Tasted in Chablis with Cyril Ponelle, 22 January 2020.
Domaine Drouhin Vaudon
Moulin de Vaudon
Chemin du Moulin
Tel: +33 3 80 24 68 88
Cyril on 2019:
“2019 brought, of course, less volume than 2018, but despite the heat not a catastrophic volume – 40-42 hl/ha in the villages. I think we had more frost issues in the Côte d’Or than here in Chablis! The grand crus were less – not much more than 30hl/ha so about a third down.”
Cyril on 2018:
“Happy with the vintage, good quality and of-course volume. Important was to find the best timing for the harvest as it was such a warm summer. As always the villages and 1ers made in tank, some large format barrels used on the grand crus. The domaine has 40 hectares in Chablis now, in organic and biodynamics already beginning 32 years ago. ”
As always the grapes are pressed here and then the juice moved to Beaune for all the fermentations. But there is a cuverie planed here and they have the land and an architect now.
A good to excellent range in 2018, contrarily, I find the 1ers the ‘sweet-spot’ of these wines this year – the grand crus are as oaked as I’ve seen them in practically any vintage since 2012 – for my palate, that means waiting at least 2 years before returning – better 3-5 years.
All the wines are now in bottle, only half bottles get DIAM, the rest are cork.
Domaine – from the Vallée de Vauvillains on the right bank, representing 23 hectares – a mix of horse and tractor work here in rotation so to allow treatments but not to compact the soil too much.
That’s got a good aromatic freshness, with a faintly textured impression. There’s concentration but still fine freshness, and a good line. Tasty wine.
2018 Chablis 1er Montmains
Mainly Montmains with a small part of Forêts. Vines in the mid-20s year-old. A little more than 1.8 hectares. Risky for frost here at the bottom of the hill as there’s not much air circulation.
A wider freshness, even a little salinity. Wide, fresh certainly more mineral, a good vibration of finishing energy too – that’s a lovely finish. Good length. Very good.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Mostly from the lower levels of about 25 years old, 2.2 hectares.
Deeper aroma due to a little reduction. A little extra floral elegance in these flavours, though still an undertow of modest reduction. This has a fine finish, slightly saline – carafe – but here is an excellent wine!
2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Always some of the earliest vines to grow and harvest. Two parcels, one very old that was pulled out in 2017.
A faint sweetness of oak is the impression – but there’s none! Wide, beautifully textured, melting, touched again by a sweeter note that resembles oak. The flavours play beautifully in the mouth-watering, slightly saline finish. A small peak of flavour in the finish – excellent again.
2018 Chablis Bougros
‘These are my vines’ says Frédéric Drouhin. ‘I’ve also a little Chambolle 1er though! They are steep vines, often with strength and austerity at the start.’ 0.3 ha – usually not too many maladies in this area.’
Wide, sweet, oak spice – really this time! Wide, mineral, rather a high level of oak in the middle and finishing flavours – today – wait 2+ years if you’re oak-averse. But there’s a fine wine here in waiting – the extra dimensions in the finish are really on an excellent level.
2018 Chablis Vaudesir
Two parcels – one at the top with very old vines, vinified separately then assembled. 1.4 ha in total. Elevage uses 300 and 500-litre barrels – none new. The soil is light and mobile but it’s steep too – so we use a horse to plough.
A wider nose of agrume and mineral complexity – the oak is showing much less here. In the mouth starting more compact but the shape grows and grows. Here again, there’s plenty of oak in the mix, the fruit a more open agrume style than the width in the Bougros. The finish is less of a peak than the Bougros, which I prefer. Very good but wait for the barrel elements to fade.
2018 Chablis Les Clos
Old vines no question about quality but they struggle on quantity so a small parcel has been pulled out for replanting. ‘Always a particular character – a sunny disposition – no surprise as direct south-facing.’ Two parcels in the middle of the clos but separated by other vines – 1.3 hectares.
A nose of depth and clarity – rather narrow showing to start. Here is a more mineral and direct style of wine. There’s still some oak spice and other flavour but generally on a lower level and somehow separate to the other flavours. But great texture though the energy is modest on this showing – just a little ‘extra’ in the finish. A shy Clos today but the length is obvious.