Tasted in Beru, with Gaëlle Ribé, 21 January 2020.
Domaine Château de Béru
32 Gr Grande Rue
Tel: +33 3 86 75 94 95
Athénaïs is a new mother – only 10 days, so didn’t find time to meet with me 😉
Gaëlle on 2019 & 2018:
“A lot down in 2019 – and that was all down to the heat of the summer – some of the parcels were as low as 20 hl/ha – of-course not all. In 2018, by comparison, we’ve 59 hl/ha – the biodynamics seem to regulate the volume to an extent, but after 2016 and 2017 with so much frost we can say that it was a joy, and we still think that 2018 is a vintage to keep!”
Never easy to taste the elevage style that they work with here – it hampers the aromatics before bottling – but these 2018s seemed a little easier than most years – and there were wines here that made my jaw hit the floor – surely the best ‘Chablis’ of my 3-week tour!
Apart from the négoce wines – which were already bottled – Gaëlle thinks it will be a little longer for bottling – “When they are ready, they will be ready…” Indeed not all of the barrels have even finished their sugars – ‘but no problem – anyway the 2017s remain the commercial vintage here.
2018 Chablis Terroirs de Béru
350-400m altitude, Kimmerigian, usually windy, the snow always stays here longer, but it’s also warmer in the summer. The only wine with 5% elevage in foudres and the rest in tank. This cuvée normally accounts for about 1/3 of the domaine, and always the same parcels are used.
A pretty nose, mineral and a little saline. Some gas, but really a vibrant minerality behind, really a concentrated citrus-mineral hybrid in the middle. Wow, that’s good!
2018 Chablis Le Côte au Prêtre
‘A little terrior near the mid-slope, lots of wind the whole year. Limestone like small galets.’ Sampled from barrel.
Deep, very faintly reductive. More volume, a little more depth to the texture too, faintly, creamily oaked. Layers of finishing flavour – saline and long.
From the plateau of the hill here, plus a higher hill. Lots of fossils here, Kimmerigian rock but ‘more angular.’ Have been slowly increasing the amount of oak – for both fermentation and elevage – it’s now about 50-50.
That’s an inviting nose; there’s oak but there’s a white mushroom and minerality impression – very intriguing. Some gas – but here a beautiful, open energy and shape – that’s absolutely gorgeous in the mouth with a wonderful, delicious agrume – bravo! And no oak to speak of here – shockingly good!
A walled section of vines next to the château. All barrel for this cuvée
A nicely vibrant nose, though a little smaller than the last. Also a beautifully open, practically more mineral and intense wine – again this is bravo Chablis for 2018 – so saline, so long, the oak is modest at this stage. I find the last more delicious today, but this is another great 2018 – beautiful finishing.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaucopins
A very steep slope here. Again Kimmerigian but also with blue clay. They are old vines and it’s also a small parcel – they keep thinking about replanting – in the big 2018 vintage there are 3 barrels. All oak elevage like the last.
More creamy depth to this nose. Wider, perhaps a little more intense too – growing in shape and direction. Creamy finishing from the oak. More layered but with beautiful finishing waves of flavour. That’s so good!
The mother rock here is older than the Kimmerigian. It’s a little Clos within high walls so it’s more protected from the weather (but not 2016’s or 2017’s frost!) There’s more clay.
That ‘in elevage’ mushroom noted on another wine – but a nice aromatic shape here. More mouth-filling volume, no oak to note at the start, melting flavour from a lovely halo of fruit. Vibrant, lingering, mineral – so good…
Wines de négoce:
Bottled in the Autumn, vines from Saint-Bris
Ooh – that’s nice – not obviously an aligoté nose but very inviting. Wow, that’s mineral, almost Chablis mineral, salinity plus a touch of perfume to finish – gorgeous aligoté.
This is aligoté with one-month of skin maceration, destemmed, then with elevage in barrel.
A little deeper colour. A bigger more perfumed nose. Driving and mineral again – wow that’s good – Chablis-style minerality, less saline but still a little. So good!
2018 Sauvignon Gris
Also from Saint-Bris but with 4g/l of residual sugar – so can’t use the appellation. Fermented and elevage in barrel.
Sweetness and a certain modestly sauvignon aromatic character. Sweet but with the balance of the minerality – really rather tasty wine, it begs you to take another sip. That’s a gorgeous thing.