Tasted in Chablis with Matthieu Mangenot, 11 January 2021.
It was nice to see Matthieu in Chablis for the first time in a while. Explaining “Yes, Cécilia Trimaille is no-longer with us, but she did leave us with some very good wines!”
Matthieu on 2019:
“2019 – the winter before was quite mild. We saw growth in the vines quite early but not especially so vs the last years. The vines grew rapidly from June though there was a lot of rain which coincided with the flowering and this had an effect on the yields. From the end of June to October it was a hot year – typical for a year ending in 9! Two canicules; the end of June and towards the end of July – 50% less rain in the year than average and closer to minus 80% in the height if the summer. Very sunny in these months – a lot of sunlight. It was the third-warmest vintage after 2003 and 2018 in Chablis. 2003 was also the driest. We had some rain on 17 and 18 August which helped to de-block the maturities. Of course, it was very clean in the vines due to the dryness. 35-45 hl/ha depending on the place, but roughly a third lower volume than the average. There result is wines with a certain concentration – concentrating the acidity too versus the higher volume in 2018 for sure. I like very much that the heat has not affected the differences between the different terroirs. 9-19 September harvesting. Certified HVE level 3 here in 2019 – that’s our first step towards organic – we had 25 ha organic in 2019 and 40 in 2020. In 2021 we hope the whole domaine will be underway so we start certification in 2022. ”
Cécilia has, indeed, left Matthieu with a super set of wines. The vintage working particularly well for producers who use only modest amounts of barrel elevage.
Chablis bottled in April 20, all the 1ers in in mid-July and the grand crus at the end of December, so just a couple of weeks. All sealed with DIAM:
100% tank fermented, no oak. This cuvée usually represents about 30 hectares worth of vines from all around Chablis over both banks.
Plenty of colour. Clean, fresh, wide – very attractive. Wide, nice intensity coupled with salinity. Long slight savoury impression too, I think from the diam, but that’s a very tasty wine – long too.
2019 Chablis 1er Les Lys
2 left-bank hectares worth. A more N-E exposure, almost unique for the 1ers, with less stones and more clay here so more acidity and florality. 100% in tank, no oak.
Also a faint diam reduction but then a width of fresh citrus – nice clarity. Drive, great energy and intensity – love this. Such a bundle of fine mineral energy – that’s excellent.
2019 Chablis 1er Les Beugnons
This 2.3 hectare parcel is in the sub climate of Vaillons; Long-Depaquit was originally the only producer, but a couple more are declaring under this label now, rather than using the Vaillons label. ‘If you don’t take care here this can really go over-ripe very quickly – so the date of picking is crucial – the parcel is protected by the forest.’ Again only tank elevage ‘to keep the purity of this place.’
A deeper, riper but at the same time more mineral nose. Another level of ‘mouth-filling’ tons of mouth-watering energy again – small waves of fresh finishing flavour. Again a great finish.
A large cuvée of 4.3 hectares, from Les Epinottes (90%) plus a little Lys and Beugnons. Elevage with 10% 2-5 year-old oak, essentially from Vosges. Then blended back into tank.
A strong mineral core to this nose – I would say tight but it’s still very open. Vibrant, saline, the energy of the previous wines. Concentrated in the finish – that’s a grand Vaillons – and it will need some patience – but bravo!
5 hectares from Chichée, the exposure resembles Vaudesir. ‘A pivot wine between the 1er and grand crus here.’ Just a little more oak – 15%.
More profound aroma – wider in the depth too. Ooh – that’s gorgeously incisive but still somehow with a little padding. A waterfall of saline accented finishing flavour – that’s a great Chablis – a little emotion included here!
2019 Chablis 1er Les Montmains
20% oak elevage. From Forêts
The first wine with a little oak in the depth of aroma. A fizz of faint gas, but a width of, growing more intense, flavour. Richer and sweeter finishing than the previous wines.
2019 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
Less wood in elevage – only 20% – before it was all wood. It’s back to all wood in 2019 but larger-format, older barrels.
A more direct nose – going deep and mineral but less width. The first with an accent of tannin – a phenolic texture, but very modest. Freshly layered finishing flavour and so long too. This will need plenty of time – it’s a bit timid in some directions – but certainly not the finish!
All the grand crus were bottled in December:
2019 Chablis Les Blanchots
1.5 hectares from the end of the valley, near the trees, almost always harvested 1 week after Les Clos.
A welcoming, comforting almost comfy nose – but still with a freshness. Richer, super texture but mineral, fresh and mouthwatering – all perfectly in balance. Maybe not quite a great grand cru – but certainly a very excellent grand cru in 2019!
2019 Chablis Les Clos
1.5 hectares worth from 2 plots.
A little oak, a little patisserie, but a flexing of muscle – still fresh – fruit too. More density – mouth-filling again – but I’ve the impression much is held at the core of this wine. The best, most open part is the finish – wide – some interesting almost mandarin fruit in the agrume mix. Tons of potential – but wait at least 3 years…
2019 Chablis Les Vaudésirs
2.6 hectares of 46-year-old vines. Always harvested at the same time as the Moutonne.
There’s a small floral note but this is tighter above than most, below a concentration of fruit and mineral – which needs to relax and open more. Big in the mouth – here it’s open! Lovely texture, faintly phenolic too, a richness of texture but balanced. Very good but young grand cru.
2.3 hectares that sits 95% in Vaudésir and 5% in Preuses. Like the previous three – this with 1/3rd or less barrel in the elevage
Here is width, power and some floral complexity. I love the energy here – another waterfall of flavour – but flavour richness brought by concentration. Long, lingering – and with a persistent weight of flavour in the finish. Very impressed – bravo!
The final two are 100% barrel elevage but including some 350 and 500-litre barrels:
2019 Chablis Les Preuses
A creamy accent of barrel – golden, ripe citrus fruit too. Plenty of volume – a beautiful sweeping vista of flavour. So mineral, so persistent – here the barrel is a little more of a caramel accent. That will be super – give it 5 years.
2019 Chablis Les Bougros
Here the oak is significantly more discreet. The nose a little narrow but impressively deep and mineral. Zip, energy – fine drive to this wine. Long, long finishing, modestly saline. Simply excellent.