Tasted in Beines with Team Louis Moreau, 08 January 2021.
Anne and Louis on 2019:
“In 2019 we had fewer grapes than 2018 but very good quality – so clearly less juice than we hoped. We lost some volume to frost a mix of high plateau and bottom of the hills but not really on the slopes. The left-bank was better than the right, the grand crus really suffered. But for us it wasn’t the frost particularly that affected the yields it was the dryness that caused the vines to tap into their reserves of water more and reduced the amount of juice in the grapes. We started on 4-5 September, we have to harvest quite quickly these days to avoid over-maturity in the last-harvested grapes.”
A typically clean, pure and excellent range from the team here – with some nice peaks of attainment too!
The first three are in bottle but the rest of the wines are (mainly) assembled and waiting in tank. There are 50,000 bottles of Petit Chablis here in a normal year, using a high percentage of screw-caps. Across the rest of the range, they are now using DIAMs; 3, 5 and 10, though in 2017 all the grands crus had normal cork. Like most years, all the grand crus are still in tank, virtually all the rest are now bottled:
2019 Petit Chablis
The major part is Beines towards Lignorelles on the plateau. Some above Les Clos too but that’s the smaller part.
A nice touch of salinity and slightly of a grapefruit complexity. A grainy tannin in support. Good energy, not hyper-incisive but delicious, complex and already quite accessible – super wine with a super finish.
Usually about 25 hectares worth of vines. 80% from around Beines, the rest from the communes of Fleys and Chablis
A little extra width and aromatic freshness, slightly floral. Lovely energy, slightly floral, open, precise and absolutely delicious. Not a concentrated wine but a bottle that will empty far too quickly – bravo!
2019 Domaine de Biéville, Chablis
From Viviers – 18km east of Beines. In the family since the 70s. South facing, on the plateau, not planted for a long time, pure Kimmerigian terroir.
A broader nose – very forward – slightly more herb complexity and depth. Here is a fine clarity and a suggestion more concentration. Textural, layered flavour – lovely wine – the previous is more delicious today but this has a different and also delicious width of finishing minerality.
2019 Chablis Cuvée ‘Les 8‘
Not yet bottled, like the GCs – all organic, hand-harvested 50-year-old vines, all done the same as the 1er and GCs.
A nicely vibrant nose – some herb complexity again but also with a richer lemon fruit in support. Very citrus flavour – full but with nice energy. Open, tasty, fuller style – long and ripe-lemon-fruity, a super finish.
2019 Chablis 1er Vau Ligneau
Back to Beine, more north, north-east facing.
A nose that’s more incisive and mineral. The freshness and minerality are lovely here – growing wider, never austere. Lovely character – direct but never hard. Super wine. Contemplative finishing but soooo good.
2019 Chablis 1er Les Fourneaux
From true Fourneaux. 4 hectares.
Here’s a lovely bright freshness of more golden citrus. Bubbling with energy, a base with a small grain of tannin. More vibrant and energetic finishing than Vau Ligneau. Another excellent wine.
2019 Chablis 1er Vaillons
2 hectares at the base/heart of Vaillons, vines now 57 years old. All work made in an organic way, uncertified.
A nose that gets better and better with aeration. Also a little golden style to the fruit but less fizzing, more depth and clarity. Wider, more mouth-watering – not the same overt energy, more melting and mouth-watering, style of mineral energy. A vibrance returning in the finish with a kiss of tannin on the end of the tongue. Excellent wine – with a finish to sink into!
From tank, still all stainless-steel – this the most east-facing of these grand crus.
More volume of aroma – peach fruit to augment the citrus. Direct attack, incisive but not austere, here is a wine that’s an obvious step up in density and depth of flavour. Beautifully finishing, with nice energy – that’s a super wine – bravo!
2019 Chablis Les Clos
A similar volume of aroma – less fruit-focused only because there is more complexity. A slightly reductive minerality in the width of flavour here. The mouth-watering finish is captivating – a wine to wait for but again certainly far from austere.
2019 Chablis Clos des Hospices
A nose from another world – lots of fine herb and spice in the nose, under there’s a suggestion of reduction. Mouth-filling with an overt base of minerality – with energy – mouth-watering, salivating flavour. Long finishing. A wine apart but a delicious one.
That’s a super nose – some agrume, some minerality – more classic than the Clos des Hospices. Mouth-filling, open, structured but with enough finesse to appreciate all those aspects. A mineral extra in the middle flavours. Bravo wine – very long on a narrow road. Great wine, today only excellent Valmur but it will get even better…
2019 Chablis Vaudesir
A vibrant nose of fruit and slightly reductive minerality – that’s coming into a great stage already. Vibrant in the mouth too. The same reducto-mineral aromatic is visible in the flavours. The balance here is such that you could easily drink this, with pleasure, today – but the real pleasure will come in the future. That’s another really excellent GC!