Tasted blind, at the BIVB office in Chablis, 25 January 2021.
As always, I find these blind tastings a great source of new names, the aim being to find producers of great wines that I haven’t previously visited – Chablis has been quite a dynamic place in the last 2-5 years, with a number of new startups. Last year we had 56 samples for this tasting – this year it’s 66 – hopefully, there are lots of interesting new names to be picked out.
Of course, the wines were tasted blind. The sample order was completely random – the next bottle was the one closest to hand – simply the bottles were numbered (see below) and the number was compared to the list of domaines after all had been tasted. The notes for the wines are listed in the order that they were tasted.
In the 2017 vintage I noted 16 wines as ‘great/bravo’ – and that was from 52 samples. For the 2018 vintage, I marked 9 as ‘great 2018s’ from 56 samples. And this vintage? 16 again from 66 samples.
I’m hoping that the higher number in 2019 versus 2018 reflects not just the proper ripeness of the vintage but also the easy, semi-classical, style of the vintage too – there were also more samples to contend with. Hopefully, those make better explanations than any suggestion of ‘grade inflation’ on my part!
It seems to me that the ‘old concept’ of a certain austerity to Petit Chablis is an anachronism in the current run of warmer vintages – as can been seen from the general lack of similar traits in Chablis – in general – in the same vintages. Great PC seems to be more of an art with the same names taking my recommendations every year – despite blind-tasting – the styles of the ‘great’ wines are very different, so can’t ‘just’ be my personal taste!
66x 2019 Petit Chablis:
A big broad freshness of aroma – a mix of citrus and some herby elements. Incisive, cool agrume fruit – an explosion of flavour. That’s excellent – bravo.
Domaine Jean Collet et Fils
A narrower nose, clearly mineral, maybe even a suggestion of salinity. More structural, certainly mouthwatering with much depth of flavour. The texture is lovely. Keep this a little while, but the finish is particularly long and delicious!
A deeper nose – fresh and mineral but the fruit has an extra ripeness. Less sweetness on the palate – sour agrume but that makes the wine just so mouth-watering in the finish. That’s very good, and correctly paired with food, probably excellent.
Stephane Brocard, Cuvée Closerie des Alisiers
A nose that’s tight above but has much depth of riper fruit. More lime-fruit in style, not the widest panorama of flavour but a finish that’s really super and discretely long – such a super finish!
Domaine Sylvain Mosnier
A width of riper agrume fruits – neither overtly yellow or green-fruited – faintly saline too. Incisive, sour-citrus – vibrant and energetic – such a great finish though.
Domaine Eléonore Moreau
A rather timid nose – some roundness – slowly a suggestion of more exotic fruit. Incisive, great energy and quite a width of flavour too. A modest volume of finishing flavour but with a good accent of salinity to finish – subtly long too…
Another modest volume of aroma, but certainly more to see than for the last wine. Fuller, more incisive and seemingly with a little extra concentration and intensity. In the finish too, here is a wine with extra presence. Potentially a great PC!
Domaine Alain & Cyril Gautheron
Another ‘medium-intensity’ nose – but with a complexity of citrus aroma – very inviting. Mouth-filling, framed by a suggestion of tannic texture, a line of citrus-acidity that fades only very slowly in the finish. That’s very good…
Domaine Jean Durup
An easy width of aroma, suggesting citrus fruit but there’s nothing overt here. In the mouth, this is cool, fresh and shows a very nice blend of citrus acidity and minerality. Here’s another of those open, contemplative, and very delicious finishes that you find so often in 2019 – the best part of this wine.
Domaine Louis Robin
The most openly saline nose of any so far; a cushioned depth of aroma too here. Supple, concentrated, faintly phenolic-textured. Long too, salinity visible here also. Contemplative. Very different to most.
Domaine Vincent Wengier
A more open and vibrant citrus-fruit driven nose. Mouth-filling with super energy and lots of citrus complexity. A vibration of finishing flavour here, wide and interesting. Long too – simply excellent!
A very narrow but pure nose of lemon-citrus. Mouth-filling, reasonably concentrated and supple. Growing in intensity. The finish is full, textured and accented towards a more green citrus. That’s lovely wine…
Domaine de Pisse Loup
A nice width of aroma – suggesting a little barrel too. Bright, incisive, really fine energy. Big finishing. It doesn’t have the same clarity as many but it makes up for it with fine punchy flavours – an excellent wine.
Domaine Simonnet Febvre
A width of mineral and citrus notes – this nose is a good start. In the mouth too – a core of fruit surrounded by lots of energetic flavour energy. The finish more modest by comparison but tasty all the same. Very good!
A depth of agrume fruit here, more accented towards a grapefruit reduction. Concentrated, wide and energetic – the flavour very mineral and with plenty of steely-metallic reduction too. The finish is a long one, but here’s a wine that needs a carafe…
Domaine de la Motte, Cuvée Le Cadet
A fine nose, an accent of salinity and a depth of inviting citrus fruit. Wide, mineral – growing in intensity and energy. Vibrating with mouth-watering, finishing, energy. That’s a super wine – really excellent.
