Jean-Claude et Romain Bessin – 2018

Update 11.2.2021(17.2.2020)billn

Jean-Claude & Romain Bessin, 2020Tasted in La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne with Jean-Claude & Romain Bessin, 23 January 2020.

Domaine Bessin
11 rue des Cours
89800 La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne
Tel: +33 3 86 42 46 77
More reports for Domaine Jean-Claude et Romain Bessin

Jean-Claude on 2019:
2019 was easy in the vines but again a year with frost, a little hail too in La Chapelle. Then, of course, poor flowering conditions – I often saw only 10 berries in a bunch – finally, the dryness of the summer, where we didn’t just see burnt grapes, we also saw burnt leaves! The result for us was 30 hl/ha in the grand and 1er crus, and more like 40 in the Chablis. We are probably more than one-third down in volume.

Jean-Claude on 2018:
Relatively easy; lots of dryness so less mechanical intervention was needed – less labour. The spring came early and the vines pushed well, there was just a little hail in Montmains and Valmur, but the vines compensated for that, so minor. The grapes matured very quickly in August that’s sure, but they were very clean and nice – not with enormous acidity, but it’s becoming more the rule if you’re harvesting in early September. In terms of the volume, psychologically I don’t think anyone could have hoped for it. We made a bottling at the end of December, I think they taste a bit less good today, but not all are bottled, the rest are in tank and are waiting.

“I’ve never seen a vintage like it, I think below a certain volume there’s minerality, but much less if the rendement was higher, here they are more sunny chardonnays. With the heat of the last vintages, our order of harvesting has changed a lot – we do the crus first today to privilege the freshness, whilst the Chablis waits – so they have a little more alcohol.

The wines…

There was some discretion in the domaine’s 2017s – that’s not the case in 2018. The first two wines have a certain richness that will require patience to fade a little – but the latter wines are brilliant! Drink the 1ers with pleasure while waiting for the Valmur!

2018 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
December bottling, the first of three bottlings for this.
A tight nose, faintly saline. Supple, rich, layered flavour, there’s depth of flavour and plenty of minerality on view – it needs to pep up a little for the energy, but the finish still has a nice vibrancy about it!

2018 Chablis 1er Montmains
The neighbouring parcel to the domaine’s Forêts. This fined, not filtered, tasted from tank – there’s soon to be a second bottling.
Again a rather tighter nose. Ooh, thats fresh, direct, a certain richness of texture again, but it’s a more mineral impression, with flavour melting over the palate – a certain extra fat vs many Montmains – but the finish is completely open, completely delicious – so good, so minerally long…

2018 Chablis 1er Les Forêts
Also in tank and fined
A little more open, slowly releasing a little agrume fruit aroma. More direct, beautiful line, minerality fruit and freshness, that’s a great wine. Love. A little finishing salinity too. Bravo.
2018 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Vines located in the heart of Fourchaume. Also from tank, but this mot fined yet.
A compact but fine nose, slightly floral. Fresh again, vibrant, wide, more overt mineral, complex and delicious again. A great finish, even a little tannin – yes!
2018 Chablis 1er Fourchaume La Piece au Comte
The return of this cuvée after missing in 2016 and 2017. Vines also located in the heart of Fourchaume, here the cuvée name reflecting the once previous owner of the plot.
More intensity of aroma, more shaded towards the mineral. Bright, vibrant, the most electric wine yet – clearly saline, electric, fresh great wine and it’s saline finishing too. So long!
2018 Chablis Valmur
Like the last, not yet fined.
A little more open, floral high tones – nice. Some gas, of-course contributing to the vibrant energy here, but clearly not a wine of richness, one of good energy, of depth of flavour and flavour complexity. Wide, more composed finishing. A certain finesse here that’s more obvious than in the ‘Piece au Comte’ and brilliantly long. Drink the 1ers today with pleasure while waiting for this!

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