeper, almost pungently aromatic – some of that exacerbated by the barrel notes. Wide, open, complex – deliciously so. A touch of barrel in the flavours – it has a different shape and style. Saline in the persistent finish, Excellent, the potential for great!
Now move from DIAM to Cork..
2017 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A big nose, round, lemon, a touch of oak for now. Ooh silky, with drive, mineral, lots of flavour complexity – quite a lot of oak too. Something a little herbal at the core of this that I’m not enjoying but on the other hand there’s a fine perfume trying to get out.
2017 Chablis 1er Vaugiraut
A small parcel. South-facing, similar soil to Forets. 25 year-old vines.
Ooh now that’s a great, flighty, high-toned nose. A touch of tannin in the texture – width, energy, nicely complex with fine direction. To wait a little for but excellent, great finishing wine, only hear a touch of oak!
2017 Chablis 1er Forêt
The vines planted 1955/56, right at the start of Forêts – a very limestone soil.
This is a deep nose, less wide, lots of power. Ooh that sits well in the mouth though – concentrated, wide, silkier but less wanting to get involved today – there is more wine here, deliciously mouth-watering wine in the finish – but it is a little aloof, a little serious. I think it excellent though – just wait a year or two!
Right at the end of Montmains (real Montmains) about 150 metres from the Fôrets but same height up on the hill. Argille blanche/bleu less white stone than Fôrets.
A nice big and open nose – fresh, some depth too. More directly citrus-agrume growing in saline volume – so complex – some zest of citrus skin. Juicy wine – Great! One of my favourite wines of 2017.
Now moving to the right bank:
2017 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
In Vaupoulot just changing the orientation a little, similar to that of the middle of Montée de Tonnerre. Only tank elevage as it usually seems to big with barrel elevage.
A sweeping line of clean citrus. More drive, energy and mobile intensity of flavour. A wine of extra tension, vibrantly finishing – really an agrume finish. This is excellent!
This from bought grapes ‘it’s not that we need the volume, but I love to complete a nice range of crus’
Hmm – weightier, more depth – great citrus and a suggestion of barrel. Extra weight in the mouth but with intensity and energy – not heavy – extra saline, super complex – a touch of oak but already very modest, a little less sweetness and overt complexity than Montmains but with more weight. Great but very different. So mouth-wateringly long…
2017 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Biggest parcel of the domaine, 4.5 hectares in two blocks, ‘the big parcel works really well raisonné because there is no neighbourly influence. We like to harvest not too late to keep the direction and purity.’
Fresh, wide, open yellow citrus – less overt power is implied vs the Tonnerre. Ooh, fresh, lots of direction, mouth-watering like a river. Really an energetic wine, here, lingering, lingering in the finish – excellent.
From 4 different parcels, but the total is 2.5 hectares. Various vine ages from 9-46 years. The only tank sample, this to be bottled in another week.
Not the biggest nose, but the nose with everything else – vibrantly mineral and perfumed complexity. A complexity in the mouth that resembles the Montmains but with extra citrus intensity – with a little extra cushioning to the texture. A really great line of flavour. Less complex in the finish but more intense and long. Great wine of delicious persistence!
A couple of 2016s to finish:
2016 Chablis 1er Montmains
A big almost floral – quite massive implied weight. A slightly exotic fruit, complex – really concentrated, a good salinity too – practically a caramel in the finish. To wait for.
2016 Chablis Les Clos
More colour. Also a big aromatic, implying concentration – tighter than the Montmains. Ooh – that’s big, silky – open, wow – such a wine but far too young, too serious – but sustaining a great finish!