There’s a depth of ripe but pure citrus fruit for this nose. Fresh – attractive – energy. Long flavoured. Delicious and completely excellent wine.
Wide, citrus-fresh, faintly herbed aroma. Fuller than the last, more layers and concentration but never at the expense of balance. The fruit is a little ripe in the finish – but this wine is big in all directions – an excellent wine.
High-tones with saline freshness but depth and clarity too – that’s an impressive nose. An attack of freshness, of citrus energy, but widening over the palate, incisive even in the finish – long, salivating. That’s a great wine!
Charlène et Laurent Pinson
A compact but saline nose. Mouth-filling, lots of complexity here – mouth-watering too. The agrume fruit slowly becoming the primary reference in the finish. Excellent!
Fresh, frank, citrus but of a more exotic ripeness. Super in the mouth – intense and energetic – the ripe citrus of the nose is present. Slowly fading. Excellent wine.
A more overtly floral nose. Fizzy – there’s a lot of gas here. Intensely mouth-watering – the finish is very fine but carafe this.
Domaine Louis Moreau
That’s a nicely crystallised citrus fruit aroma, slowly augmenting with some salinity. Supple, silky, concentrated wine. The finish is excellent – like the start – just the middle is a little uncommunicative today. Good length. Carafe or have a little patience but there’s much that’s great here.
Another nose with a good width and plenty of salinity. Bubbling with fine energy, round but still incisive, long and complex. That’s a lovely wine, indeed a great PC!
Domaine Poitout, Cuvée Sycamore
An easy nose, rounder, suggesting a little salinity. Direct, mineral, growing in mouth-watering citrus flavour with a good, wide, finishing flavour. That’s a lovely wine.
A narrower nose but one of super depth – ripe citrus at the base. Framed with a slightly tannic texture, but bubbling with citrus energy at the core. A wine with plenty of structure and a finish that’s more mineral – a wine with everything – it just needs a little patience. Bravo!
A little more colour and also more depth of riper citrus aroma. Freshness, width and concentration but certainly still a riper style of yellow citrus. The finish calms and is very tasty. Different!
An open nose, a relaxed blend of mineral and citrus. Incisive, vibrant, modestly reductive minerality. The finish has clarity and purity of flavour. Despite that accent of reduction I find this a beauty – pure and precise wine – bravo.
Domaine Christophe Camu
A more textured nose – suggesting barrel. Fresh attack – tons of energy here. There’s some barrel flavour but it certainly hasn’t tamed this wine! Impressive wine…
Domaine de la Borde
A narrower nose, but one of good depth. Mouth-filling, slightly sour-citrus intensity. But becoming ever-more attractive as you head towards the finish – and it finishes strongly!
Another nose that’s compact but there’s a floral suggestion here. Super in the mouth – clean – mouth-filling slowly bubbling with a mounting intensity of pure citrus-minerality. That’s a top finish too. Bravo!
Domaine Jean Dauvissat
Another slightly compact but floral nose. Lots of energy here – not the purity of the last but a generous and tasty flavour. Punchy finishing too – excellent wine.
Another compact nose – yellow-citrus and maybe a small reductive depth too. Wide across the palate – lots of flavour – mouth-watering, almost juicy. The finish is a long. A slow diminuendo – that’s a great wine!
Julien Brocard Cuvée Les Plantes
An oaked nose. Lots of energy and filling the mouth with volume – but also filling the mouth with oak flavour – a style that I would not personally buy. The finish is super though – hopefully in 2-3 years the oak is gone…
Domaine Guy & Olivier Alexandre
A more strident and reductive nose. Lots of mouth-watering freshness, the flavour actually rather good – I was expecting some thing more structural but this is very tasty wine – I would say excellent wine!
Domaine le Clou
A wider nose – shaded more to a green citrus – vibrant. Plenty of textural tannin framing mobile easy citrus flavours. The finish is the best part deep and long. That’s very good.
Domaine Camille Besson
This needs some swirling but then shows a lovely depth of aroma – I love the clarity here. A little gas. Also an incisive character to this flavour – long, mouth-watering and excellent.
Hmm – a menthol character here – did somebody blend with the St.Bris? Mineral, wide mouth-filling, a little granular texture too. I wouldn’t guess PC – tasty wine all the same.
After 3 wines listed here, I rinsed out my glass to minimize interference with the next wine – twice for oak and once for the last!
Domaine Yvon Vocoret
A rounder nose but certainly an attractive one – there’s some good depth to this aroma too. Wide then slowly mouth-filling. I like the shape of this wine and the flavour is excellent, mineral with just a modest citrus accent. Excellent wine.
Domaine Roland Lavantureux
A good nose – not full power but still plenty to enjoy. Gas. Intensely citrus, long finish. Harder to judge because of the gas, but I think as a minimum it’s very good..
A more open, airy nose – plenty of citrus but quite structural. A prickle of gas but much less than the last. Some textural tannin, and then, at last, calming and offering a juicy, mouth-watering citrus fruit. The finish is very satisfying. Another very good wine.
