Tasted in Chablis with Fabien Moreau, 25 January 2021.
Due to a programme mix-up, I didn’t make to visit Fabien last year – I was back this year to apologise!
Fabien on 2020:
“In 2016 we said we were only missing plague or a war – the plague came 4 years later! In the vines it was another hot year. Another easy year in the vines, hardly any copper was needed for treatments – and the treatments finished mid-July. I remember just a little late-arriving oïdium in Vaillons – still a good harvest there with 12-12.2°, the grand crus were also less than 13° – Chablis ‘old-school’ is the current impression in tank despite the heat of the vintage. We had a bit more volume than in 2019 – not the full rendement but a good one.”
Fabien on 2019:
“42 hl/ha was our average harvest volume. We lit candles twice but I’m not sure it made a large difference – with a parcel of more than 3ha in Les Clos people tend to wait for us – if we light they often don’t need to as we warm the whole hillside! The largest factor was probably the lack of water during the winter of 2019/2020. We had to triage some grilled grapes but otherwise, the grapes were very clean. We had higher degrees in a couple of wines 13.7, 13.8° but the rest were all close to 13.”
The oak is more visible in this vintage – at least today – but if you have the patience that won’t be an issue – there are certainly a number of great wines in waiting.
All the wines are bottled, the last done before the Christmas holiday. As usual, all the wines are sealed with ‘traditional’ DIAM, though there is a trial running with the ‘Origine’ version:
0.7 ha in two small parcels above the GCs – Les Clos and Vaudesir. Bottled in June
A silky width with added floral freshness. Supple, round, silky, depth of agrume skins – quite zesty. Extra finishing energy because of that. That’s a super finish, slowly fading… Classy texture here and unlike the rest of the range, no overt oak – Bravo Petit Chablis.
1.5 ha of domaine vines in Pargues.
Hmm – that’s a more composed nose, touched with some barrel. A frame of tannin and plenty of oak but then precise complex citrus of fine purity.
2019 Chablis 1er Vaillons
There are 6 parcels of Vaillons at the domaine – 5 are assembled for this cuvée.
A little yellower fruit and more flowers – still some oak but much less overt than the Chablis. Hmm – that’s a broad and mineral width of flavour. Slowly fading in a mouth-watering manner. The oak more visible here than aromatically but that’s a super wine – wait 2 years before returning.
Vines that are over 80 years old – the ‘sixth’ parcel of Vaillons. The oldest vines planted by grandfather in 1933, a longer elevage and just a few newer barrels.
Richer, but more vibrantly ripe citrus fruit. Mineral and impressive in scale – still the oak to be absorbed but that’s normal here. The finish is ultra-long. That’s a great wine – but be patient!
2019 Chablis Vaudésir
100% barrel elevage, none new. Les Clos had a good yield but this was more affected by the heat and the younger vines – only about 25 hl/ha in this vintage, hence, all was vinified in barrel.
A frame of fine tannin and a beautiful energy in the mouth – not the richness og the ‘Guy Moreau’ but more incisive energetic width. Long, slow mineral waves in the finish – the oak is almost gone here – though not before. Have patience but that’s a very successful wine.
The round, indeed deep, creamy oak of the domaine. Energy and zip again – despite the oak. These are not grand crus of richness, they are grand crus of energy and complexity – slowly fading – that’s going to be great wine in 5 years.
Oaked but with a very fine freshness too – opening more and more with swirling. Extra energy, extra depth of flavour too – super energy – that’s a great wine but keep it in your cellar for 5 years or more.
Of course, oaked but also a more floral nose. Supple, concentrated but lucid, wine of clarity, energy and minerality, the oak practically absent here. Great!