Tasted in Beines with Nathalie Geoffroy, 08 January 2021.
A more sombre tasting than usual – the day before my visit had been the funeral for Nathalie’s father, Alain Geoffroy. He ended his days in his holiday home away from Chablis and had been unwell for some time.
Nathalie on 2020 & 2019:
“Both 19 and 20 had lower volumes, certainly versus the extra of 2018. Roughly about 20% less. We did have some zones that were lightly touched by the frost, but for us, it was principally the dry heat of the summer that reduced the quantities – there were some grapes that had been grilled by the sun too – that also contributed to the losses.
“The market is a mix, some of the export is doing fine, some parts of France also, but the trade with restaurants is, obviously, almost zero.”
Exactly as last year: Never the most profound or concentrated but so-often some of the most delicious wines of my trip.
Everything has had at least one bottling, though there will be some later bottlings of some of the larger volume wines. Using some screw-caps for the PC and Chablis, the rest are cork. There are new labels for the export market since 2018. A large part of the bottling is done, though for the second wave of bottlings the wine remains in tank as usual.
2019 Petit Chablis
‘Not a really big’ cuvée, but from 5 hectares of vines!
That has a nice easy with of aroma – faintly saline accented and a modest but with inviting citrus element. A little richness to this, easing over the palate – still obviously mineral. Wide and with comfort. Very tasty wine and already accessible. The finish is lovely with a small kiss of finishing tannin.
The classic cuvée that sees only tank elevage. Usually 30 hectares worth of vines here. Beines, Lignorelles and Chapelle le Vaulpeteigne
More depth and complexity of aroma. More overtly mouth-filling – certainly some extra energy, cushioned but less obviously than the PC – I like the length here, tasty, complex, not too insistent but with persistence.
2019 Chablis Cuvée Signature
A parcel selection, no oak, classic tank elevage; ‘It’s more about the selection of more mineral terroirs than a selection based on vine age.’
That’s a fine and pure citrus nose, accented towards green citrus. A little fat but also a delightful, easy-flowing fresh flavour of lovely clarity. That’s a beautiful wine – not dynamic but of very elegant balance. Super finish – a great villages finish. Love that!
2019 Chablis Vieilles Vignes
Some part of oak elevage in this cuvée, not new barrels but 100% barrel. The average age of this assembly of parcels is 50+ – mainly from Cornas in Beines
Deeper, very perfumed slightly herbed. A little more direct intensity and structure. Melting with mouth-watering citrus. The finish a little wider and with a floral component – that’s excellent – lovely wine.
2019 Chablis 1er Beauroy
The historic cuvée of the family – almost 9.5 hectares averaging close to 40-years-old vines principally in the area of Troesmes. Have sometimes bottled as such – but it was a hard sell!
Another nose that’s very open and perfumed, fine cooking herbs over citrus. The base of this wine contributes a grain of tannic texture but above all is the sweeping freshness of citrus and mineral. Nicely intense finishing, here more mineral than citrus and needs a little cellar time to soften, but that’s very fine Beauroy – harvest your cellar from 3 years old!
2019 Chablis 1er Beauroy Cuvée Signature
Parcels selected with the same ‘esprit’ as the Chablis.
A less intense perfume than the first Beauroy, but perfumed all the same. Just a touch more elegance in the, now, yellow citrus aroma. Vibrant, the tannin finer and less overt, beautifully open on the palate – lots of volume but never dense. An extra charm visible in this wine – something that you will have to wait for in the previous wine. Excellent!
2019 Chablis 1er Vau-Ligneau
About 2.5 hectares – ‘Not a big parcel for us! There’s less sun here. The vines are now about 35 years old and the cuvée gets more and more interesting.’ Only tank elevage.
A narrower but also deeper, more pure mineral nose – beautiful purity – that’s a great invitation. Mouth-filling but not too intense – an open palate of mouth-watering saline-edged flavour. Just a little easier to assimilate than the first Beauroy cuvée – more impressive aromatic character, the flavour more similar. Still a very fine drink.
2019 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
A parcel of 2.5 ha all in the same sector of ‘real’ Fourchaume.
The last nose was deep, but here is width – yellow citrus – more ripe but full of fresh energy. Mouth-filling a density to this concentration, but also with freshness and never heavy. Texturally lovely – a framing, a halo, of fine tannin. Yellow fruit, layered but delicious. Love that Fourchaume – completely excellent. That’s a super wine.
2019 Chablis Les Clos
Not proprietors here but each year buy from friends. Part oak, part tank elevage. Only a small production.
Very aromatic – here with a touch of creamy oak complexity too. Not the largest in the mouth but here is a core of impressive flavour – touched by oak but also many other complexities – beautifully balanced, not currently incisive – but nearly. The finish is wide and persistent, and like the palate, complex. A wine that I hope will build a little more tension as the last of the barrel notes fade. It is anyway delicious wine.