Tasted in Chablis with Romain Collet, 16 January 2019.
Domaine Jean Collet & Fils
15 avenue de la Liberté
Tel: +33 3 86 42 11 93
Romain on 2019:
“A hot year, we started our harvest on the 1st September. We’re part mechanical part by hand-harvested. We worked three days but I felt that the juice was too hot, so after that we started harvesting with the machines at midnight and working until 11am – it didn’t affect the hand-harvesting though. I think the night picking is something that we have to evolve to with the hot vintages. The volume was rather different than 2018, we didn’t expect it to be quite so low; the coulure from flowering and the dryness of the vintage – not catastrophic but still down, below 50 hl/ha. The last 5 years have averaged 45 hl/ha. There’s a little reduction creeping in but these wines have a good balance of richness and super acidity.”
Romain on 2018:
“2018 – My grandmother told me it’s probably once in the life of a vigneron that you will see that – I still hope for more! We started harvesting 3rd September, another vintage of hot weather so nobody expected such a volume – there was just one night where we lit the candles. Great volume though one or two areas had a little less acidity than others – the wines had low acidity but I didn’t try to ‘correct’ the acidity, as I find it makes the wines ‘hard.’ Fortunately, the wines always tasted better than the analyses would suggest.”
A good range of wines – some excellent wines – wines with energy and some with fine minerality too.
2018 Petit Chablis
There was no 17. This bottled in June
That’s a pretty nose. A little sweetness followed by more depth of mineral aromas – clean and attractive. Nice easy depth but structurally in a good shape. Great, mouth-watering finish, faintly herbed. Excellent.
Normally the assembly of about 10 hectares worth of grapes. This and the PC are the only wines currently being commercialized from 2018. Bottled in July – there are normally 2 bottlings – the earlier one in March.
A finer, faintly lime-fruited nose – nice. Fresher, wide and with good energy – nicely citrus fruit, eased by a little finishing sweetness. Deliciously mouthwatering in the finish, faintly saline. Very yum! Excellent 2018 Chablis.
2018 Chablis Les Truffières
1.3 hectares worth, all organic viticulture in Villy. There are currently 11 hectares that are certified – will soon at that info on the back-labels
A depth of citrus clarity – super nose. Wider and more energetic. Beautiful finishing acidity – this is really a very fine wine – excellent again!
2018 Chablis 1er Montmains
Only stainless-steel elevage here. From 4 parcels of true Montmains amounting to 5 hectares. November bottling. The only 1er cru with no wood in the elevage.
A lovely nose, suggesting some salinity too. Yes – mouth-filling, a little saline, certainly mineral – all the flavours not yet seamlessly integrated but here seems to be everything. Excellent, potentially more!
2018 Chablis 1er Butteaux
Alcoholic fermentation in tank then moved to wood.
Wide, mouth-filling. Here’s extra softness. A wine that’s a little too easy over the palate until the finish where there’s some mineral rigour – a good finish.
2018 Chablis 1er Le Forêt
Bought in 2005, replanted in 2008, 0.92 hectares. Like the last some oak but this time with the tank part in concrete ‘eggs’ – also viticulture Bio. This is the 56h vintage after replanting in 2008, the last couple of years it went into the Montmains.
A nicer nose, of beautiful citrus clarity. More impact, still a little softness but much better than Butteaux. The finish is a beautiful one with a long narrow line of delicious flavour – lovely.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaillons
10 hectares here – lucky it’s mum’s favourite – ‘I can’t understand that anyone wouldn’t like it’ she says! From Epinottes, Minot, Encieres, Chatains and en Vaillons. 5% in barrel the rest in tank – after malo on part goes into older barrels.
Citrus, a little green-shaded. More incisive, much more mineral. Lots of energy – the structure hardly softened in this case. A super finish once more with just a touch of rigour. Excellent!
2018 Chablis Le Montée de Tonnerre
2 parcels – one of 0.25 plus another of 1.80 in Les Chapots. ‘The smaller brings a richness, the other a colder area brings the tension and vivacity.’ Vinified separately and then blended before bottling. All in barrel with 5% new.
A wide nose but more elegant than of impact – that’s pretty with a little floral perfume in the mix. A more compact core but melting with delicious flavour – here there’s salinity and a lovely complexity. A wine that needs to open more and has only modest acidity, but one with all the rest that you could wish for from Chablis. Excellent.
2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Just one parcel, 0.32 hectares with a manual harvest as there’s a lot of millerandes here. 100% demi-muids (600 litres) for 8-9 months then in tank to finish – one was newer, hence, this shown after the Tonnerre as the oak is showing a little.
Green-fruit, a little oak-induced aromatic softness but no overt oak notes – only slowly do they start to appear in the glass. Round, complex, fine, certainly with an extra kick of oak. But a fine and tasty finish – beautifully mouth-watering.
Wines now from tank:
2018 Chablis 1er Sechér
Was assembled this week from barrel, bottling in 1 month.
Wide, fresh, good impact. Vibrant, mineral, a little muscle here rather than the standard richness of the vintage. Subtle oak and great shape in the middle and finish. Warm notes from the barrel mix in the finishing flavours. Excellent.
2017 Chablis Valmur
Was racked into tank around harvest time, also to be bottled in February.
Here the oak can be seen with more aromatic clarity. More freshness, more energy – bubbling energy – love the style, the flavour has a bit too much oak today for full enjoyment – but the wine should eat that in the next 18-24 months. Very wide and long finishing. This should be excellent!
Was racked 4 days ago so not yet clear.
Less direct oak though like the clarity the nose not yet fully in place. Much more mineral and with a driving energy, this has muscle and direction – it’s a wine of intent and really showing another level of texture and class. Bravo!
And now for something completely different:
First vintage, bottled in July. Grapes bought from a friend who is stopping his bottling. Hand-harvested by the team from here. 13.5° natural, all stainless vinifications then some time in barrels.
A more compact nose, a hint of sauvignon though. Lovely shape, very mineral, beautiful texture too. This style change can easily accommodate following a super Les Clos! The finish has much less energy than the chardonnays, maybe a little less delicious too, but has a length that easily competes. Fine St.Bris.
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Vines near Tonnerre on a south-west facing hill. After malo placed in barrels. Not yet racked.
Lots of colour. A fine depth of ripe fruit. Full, plenty of structure but very balanced with the fruit. A drag to the texture from the tannin but no overt grain to that tannin. The finish is a good one, only very slowly fading. A floral quality to the flavours here. This is fine and very long.