Tasted with Isabelle Raveneau in Chablis, 14 January 2020.
Domaine François Raveneau
9 rue de Chichée
Tel: +33 (0)3 86 42 17 46
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Isabelle on 2019:
“Due to a combination of factors, 2019 brought only half a harvest volume. We experienced some frost and the vines didn’t really grow so well after, then was the cold weather during the flowering period followed by the heat and dry of the summer – lots of things adding up to half a harvest. There’s a little VCI in the end from 2018 so that helps a little.”
Isabelle on 2018:
“2018 – like everyone we have lovely volume! We started very early – Thursday 30th August. Almost 1 week earlier than in 2017 – but the average temperature and rainfall were very different. The growth in 2017 was earlier, but that’s probably why it was frosted – 2018 was a little later. In 2018 we had very little rain – in fact it was too dry for the maladies! Many fewer storms in 2018. In August it was like the very small rain that we had about 27-28 August simply woke up the vines, leaves that were slightly curling woke up and straightened. I think we still have a nice freshness and our alcohols were not so high – 12.5-13.2° – so we were happy with that.”
Wow – salinity is rare in 2018 – and that because this domaine has it all! Beautifully constructed wines from Petit Chablis to Les Clos, all individuals and all clearly from Chablis. There’s a little oak complexity currently showing in some wines, but it will quickly fade. All great wines!
There won’t be any bottling before April – but it will be for all the wines – and with just one bottling for each – so it’s the same wine wherever you drink it:
Most is in tank now, just a couple of barrels remain here for tasting.
A nice little vibration of aromatic energy. Drive, fine width – this is super, vibrant on the palate too, no hard edges and with a finishing saline touch.
That’s a got a very nice slightly reductively mineral nose – not stark but attractively winking, beckoning. Ooh – that’s a great wine – quick entry, expanding in saline waves, beautifully textured, a faint suggestion of barrel – bravo!
Wider, a similar, reductive minerality – again very light. Driving, vibrant flavour again – really mouth-watering, properly saline and mineral Chablis. Wow – this is a great selection of wines so far! Love the finish – more agrume, very wide as well long!
A more modest nose but with no lack of mineral purity. Driving, more energetic, lovely minerality, just enough sucrosity, more compact finishing than the Forêts, but certainly no less long. Simply excellent for any vintage. Bravo! The last drops in the glass adding a slight floral perfume.
As always, this wine is so different in this cellar. Starting more vertical, but adding more width with air, this a more floral/fruit impression than the direct minerality of the previous wines. Ooh – that’s great again – wide, incisive, mineral – insistent if not quite penetrating – saline again – the first address where every wine is classically Chablis with this salinity! Bravo!
Much more aromatic impact here – there’s depth of aroma too. Driving, dynamic, mineral, intense – I love Butteaux here – more than anywhere else. Bravo – wide, beautifully textured and saline finishing.
Starts with a vibration of minerality than fades a little – all of these wines have aromas that wax and wane in the glass. Much more width – a panorama of minerality, saline, a suggestion of barrel. Layered middle and finishing flavour of beautiful clarity and finishing complexity. I still prefer ‘my’ Butteaux here but this is brilliant wine!
‘From the top of the plot, more sunny, more expressive and classic each year. But a small rendement because of the frost – about 13 hl/ha’
A little softer but also more width of aroma, here with some flowers too. Definitely not softer in the mouth – here are minerals, and width, and intensity – this is a wine with concentration – layered, mouth-watering, beautifully textured. Then an extra growth of finishing flavour – it’s a great grand cru!
A finer nose, less impact for sure. But in the mouth there’s drive, direction and energy – perhaps a trace of gas here too. Vibrant, wide layers of flavour in the middle and finish. A certain extra fluidity of flavour in the finish too – less demonstrative than the Valmur today but with a sneaky extra complexity in the finale too. Finesse!
Here the aromas resemble a cross between the previous two – there are aspects of both. More drive and more mineral – reminds of the Montmains with extra mouth-watering, complex agrumes. Vibrant – getting bigger for a time, not fading in the finishing flavours for a time – that’s a great, great finish – more mineral. Each GC with a distinct personality! Bravo!