Tasted in Chablis with Olivier Bailly, 26 January 2021.
Olivier on 2019:
“In 2019 most of the rain came at the end of the growing season – it was almost a normal year for rain from the perspective of the year as a whole, but clearly not the vines. We had was more volume than in 2016 or 2017 but it was still less than 40 hl/ha for the domaine. In the vines it was a relatively easy year – there wasn’t much weeding required as the weather was so dry and allowed us to reduce the doses in our treatments – we did experience some ‘grilling’ of grapes in August but our older vines did seem to resist quite well. Still, it was a small, or better said, medium-volume vintage, not quite 40 hl/ha. We lost some harvest to dried grapes in Chapelots and to a lesser extent in Vaillons too. A vintage that has good maturity, perfectly clean grapes and more concentration than 2018 – as there were fewer grapes. Also the degrees were quite high – some at 13° but some over 13.5 too. Harvesting was between 12-19 September but only in the mornings, starting at 4am…”
Another great set of wines from this domaine. A little softness for multiple cuvées but always completely delicious wines.
The last of the wines are just bottled – last week. All technical seals here for Chablis, Petit Chablis and the Tête d’0r – they are still considering their approach for the higher wines:
Two parcels from the flat land on the top of the hill above the grand crus of Les Clos and Valmur – totalling 1.33 hectares. Bottled before 2020 harvest.
Ooh – directly a great nose – no excesses but silky and with fine lemon-citrus. Composed, almost elegant but with depth and concentration too. A top finish – A wine that really would embarrass a lot of Chablis… Bravo.
An assembly of many parcels including some purchased must but a little over 4 hectares worth. Elevage mainly tank but one or two barrels. Bottled at the same time as the Petit Chablis.
A little extra zip, direction to this nose but essentially the same complexion. In the mouth its more directly mineral, direct but with width too. Really mouth-watering – ooh that’s so good! Simply excellent Chablis…
2019 Chablis Tête d’Or
All domaine with some bottom of Montée de Tonnerre is the usual spine of this. A wine with a little barrel elevage in the mix. 1 week in bottle – it won’t be on the market before April.
Here there’s more depth of aroma – a citrus-mineral hybrid – and very attractive despite the first suggestion of barrel. In the mouth here is width, mineral width, beautiful texture and fine balance. Faintly oaked but always Chablis – that’s an excellent wine – in a contemplative, elegant and delicious style.
Two parcels in Chatains, 2 in Sechets and one each in Minot and Roncières – 3 hectares.
A width of forward freshness, of cushioned yellow citrus – it’s a great invitation. Lovely intensity and again texture – melting, mouth-watering – almost juicy without ever becoming over-energetic. The last notes are mineral and with a suggestion of tannin. Contemplative wine again despite the juicy flavour – such an excellent, practically great Vaillons…
2019 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Normally 0.25 ha. The last part of Vaupulent.
Here the nose is fuller, more airy – more forward – very attractive too. A more insistent energy here, more mobile, intense without pain, mouth-watering. Not the same quiet purity of the Vaillons but overall a wine that brings some more interest too. Another simply excellent wine…
2019 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Four parcels, 0.35 ha at the top pulled out after the 2015 harvest as there was virus and too low yields. 2.74 ha in total – all barrel elevage this vintage, large-format…
A fuller nose – supported by a little oak. Ooh, that’s good – mouth-filling minerality, mouth-watering from the citrus acidity, cushioned by some barrel today. Wide and persistent in the finish, very slowly fading. Excellent again despite its 14°
2019 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
2.15 ha in three parcels. Some of the oldest vines of the domaine are here with 80-85 years of age. An important part to the domaine – the average age of vines here is at least 40 years of age. Almost all tank elevage for this wine.
Once more a fuller nose but this time more freshness and citrus. Silky, wiry-muscled, mineral, love the texture and growing intensity of flavour. The last notes with a faintly tannic accent – very long. A wine to wrap yourself up in – so good!
The tiniest parcel of grand cru here, just 0.18 ha – also right at the top near their parcel of Les Clos. ‘This the parcel that suffers most in the heat so it’s more of micro-cuvée in 2019 – less than 400 bottles in this vintage – half what is expected.’ No barrel here.
A tighter nose but one of super depth – the mineral base having a stone-fruit impression. Vibrant, super incisive, layered flavour, always with energy and depth to the flavour. Wide and intense in the finish too – so long – Grand Vin.
Another small production – some contracts – 50% more than the Blanchots.
A tighter nose but of nice width. Lovely energy again – grand cru doesn’t need to be about ‘fat.’ Mobile, beautiful and mineral over the palate, long finishing – here a suggestion (only) of barrel. Contemplative but still with energy – that’s another great wine, but I’d still take the Blanchots in preference…
2019 Chablis Vaudesir
Three parcels here that come to 0.49 ha – two in the colder part – that brings freshness in warm years.
A deeper nose, more golden-fruited ripeness but with no loss of freshness. Wide and then more mouth-filling. The finish narrows but the slowly mouth-watering flavour lasts beautifully. Just a little more structural – though overall the personality of this wine is a little less in evidence after that last two bravura performances…
All tank elevage.
Not a full nose – more airy and open. Mouth-filling, more structural nice energy too, the texture is fine, touched with a faint tannin. The flavour is always mouth-watering from an agrume fruit. A ramping up of concentration in the finish – that’s impressive – that’s a great wine but for keeping a few years.
Assembly from barrel – now bottled like the others.
He nose offers a width of aroma – some power, some yellow citrus and only a faint accent of barrel. Attack, super structure and energy – growing more insistent – this has so much purity despite the modest barrel references. Always with the energy of Clos. Wait 2 years (plus) and you will be rewarded with a great wine. My preferences today though are Blanchots and Preuses!