Tasted in Chablis with Guénolé Breteaudeau & Richard Rottiers, 17 January 2020.
Domaine des Malandes
11 route d’Auxerre
Tel. +33 3 86 42 41 37
The team on 2019:
“In 19 we were about 25% down in volume, we had to counter a number of nights with frost, a cold May and a flowering that started too cold and finished too hot – so there was coulure. The canicule came twice and there was some roasting of the grapes – the young vines didn’t cope well with that. Fortunately, 7-10 mm of rain early in September de-blocked a lot of vines. Our harvest started 12 September. The balance and acidity look good though.”
The team on 2018:
“In 2018 we have some VCI to put towards the lower yields of 2019. The combination of volume and quality is simply unbelievable. You can drink the wines almost straight away, they are so tasty – we harvested as quickly as we could, there was a new machine harvesting the Chablis and Petit Chablis and harvesting was by hand for all the rest. Last the last of the Petit Chablis came in at 13° – amazing!”
Some of the wines seemed to offer less impact, but that could be the cushioning effect of some oak – or simply less concentration! Other were great examples of 2018 Chablis.
The grand crus were the last bottled here and they were done just before Christmas – as every year, it seems.
From a contact in Saint-Bris who isn’t organic officially but works the soil
Hmm, here is a nice fresh attractive chardonnay nose. Not too rich texture and a width of flavour with a touch of minerality. Nice finishing depth too. Bravo Bourgogne for 7 euros ex cave!
An extra hit of freshness, that’s a great invitation. Super width, nicely mineral, softly packaged but completely delicious. Bravo and an extra hit of mineral in the finish too!
The largest cuvée of the domaine. 15 hectares, three parcels in Prehy, another parcel near Montmains and Côte de Lechets. Practically all left bank
A more compact nose but nicely fresh. More vibrantly mouth-filling, a little richness and finishing width – here with a little salinity Super…
Right bank in the valley of Vaudesir. 60-year-old vines planted by grandfather – but due to their orientation classed as villages. Doing a lot of work here, ‘it’s almost like dentistry to save the vines from ESCA.’ Always with separate elevage, one part in barrel. This cuvée was previously called Tour du Roy – but now that house has been sold to someone else! This is the climat name. About 40% with barrel elevage.
Softer, rounder, faint oak on the nose. Super in the mouth – gorgeously shaped, melting flavour – there’s oak to that I wood wait to fade – wait 18 months or so for that – it’s not stark, but this is potentially great ‘Chablis’
2018 Chablis 1er Côte de Léchet
Vines about 40 years old. ‘It’s very stony here, we prefer to preserve that with stainless-steel – almost 1.4 hectares that are worked by horse, but a catastrophe here in 2017 – 12 hl/ha – practically nothing, but still 50% more than in 2016!’ Working part of this by horse in the last couple of years – it doesn’t like the steep part, but is happy on the flat part at the top. All tank – the only 1er like that.
Mineral good width of aroma but more compact in the depth and higher tones. Vibrant, good mineral attack and weight of flavour too. The flavour widening and becoming more agrume accented in the finish. Long, rippling waves of fine finishing flavour. Super!
2018 Chablis 1er Vau de Vey
Very steep vineyard near Beines – it doesn’t have the sun the whole day so is harvested a little later. A mix of hand and machine harvesting. A single block and the biggest 1er of Malandes with 40-year-old vines – ‘It was hard with the young vines as they were a bit too productive and we lost plenty to ESCA – now they have settled down and produce a proper rendement – steep here with 1.5 metre spacing – needs a tractor driver without fear!’ 40% oak but none new.
Hmm, a nice nose and one that grows and grows a fine mineral and maybe a touch of oak. Bigger, nicely mouth-filling, layers of balanced finishing flavour, touched by both citrus and oak – the amount of barrels is normal here in 2018, but the volume of wine higher so effectively there’s a bit less oak in the cuvées.
Old vines – planted by grandfather – a massale selection like the Tour du Roy, approaching 65 years old. 30% barrel. ‘Usually a serious wine when young – but not this year.’
A more openly vibrant width of aroma, nicely classic minerality. Bigger, brighter, fresher, more intense. Bravo! Old vines and deeper soil.
2017 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From the heart of the historic Fourchaume, parcels from father and grandfather – also about 65 years-old. Lots of millerandes so hand-harvested, and always the first parcel harvested.
A little more compact aromatic, again, but with a nice, almost sparkly clarity. A little more richness and overt concentration but also gorgeously mouth-watering, deliciously flavoured wine. This is excellent and certainly a crowd pleaser!
A small parcel since 2011– 0.25 ha – swapped some Vaudesir for this – but not the ownership! They simply work each other’s parcels! Always the first parcel to be harvested. The only parcel that had no frost! It’s on high near the wood so doesn’t normally frost – though was decimated in 2016!
That’s again a super vibrant nose, deep mineral and attractive. The first wine with some overt salinity, really tasty, depth of both flavour and flavour complexity. In 2018 that’s a great MdM!
Hand harvested from the ‘coté lunaire, not solaire’, needs harvesting 3 or 4 days later. 100% in barrel for 10 months followed by ss for a total of 13-14 months of elevage. Directly opposite Le Moutonne, so colloer, and now worked by horse.
A bigger nose, complex a little saline, a touch of oak – complex. This has a super, driving, mineral line – concentrated flavour, but super energetic. Faintly spiced with oak but very little. Love the combinations of energy, drive and minerality here – without much fat. Excellent, indeed bravo GC! A great, holding, finish…
2018 Chablis Les Clos
All by hand and with the same elevage as the Vaudesir. Also low yielding, using a grey mustard to dynamise the soil.
This is less demonstrative than the Vaudesir, a touch more oak visible. Swirling brings a much more interesting floral complexity. Very wide, fine silky texture, layered – good clarity. Today I prefer the extra character of the Vaudesir, but another great finish here – excellent wine!
A minty nose, quite fresh too. Great shape and mouth-filling freshness. A different style of freshness that follows the GCs very well, slightly saline. That’s an excellent wine – indeed Bravo! 8 euros vs the PC at 11 – a great buy