Besson – 2018


Camille Besson, 2020Tasted in Chablis with Camille Besson, 23 January 2020.

Domaine Besson
8 chemin de Valvan
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 42 40 88

More reports for Domaine Besson

Camille on 2019:
2019 – It’s not 2018, volume-wise, but there’s a lovely quality – we lost about 10% of the volume but with some VCI from 2018 we have enough – some domaines have almost half a harvest so I really can’t complain. It’s still a hot vintage but for now there seems to be a good tension in the wines – I really wasn’t expecting that.

Camille on 2018:
2018 – a magnificent harvest with ripe grapes and a great quantity – first time I’ve seen a full cellar, my father mentions 1947 as comparable – but he wasn’t born either! Three weeks before the harvest we had no idea, in fact, the vines were suffering from the heat. We had a little longer fermentations than in 2019, but really nothing of concern. Certainly, the volume made me think of extending the buildings here, but we never commercialise all of our production ourselves, so there were a few more sales in bulk.

The wines…

The depth of flavour in Camille’s 2018s is more than impressive, and when the energy is right they become great wines – there are few like that here in 2018!

2018 Petit Chablis
From vines on the hill behind the grand crus plus some behind Montmains too. ‘Usually 12 months of elevage but because we had no 17s anymore, this was after 10 months.’
A big and open nose – friendly a little green citrus in the mix. Supple, and with a fine and complex width – an extra depth of flavour vs many 2018s and I like the drive. Bravo PC I 2018!

2018 Chablis
Usually about 8 hectares worth, mainly from Fyé and towards Vaillons, plus another hectare in Courgis. Bottled after 12 months elevage, only about 5% wood to aid the micro-oxygenation.
A tighter nose, but still one of good width. Round, supple, layered, even saline. That’s a lovely saline finish. That’s excellent!

2018 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Mainly Beugnons but also Chatains and Sechets, 2.45 hectares. not particularly high, more mid-slope – the vines don’t suffer so much here as there’s a ‘source.’ Have another 0.3 ha of Chatains that has been planted – should be arriving the first time with grapes in 2020
A vertical nose, higher tones of salinity and some depth below. Supple, round, a little richness but an easy, complex delicious wine – lovely finishing again.

2018 Chablis 1er Montmains
Mainly from Butteaux plus a little Forêt, about 5.25 hectares worth. ‘For us it the more mineral and typical Chablis style.’ One 600l new barrel included in the vinification here – there’s still no more than 8% wood in the total. This will have 18 months elevage and is still in tank.
Fruity but also more spice and mineral. Yes! That’s got a lovely extra freshness, energy and minerality. Long, saline – gorgeously agrume fruit in the finish – I don’t see the wood. Bravo!

2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Also a tank sample. 0.99 ha – but never with much of a recolte as there’s some virus in the vines – mid-slope, plain south orientation, close to the forest at the top and next to Montée de Tonnerre – always very small grapes here and it’s difficult to vinify – also a riper style – I still have work to do here. First vines harvested in 2017.
An easy and attractively smooth agrume fruit. Round with a touch of textural richness, an extra complexity, fine-grained, some salinity. This is clearly the most complex of these wines so far, though given the choice I’d take the extra energy of the Montmains. This has great presence and length – excellent wine.

2018 Chablis Vaudesir
1.4 hectares in the domaine over 25 years. Both exposures, looking towards La Moutonne. Always 18 months of elevage and the wines then wait another year in bottle before selling. 10% elevage in barrel – none new.
A small nose again but very attractive. Round, beautifully, texture-ly, clearly cool-ly mineral, a growing intensity – great shape too. Whilst the energy seems modest there’s a more than attractive ‘sizzle’ to the finishing flavour. Nicely zesty finish attractive and faintly tannic – excellent I’m sure, maybe even better.

2018 Chablis Les Clos
0.15 ha – ‘5 rows and we’ve never make the rendement, since 2008, until 2018! Quite high on the hill about 50m below the viewing table. Roughly 40-year-old vines – same as the Vaudesir. All tank elevage.
A brightness of fruit here – good fresh invitation. Extra-wide, extra mineral, a little muscle, plenty of salinity. This will make a great bottle – the energy is just fine and it’s properly complex grand cru Chablis. Bravo.

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