Hmm – that’s an attractive and energetic agrume-fruit nose. Mouth-filling, layers of tasty flavour – long waves of finishing flavour too – that’s excellent.
A lovely freshness of aroma here – almost a blend of floral and fruit. Wide, energetic and very, very tasty. A super finish. Bravo!
Domaine du Chardonnnay
A tighter nose. Mouth-filling, lovely energy and really great flavour too, layered and long – simply excellent wine.
A more openly attractive nose – another floral/citrus blend. Mouth-filling, young, zesty citrus flavour. Lots of finishing energy and green citrus bitters too. That’s great, but have a little patience!
Here’s a more structural nose but with some attractive complexity. Fuller, more concentrated, more layered flavour – lots of minerality here – more Chablis than Petit Chablis in style. Long finishing. That’s a great PC…
Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault
A more vibrant nose – yellow-fruit but also a hint more exotic. Mouth-filling – bundles of energy here. That’s a great finish. Excellent wine.
Domaine Vincent Michelet
Also a vibrant nose but very different in style – a heavier floral component. Wide, more mineral but with a super-citrus mouth-watering component. That’s a super finish – excellent again!
A modest nose but of clean yellow-citrus. That’s a lovely wine in the mouth – penetrating but not harsh citrus flavour – properly mineral in the last flavours. Very delicious wine. Bravo!
Domaine Vincent Dampt
Here the aromas are fuller – there’s a suggestion of creamy barrel too. Nice in the mouth – plenty of presence and a fine fresh energy. Long and mineral finish. I like this – excellent PC!
Domaine Sebastien Dampt Cuvée Terroir de Milly
A rounder nose – complex, riper. In the mouth there’s plenty of attack but not too penetrating – The finish easing over the palate into the distance. That’s a delicious finish. Very good wine.
Domaine Sebastien Dampt Cuvée Terroir de Fyé
Not a large-scale nose but still one of airy freshness. A little touch of tannin then a mouth-watering more mineral than citrus drive to this flavour. That’s super wine but for keeping a little while.
Another more modestly scaled nose but still with an attractive agrume fruit invitation. Nicely mouth-filling and also mouth-watering. Another that’s a little more mineral than citrus which says (to me) keep back in the cellar longer. The finish is a beauty – open, wide easy but delicious. That’s a great finish – an excellent wine today, with the potential for great as/if it blossoms…
Domaine Gerard Tremblay
A narrow but deep and fresh nose – an attractive agrume fruit that suggests reduction. Mouth-filling – like the majority here with very good energy – here amply mouth-watering and another where the minerality is more to the fore. A fine and wide finish. Lovely wine.
A more forward salinity to this nose – a suggestion of florals too. Really mouth-watering – a good intensity here – a grain of tannin in otherwise lovely texture. A bright, happy finish that brings a smile to my face. Bravo!
Domaine Louis Michel
A bigger nose – more floral and perfumed. Some gas – the perfume in the flavours too. A growing agrume fruit is here. That’s a very lovely wine – very good, indeed excellent.
Another with a freshness of riper yellow-golden citrus aroma – more south-facing like a Fourchaume? Full of energy over the palate, and there’s a depth of tastiness to this flavour too. A great finish for an excellent wine!
Domaine Chavard Père
A more compact nose, but also one of airy freshness. Fresh in the mouth too – full of energy and a nicely open structural side too. Not the most demonstrative wine – but a very delicious one.
Domaine Pascal Bouchard, Cuvée Blancs Cailloux
Here’s an attractive green/yellow blend of citrus – nice. Some structure and some minerality but also a melting, easing, of the shape on the palate. A salinity in the finish here. Easy and delicious wine – more than very good.
Another with a fine clarity of riper citrus aroma. Perfumed, lots of depth to this flavour. There’s such an, almost, juicy impression to this wine. A great finish too. Different but great!
Domaine Jolly & Fils
A deep nose – almost a little licorice in the citrus! Big energetic and fresh – slightly reductive (the licorice) – nicely wide finishing. That’s a lovely finish. Very good wine!
Domaine Lamblin & Fils
Wide, fresh, detailed and attractive aromas. Mouth-filling, slowly growing even more – a small bead of gas. Mineral finish – there’s a nice clarity to this flavour. Very good wine again…
A super nose, vibrant, slightly reductive agrume – classic Chassagne without the oak! Driving, energetic, juicy, unfortunately, a bit gassy too. But everything about this juicy wine is on an invigorating level – bravo!
Maison Olivier Tricon
Another riper, pure yellow/gold citrus nose. Gas – but quickly fading. Energy and fine flavour in an easy package – long finishing too with just a touch of salinity. That’s a lovely wine.
Maison J.Moreau et Fils, Cuvée Bio
A depth of riper citrus aroma here. That sits beautifully in the mouth, clearly citrus, finely mouth-watering, just a suggestion of padding but still with lovely energy. That’s excellent wine!
Domaine Marsoif, Cuvée Sur la Goulerotte
Here’s a more complex and very attractive blend of agrume and florals – lovely! Framed with a little tannin. More mineral than citrus but mouth-filling all the same. The finish is smaller but long, and very tasty. That’s excellent.