Tasted in Beines with Nathalie Geoffroy, 21 January 2020.
Domaine Alain Geoffroy
4, rue de l’Equerre
Tel: +33 3 86 42 43 76
Nathalie on 2019:
“We were a quarter to on-third down here in volume; it wasn’t really down to the frost, it was the dryness of the summer so there wasn’t much juice.”
Nathalie on 2018:
“I’m really very happy as we had very good maturity: It was dry and we had some worry that the grapes were shrinking and concentrating – and we had a lot of grapes as it was a really great flowering period. Right before the harvest was a small amount of rain and we don’t harvest very early so it allowed a little more maturity – not big grapes but plenty of them! We’ve seen the quantity before but not with such degrees. I really can’t recall a vintage in the last 10 years that was close to the same volume – and we didn’t have the VCI before – it’s shame how much wine went for distillation because there have been a lot worse vintages!”
As every year, never the most profound or concentrated but so-often some of the most delicious wines of my trip.
Everything has had at least one bottling, though there will be some later bottlings of some of the larger volume wines. Using some screw-caps for the PC and Chablis, the rest are cork. There are new labels for the export market in 2018.
2018 Petit Chablis
‘Not a really big’ cuvée, but from 5 hectares of vines!
A little green herb to start, but it’s quickly gone. This has a nice shape in the mouth – lovely texture too. Fine mineral finishing with a certain elegance – finesse even. Excellent!
The classic cuvée that sees only tank elevage. Usually 30 hectares worth of vines here. Beines, Lignorelles and Chapelle le Vaulpeteigne
A little more aromatic depth – more suggestion of minerality. Indeed a wide and mineral palate, mouth-watering with a growing but never too forward citrus intensity. A fine finishing wave of delicious flavour. Excellent finesse again.
2018 Chablis Vieilles Vignes
Oak elevage in this cuvée, not new barrels but 100% barrel. Average age of this assembly of parcels is 50+ – mainly from Cornas in Beines
A deeper nose, some core of ripe fruit but the oak is aromatically hidden. More intensity – a little more drive and direction – faintly saline – this for keeping a while – but really excellent, classic Chablis here – more structural, which is just how I like it!
2018 Chablis 1er Beauroy
The historic cuvée of the family – almost 9.5 hectares averaging close to 40-years-old vines principally in the area of Troesmes. Have sometimes bottled as such – but it was a hard sell!
Less forward but still a very attractive width of inviting aroma. Another level of fresh, mouth-filling volume, faintly slaine, bright framed shape. Fine drive – that’s a very lovely purity of agrume fruit in the finish – excellent finishing tension.
2018 Chablis 1er Vau-Ligneau
About 2.5 hectares – ‘Not a big parcel for us! There’s less sun here. The vines are now about 35 years old and the cuvée gets more and more interesting.’ Only tank elevage.
Here the nose has expanded, it’s mineral, it has some purity of citrus fruit – it’s a great invitation. More structural, really mineral, another wine you should have a little patience with but this has super mineral intensity in the finish, salinity too – Excellent again.
2018 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
A parcel of 2.5 ha all in the same sector of ‘real’ Fourchaume. This is already bottled in the summer as it’s more in demand – the others tend to be bottled closer to the harvest.
Less volume but a more serious core of concentrated citrus fruit. More intense, more driving the acidity just avoiding mouth-puckering. Serious, mineral, almost chiselled structure. Intense finish – have a few years patience – excellent, practically bravo!
Made in 500-litre barrels – fermentation and elevage.
Sweeter, some oak, even quite some floral impression. Nice shape in the mouth, saline, layered, very mineral – I hardly note the oak – just a faint touch as you reach the finish. This is a great Beauroy – wait 2 years if you want to avoid the oak completely! Very long – bravo!