Tasted in Fyé with Sébastien Christophe, 06 January 2021.
Domaine Christophe et Fils
Ferme des Carrieres
Tel: +33 3 86 55 02 83
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Sébastien on the wine-market:
“It seems that it is a question of the models of distribution; some are fine and others clearly not. 80% of the production is exported from here, and those who sell to restaurants have no sales but online sales with distributors are in very good shape. So it’s a very slow year but we continue.”
Sébastien on 2020:
“Viviers & Béru were cold but not fully frosted – but the recovery was slow – then a touch of hail in May. A larger hail came about a week before the harvest – some people brought forward their harvest because of that – we started around 4-5 September and in beautiful weather too – starting at 5am as the weather was rather warm. So, a complicated year but not in terms of treatments; we did about one-third fewer treatments as there were no pressures from disease. But our young vines of Petit Chablis on the plateau near Béridot, above Fyé, really struggled with the dryness – Fontenay, however, was fine. However, the quality was lovely – the only other losses were from some grilled grapes – again it was the young vines who suffered the most as they had less luxurious leaf coverage to shade the grapes – in all about 25% less – which, in the end, is comparable to 2019. The fermentations started very quickly, some were even finished in 15 days, others much slower and a couple still have about -3g of sugar – I’ve no worries about that at this stage – and the malos all went through without a problem.”
Sébastien on 2019:
“In 19 we started with some frost, wider than in 2020 – the spring was cold and the summer was dry – though not as dry as in 2020. The maturity came very quickly and I had to worry about the balance but in the end, it’s good, and I think the wines will drink very well from the start. We recovered some of the losses with the VCI from 2018 but there’s no VCI left for 2020. Sell some of the young vines to the négoce but the prices for that are sinking. It was worth paying for the weather insurance in 2020.”
Overall, and excellent level of attainment for this domaine. Wines of clarity that will benefit from a little more aging.
Currently the wines are sealed with cork for the old-vine cuvée and the 1er crus, DIAM-style for the Petit Chablis and actual DIAM for the Chablis. The 2019s were bottled in March-April for PC and Chablis, the Chablis VV and the crus were done in August:
2019 Petit Chablis
A nice volume of aroma – a touch of salinity too. A very faint gas but there’s anyway plenty of energy here – this expresses itself most beautifully in the finish – long, fine, mouth-watering in the end. Such a beautiful finish – a wine that will keep improving in the short-term. Excellent.
More width and complexity to this nose – some faint herb in the mix, almost floral. Extra weight of flavour – very fine flavour – mineral, a touch of richness but all is balanced. Not a completely effervescent wine but a delicious one – the clarity of the finish is once-more excellent and persistent.
2019 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
Vines planted by grandfather in 1959 – 15% of elevage in 228 barrels – bottled close to the 2019 harvest, unlike the first two which were done in April.
A little more of the higher tones, some floral impressions here too. More open and a little more freshness is visible. The richness is no-longer evident. Very fine over the palate – an accent of salinity in the finish – a wider finish – long, currently more structural too – give this a couple of years time in the cellar – you will be rewarded – excellent VV!
2019 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Up to 20% barrel elevage – like all the 1ers here. Assembled just before bottling which was just before the harvest.
A much less forward nose but with a pretty extra floral component – it’s very nice. Extra width. Bubbling, modestly, with energy. Slowly widening over the palate and keeping all that width in the finish – a proper step up from the VV – not with impact, but with width and length – not a ‘powerful’ finish, but a long one.
2019 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Extra depth and width of aroma, the clearest note of florals so far. More concentration, but not more ‘rich.’ There’s a presence and a weight of flavour though. The most impressive so far in the finish – the weight of young flavour really holding very long – but it’s a flavour that you should wait for if you want complexity – I’d wait 3 years – lots of material and nicely fresh. It should be excellent.
The most aromatic and perfumed of these wines – that’s very lovely. The most classic, direct and mineral of these wines too. Very mouth-watering – almost juicy – a couple of mm of comfort in the texture but again not ‘rich’ – the most complete and mineral of these wines – a super finish, a wine that evolves as you drink it – bravo!
A new wine for this year:
2019 Chablis Blanchot
The vines and wine worked for a client and Sébastien could keep a couple of barrels this year, actually 40% barrel in the elevage.
The oak has maybe given a faint spice to this wine – but generally, it’s more floral than it is oaked – only very slowly adding more depth of aroma. Hmm, this style is like the Montée de Tonnerre but extra. Super mineral and mouth-filling. Clearly a grand cru with a super finish. Excellent wine and still a very good Blanchot!