Tasted in Chablis with Hervé Tucki, Vincent Bartement & Olivier Masmondet, 23 January 2020.
8, Boulevard Pasteur
Tel: +33 3 86 42 89 89
Hervé on 2018:
“Almost a little more stress with 2019 than in 2018 – we know that there were issues in lots of domaines in fermentations in 2018, but fortunately here we didn’t lose the control in the cuverie so didn’t have much in the way of problems. 2018 was one of the most precocious vintages of this century! A wet winter and a warm early Spring – the March average temperature was more than 2°C above the average – the last day of March registering 24°C! One of the hottest summers on record. The vintage was generous with a maturity and balance that resembles the well-reputed 1982 wines – but, of-course, with more yield – it was a choice, but we chose not to acidify any cuvées in 2018…”
Here’s a good range of wines in 2018 – and given that many will be even cleaner and brighter post-bottling – you can say an excellent range of wines – newly all with DIAM seals too. I found fine consistency this year, no wines with faults like in 2017.
2018 is the year where La Chablisienne have embraced DIAM seals – they’ve been testing since 2010. 2017 was the transition year so a few grand crus may have been bottled with cork, but now it’s all DIAM 5 and 10.
2018 Petit Chablis Pa Si Petit
A fine depth of aroma, green fruit. Mouth-filling, energetic, nice clarity even a little structural side and zestiness in the finish. That’s simply lovely, very long again…
Hmm – a little more compact but flashes of fine sweetness and clarity. Certainly, a little sweeter in the mouth, layered, more energy more directly mineral – that’s a great PC in 2018!
Touring the 5 different Chablis cuvées of the this producer:
2018 Chablis Le Finage
Multiple origins, of-course with a tank elevage like the previous Petit Chablis(s).
A little extra emphasis to the fruit aroma. Drive, incisive, mineral – what more could you want? Excellent, finely zesty finishing too!
Organic vines, all tank elevage.
Here a more reductive minerality on display. Clearly a more bright and mineral style of wine – with an extra peak of finishing flavour – that’s super – long too. Bravo – it seems I’m a sucker for the dames!
All the wines that follow are tank samples – not yet bottled:
2018 Chablis La Pierrelée
Not yet bottled, some parts with a little elevage in wood.
A little more vertical nose – high and low-toned. Ease of entry but cool-fruited, wide, mineral and concentrated. More saline finishing. I’ve a slight preference for the Dame Nature, but that’s a style, not a quality, judgement. Excellent!
2018 Chablis La Sereine
Plenty of old-vines in this too.
Seems a little deeper colour. A deeper ripeness of aroma too, vibrant perhaps faintly reductive but there’s certainly extra ripeness. Bright – extra intensity, here the fruit doesn’t seem so obviously ripe as on the nose, the acidity is super and the energy too. The impression of more concentration. ‘Pops’ in the finish too – long finishing, excellent wine.
Also not yet bottled, alcoholic and malolactic fermentations in tank but some part with a later elevage in barrel.
Faintly floral, faintly sweet. Impact and density – certainly mineral, a little agrume style fruit and a proper structure and saline finish. This is to wait for, but it’s a great wine in 2018!
2018 Chablis 1er Beauroy
Beauroy and a little Troesmes
Here’s a faint oak on the nose that the finished wine probably won’t have. Round, beautifully textured, nicely mineral, not overtly fruited, slowly lingering in the finish. A good Beauroy, but there are certainly more impressive wines from here in 2018.
2018 Chablis 1er Côte de Léchet
Compact but there’s a fine line of yellow citrus. This is more mouth-filling and more involving from the perspective of flavour. A little structure, mineral. That’s a fine wine, slightly tannic finishing.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Hmm – now this nose is an invitation – a vibrancy of fruit. Here is clarity and energy – volume too – that were not present in the last two wines. This has complexity, a certain brusque volume, but that’s a great mouthful of wine – excellent 2018!
2018 Chablis 1er Les Lys
Also a part of Vaillons – of-course.
A little more oak showing here. Super entry, cool, mineral, incisive, driving. Lose the oak, keep the drive add gain a little more salinity in the finish and that’s great – nearly there!
Bottled. 80% Butteaux, a little Forêts and a little Montmains too! ‘Here is more clay, here comes more volume, it’s about the roots not the sun!’
That’s a vibrantly mineral, absolutely inviting nose. Big, faintly gassy, but here is also clarity in the energy, agrume acidity,a certain zestiness and a proper wave of finishing weight and power with salinity too. Bravo!
‘Crossing the river:’
2018 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Vaupulent and Côte de Fontenay
Hmm – that’s another really inviting nose – lemon-fresh with energy. A little rounder and warmer after the Montmains, but vibrant and complex – that’s excellent wine, if less overtly Chablis than the last – still full of citrus enjoyment and an impressive length.
2018 Chablis 1er l’Homme Mort
Fresh, wide and with cool minerals, also a touch of barrel aroma. More intense, more serious and structural, deep and a little sweetly oaked just before the finish – not the biggest finish but equally long. I prefer this to the Fourchaume but would wait 2 years for the oak to fade.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaulorent
Only a suggestion of oak, and here is more depth of aroma, citrus-fruited, mineral. Mouth-filling great texture and freshness, the finish falls in volume quite quickly but not in length, holding a mineral line that’s excellent.
2018 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Quite a floral start to this nose. Holding a nice volume, certainly more mineral than fruit, that fine-grained, almost saline complexity that reminds of Vosne. Quite long too – no surprise. As Jim Morrison probably didn’t say – I’m still waiting for it to light my fire…
2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Rather a modest nose, but far from a modest impact in the mouth – full, good energy, a little layered impression to the flavour. That’s plenty of finishing weight. That’s a fine wine.
2018 Chablis Bougros
A fine freshness of aroma, a little zesty impression to this nose too. Wide, vibrant, texturally interesting with its touch of tannin. Long on an agrume acidity, faintly oaked, not so faintly delicious. Excellent wine – I liked it a lot.
2018 Chablis Blanchots
A little more high-toned, a little more mineral. Gassy. But also more clarity of juicy minerality. Really holding a depth of finishing flavour. And what length!
Hmm, that’s not a big nose but it’s a great nose, complex, changing – almost sparkling. Volume, melting, juicy flavour. Textural finish, vibrating with flavour-energy in the finish. Bravo!
2018 Chablis Les Clos
A little more flesh. Mouth-filling, mineral, a little citrus skin – zest – but an inner calm here, moderately vibrant finishing – a wine with everything, except oomph. It needs to come out if its shell more, but potentially there’s everything here.
A little sweetness of oak, fainter mineral below. Big bright and punchily fresh. Here is extra structure slowly melting with flavour – narrow but very long. I find that this wine stands out less in cool, ‘classic’ years, but in warmer years it does stand out for its extra structure – that’s what really what sets this apart in this group too. The finish needs to broaden a little but this is a bravo wine.