Château de Chemilly – 2019


Loïc & Yannick Vilain 2020 Château de ChemillyTasted in Chemilly with Yannick & Loïc Vilain, 05 January 2021.

Château de Chemilly – Vilain Frères
20 Rue du Pont
89800 Chemilly-sur-Serein
Tel: +33 3 86 42 16 91

The actual Château de Chemilly is a, potentially, super house in Chemilly-sur-Serein, but for the moment it looks like it could use a little TLC.

In the grounds of the château is the winery of the domaine. Brothers Loïc & Yannick Vilain took on the domaine from their parents in 2013 – it was their father and his two brothers who started the domaine in 1972. In 2012 the last remaining of three brothers took his retirement at which time Loïc & Yannick took over.”Back in 2013 we commercialised about 25,000 bottles per year,” says Loïc, “Now it’s over 200,000. We have 27 hectares of vines in the AOC of Chablis but in the last few years, we have planted 45 hectares of ‘regionals,’ with another 20 still in waiting.

Loïc & Yannick explain “This remains very much a family exploitation; we are brothers, sisters and brothers-in-law doing all the daily requirements of such a domaine viticole.

In terms of ‘regionals,’ the team here are producing Côteaux Bourguignone and Cremant. The density of planting is higher for the regionals and the vines are set up for mechanisation of course – it’s a price question at this level as the Grand Distribution (supermarkets) is a key customer here. The new plantings are in the area of Vermenton which is near Auxerre / St.Bris / Irancy – “Before phylloxera, it was a much more widely planted area than Chablis, it moved to cereals and cattle after phylloxera struck.

We tend to treat based on observation for phyto-products – We’d call it reasonable – not the same as raisonée – and it’s based on the expected, forecast, weather. We’ve had no insecticides for 3 years, nothing against botrytis for 2 and now have HVE-3 certification for our work in the vines. In the cuverie for the last 4 years no cultured yeasts – I liked using them as they were very easy but you can’t justify the multitude of flavour profiles that they allow you to achieve – we want to achieve that from the place the grapes come from. We use less than half the allowed dose of sulfur and use DIAM seals for all the wines – ranging up to DIAM10 for the 1er cru.

Lots of export and supermarkets are the current markets.

Loïc & Yannick on 2019:
It’s a vintage that brought a correct yield – no higher than the average. The year was affected by the climate, some frost and after that some summer dryness but it was essentially a relatively easy vintage in the vines.

The wines…

There’s a suggestion of 2018 in these wines given the delicious aspect and modestly rich style. Most obviously it is the vieilles-vignes cuvée that is showing a fine minerality and the most obviously ‘classic’ Chablis style in this vintage.

2019 Côteaux Bourguignons Chardonnay
A smoothly textured nose – of good width and faint spice. Supple but mouth-filling – decently concentrated. A nice accent of minerality. Very tasty wine – at this level certainly excellent.

2019 Petit Chablis
Sampled from tank – this was the only wine that I tasted that wasn’t bottled.
A weighty nose – there’s concentration here. Mouth-filling, supple, concentrated. Some richness of flavour. There’s minerality but on a lower level than many this year. Very tasty wine, a little less ‘classic Chablis’ than at many domaines in 2019.

2019 Chablis
This is bottled.
Hmm, that’s a very nice nose – slightly floral accented. Wide, delicious, lots of energy, layers of finishing flavour always with a fresh energy. Very good Chablis.

2019 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
A width of aroma but less volume – there’s a very attractive complexity here. Beautiful texture, some richness but more overt minerality is showing here. This has a lovely flavour; one that burrows into the palate, ingraining its flavour. That’s a great villages.

2019 Chablis 1er Cru Grand Reserve
Mainly Vosgros, planted by parents. Since 2013 also a small parcel of Vaucoupins. ‘The largest part of our clients preferred without wood so in the end we chose the blend the two, without wood.’ DIAM 10 here.
Still a roundness of aroma – very easy and inviting. Cool fruit, a modest richness – fine texture with a small grain of tannin. A little easy for a 1er but with plenty of proper 1er cru complexity, but no doubting the deliciousness of this wine – already.

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