Tasted with Karine Roy in Fontenay-Près-Chablis, 24 January 2020.
71 Grand Rue
Tel: +33 3 86 42 10 36
Karine on 2019:
“We started with some frost, so some protection was needed. Though we didn’t have great damage, it was certainly cold. The flowering wasn’t the best, which meant not so many grapes and then in the heat of the summer, we lost some of those – roasted by the sun. So it was no surprise that we had less volume – nearly one-third down – the grand crus weren’t especially lower than the rest. Maligny was okay, Fontenay was very low – the differences in volume were localised. Our fermentations were fine – they are not quite finished – but we also had no problems with our 2018s.”
Karine on 2018:
“Opulence is a word that comes to mind, though that’s not to say too concentrated wines. We found place for all the juice, and I suppose we were lucky that 2019 wasn’t of the same volume or maybe we might not have had place for it all! JUst days before the harvest, my father was convinced that there wouldn’t be much juice despite, clearly, a lot of grapes. We didn’t have ultra-high volumes like some that we have heard of, but yes too much for the allowed rendements. After the low volumes of 2016 and 2017, plus the lower volume of 2019 too – it was hard to send that very good wine away for distillation!”
Some of the wines were a little tight, others contemplative, but there were others that were open and energetic – and for the vintage, great!
I asked Karine about the domaine’s approach to seals today; “In the last few years we made a trial with DIAM but we really weren’t convinced. We are using a similar type for the Petit Chablis today, but for the rest not.” These wines were bottled about the same time the harvest was started – in the first week of September.
A plot of vines right in the corner of Bougros and Preuses – on Kimmerigian.
Pretty, open, saline. Open, there’s concentration here and not bad tension too. Real salinity then a broadening in the finish. Layered, long – a wine that could have a touch more energy, though the length is super – but it’s still close to great PC!
This the Chablis of Maligny
Here a faintly reductive minerality is to the fore, a suggestion of the seashore too with the iodine style. Very faint gas. More energy, more volume in the mouth. Fine clean citrus. Vibrant long that’s a great Chablis in 2018 – very tasty.
2018 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Côte de Fontenay vines.
Extra width of freshness, more compact below. Supple, an extra richness of texture. Mouth-filling nicely balanced, a little salinity, – a wine of contemplative layers of flavour. Super width of finishing flavour.
2018 Chablis 1er Vaulorent
There was no cuvée in 2017 as it was completely frosted.
More floral with a more openly mineral aromatic. Here is a weight of flavour, more a core – it’s not the biggest but there’s flavour that slowly melts from this concentrated core. Wider in the finish, beautifully textured – more a wine of complexity than steely minerality. A peak of finishing flavour here – that’s rather good – the flavour still just a little contemplative, but delicious too! Wait for this to open out, there’s lots to unpack here.
2018 Chablis Bougros
Again a slightly tight nose, suggesting some florals also suggestion some salinity. Extra width, a more floral combination with the fruit, deep finishing, compact in volume but still very long – here’s another wine that will require some time to unpack itself, but the concentration and flavour complexity are in place – wait 2 years and re-try….
Replanted 16 years ago. Just one owner’s vines separate the domaine’s two grand cru parcels – indeed also the domaine’s Vaulorent and their small parcel of Petit Chablis too.
An extra freshness and floral complexity. Directly more volume in the mouth. Layered, more complexity – a wine that’s showing so much more today – this is a super wine – Excellent Chablis, potentially great 2018 – I simply love the finish here!