Tasted in Chablis with Guillaume Michel, 08 January 2020.
Domaine Louis Michel
9 boulevard de Ferrières
Tel: +33 3 86 42 88 55
Guillaume on 2019:
“Good – not a lot of wine, we easily lost 30% – the volume with the VCI from 2018 is acceptable though. I see lovely balance and good maturity, we might see the sun a bit but I think there’s still tension.”
Guillaume on 2018:
“we have plenty of tanks so we were able use some of the tanks normally used for assembly! If 2016 and 2017 had normal harvests I would have struggled – but no complaints. Even the wine from 2018 that had to be distilled – they don’t pick that stuff up quickly – you can wait 2-3 months, so there’s no free space. 7 days of harvest 05-12 September. The degrees were good but they weren’t very high. Currently doing the bottling of the 1ers, the GCs to be done in the spring. Less pressure of maladies than in 2019 – treatment-lite. We saw plenty of protein in the wines, so I was obliged to fine. Slightly long fermentations, one or two blocked a little but generally not a problem. It’s the contrary to a diluted vintage – there were lots of grapes, and not because they were gorged on rain, they were fully ripe – it’s absolutely the contrary – they are concentrated wines. Average pH is 3.5 after malo. I’m tempted to say that 2018 is a little atypical, but I’ve also the impression it’s exactly more typical for now!”
“All summer long we prayed it would rain, but it didn’t – luckily – probably!”
A range that reflects the vintage, with a certain richness, but wines that still have their feet in minerality and some that will require patience as they are ‘proper’ Chablis.
The Petit Chablis and Chablis, plus some 1ers for certain clients are sealed with DIAM, the rest are all cork:
2018 Petit Chablis
From above and behind Valmur from 2 ha of vines Valmur – ‘Everything had a good volume in 2018 – this too.’
A little perfume and good depth – not so wide. Full, actually a little rich. Very tasty, still a suggestion of finishing minerality. But far from your expectation of PC! Delicious, however.
A deep nose, slightly reductive, fresher though. Richer but more energy, really a super complexity here – reductive minerality – great flavour with that kick of 2018 richness.
2018 Chablis 1er Montmains
Hmm – that’s a lovely nose – fine and mineral. Hmm – this is deep and flavourful, so intense in the finish – tons and tons of wine here – it needs more time to come together but this is big, mineral and very tasty.
2018 Chablis 1er Les Forêts
A more floral top note, more compact at the base. This is mineral but also full of florals in the flavours too. Great finishing, complex with depth of flavour – soooo good!
2018 Chablis 1er Butteaux
All these parcels (except Butteaux VV) are of similar age of vines. This has similar soil to Montmains, but Montmains is cooler, Forêt with more stones
Ooh! Now that’s also a beauty of a nose – more mineral is aspect. A little richness to the flavour here, good balance, I prefer the Forets here, but here is another super finale!
2018 Chablis 1er Vaillons
A wider and nicely fresh nose – not bouncing with energy but an inviting minerality. Supple, a little sweet, very 2018 this one – delicious but not really what I’m looking for. The finish is super though – quite zesty!
2018 Chablis 1er Vaulorent
Hmm, some richness of aroma but this is quite florally perfumed too. More driving and fresh – this is what I’m looking for – mineral, no austerity – or hardly – wide and with energy. It’s 2018 but it’s a super 2018!
A slightly reductive, much more mineral nose. Wide, cool fruit with growing energy and attached complexity. Almost a suggestion of the austere in the middle and finishing flavours – this is and will be great!
The following wines are not yet bottled:
2018 Chablis 1er Butteaux Vieilles Vignes
A more compact nose, golden almost honey-fruited. Very fresh, this is nice – it balances the golden fruit – long, mineral, not large but very persistent finishing. Fine.
We always start harvesting in this Vaillons valley – it gains it’s ripeness earlier here.
More aromatic volume and energy – more mineral than fruit. Bigger, cooler fruit, framed with sweeter, mouth-watering flavour. Lovely finishing, the flavour coming in long, rolling waves – so long. Bravo!
2018 Chablis Vaudesir
From the north-facing hillside which helps conserve the freshness in warm vintages, but needs later harvesting…
A little reductive but a good mineral volume of aroma. Big, fresh, ultra energetic. Ooh – a bouncing puppy of a wine – actually more than 1 puppy! Big, concentrated, never heavy finishing, but only 12.9° the lowest of GCs. Excellent, maybe more!
2018 Chablis Les Grenouilles
The biggest with 13.7°. The same slightly reductive mineral nose. Even fresher, cool fruit – really more mouth-filling, maybe not quite as energetic. Big wine – more open, more mineral a little more austere too. Great finishing persistence. Excellent wine and have some patience – 3+ years for sure!
2018 Chablis Les Clos
A nose similar to the last two, but just a little more open. More driving, less mouth-filling, a little better texture, less cold fruit, less austere too, though there’s still a little of that. An extra mineral dimension of flavour in this long finish. Probably the best!