Tasted in Fontenay-Près-Chablis with Thierry Mothe, 20 January 2020.
Domaine du Colombier
42 Grand Rue
Tel: +33 3 86 42 15 04
Thierry on 2019:
“A year with a new level of climate; the dryness, two episodes of canicule – but because of that work in the vines was relatively easy – we needed practically no treatments – we can certainly say that we were organic in 2019! But we were touched a little by the frost in the spring but it wasn’t really a strong frost – yes the vines were cold so there was some filage – and then the flowering wasn’t really the best so there was also a little coulure. The result was about 80% of the volume we target, but with some VCI from 2018 it’s so bad. It was the grand cru that seemed to most suffer in 2019 – I think a mix of the coulure and the heat – there were grapes but not much juice – still, 14.5° in 2019! Currently we’re racking the 2019s.”
Thierry on 2018:
“2018 – now that was very generous – both quantity and quality. It was also a hot year, so the wines are a little less obviously Chablis. But considering the volume, we have a great quality.”
A range that impresses on a couple of levels – it’s not the easy, open, average range of wines that you find in 2018 – this is a more structured, saline and almost austere selection of wines such as you might expect in 2017 or even 2014. If your wine has to be classic Chablis or nothing – here you are – and so much salinity too – an all-too-rare commodity in 2018!
DIAM across the range – DIAM3 for the ‘smaller’ wines, DIAM5 for the mid-range and DIAM10 for the grand cru. Thierry says he’s “Very happy with the way the DIAM is going – I see proper aging, not aging by oxidation!”
Everything is bottled here.
2018 Petit Chablis
The produce of multiple parcels – Vines from Chichée and Fontenay
Fresh, lime fruited, almost a touch phenolic. Wide, saline, good energy – a more structural wine than is common in 2018, mouth-watering wine with plenty of phenolic and salinity – this will need another 6 months at least if you want rounder or drink directly the full PC immersion!
40 hectares worth that needs 5-6 bottlings. Normally a blend of left plus right bank vines plus old and young vines. Fontenay bringing older vines and Chichée younger vines which bring energy all left bank.
A little green colour. Also a little lime fruit again some salinity. Fuller, fine acidity – really a style outside of the general 2018 vernacular. More like a 17 – and you should wait a little. Nicely saline finishing again.
2018 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Three little parcels of vines more than 45-60 you planted by Thierry’s father in Fontenay
A little rounder but still good freshness. Also in the mouth, but a fresh, wide and mineral clarity here. Super mineral energy going into the finish – less saline but no less mineral – intensity in the finish. Excellent.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaucoupin
Normally from 3 small parcels – 2 ha worth in Chichée, more clay here that adds to the fruit and flowers, whereas Fourchaume is more limestone, ‘More alive, more dry, more reflective.’
Depth and fresh, mineral, high-tones – a vertical nose. More driving, good energy again, a saline minerality – lovely typicité here – salty and wide finishing. Excellent again.
2018 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From 4 hectares of vines.
An extra depth of citrus fruit. Fresh, bright, intensity growing – a big wave of saline flavour. Proper Chablis with lots of depth of flavour. Excellent!
1.2 hectares in 3 parcels in the middle of William Fevre’s vines, including some old vines. No frost protection here.
A much fuller nose, fresh, citrussed, but also buttressed – with oak. A beautiful line, and a clarity like ice-water over the palate. Ooh, that’s rather impressive – also impressively saline too – today I wouldn’t drink as the oak is present – but in 2-3 years – Thierry normally drinks between 4-5 years old! Bravo!