Tasted in Chablis with Amandine Marchive & Richard Rottiers, winemaker Guénolé Breteaudeau (left), who was bottling, joined for the photo, 07 January 2021.
The team on 2020:
“In 2020 we were frosted, a little – minus 5 or 6 and we lost a few buds in Cote de Lechets and Vau de Vey – so it was a small harvest in those sectors. But generally, we’re happy with the results – around 50 hl/ha. We’re in conversion to organic. 2020 was our second vintage of organic treatments for certification and another quite easy one – with the exception of oïdium which seems to be taking the place of mildew as our greatest worry. We had some big storms but this type of rain is easier to deal with than constant damp. We started harvesting early 31 August and finished in about 9 days. 60mm of rain came at the end of the month and that brought a bit better balance to the very concentrated grapes – luckily quite cool in the mornings so the harvest was an enjoyable one”
The team on 2019:
“We had to counter a number of nights with frost, a cold May and a flowering that started too cold and finished too hot – so there was coulure. The heatwave came twice and there was some roasting of the grapes – the young vines didn’t cope well with that. So a catastrophic yield – yet some of the greatest results. In the end about 40% less – but it’s good! It’s the same acidity as in 2017 but with extra sugar/richness – because of the low yields the percentage of barrel is a little higher, but the wines don’t spend too long in those barrels – they are racked into tank in March…”
A very good range of wines with some really great entry-level offers.
The grand crus were the last bottled here and they were done just before Christmas – as every year, it seems.
Bought grapes, always the same organically worked parcel.
That’s a nicely vibrant, faintly menthol nose. Wide, melting with sweetly accented flavour – a suggestion of tannin supporting. Really widening deliciously in the finish, here’s a super minerality.
From a contact in Saint-Bris who isn’t organic officially but works the soil
A nicely vibrant and very pure nose. Wider, a little more depth to this texture. Depth to the finishing flavour too – that’s absolutely delicious – bravo for the label!
2 sectors, Beines and La Chapelle de Vaupelteigne
A higher-toned width of aroma – fresh and citrus. Less richness of texture, more direction, slowly bubbling with energy. Really wide and persistently mineral finishing. Great PC
The largest cuvée of the domaine. 15 hectares, three parcels in Prehy, another parcel near Montmains and Côte de Lechets. Practically all left bank
Less volume of aroma but here’s a very fine clarity and pretty perfume, touched by salinity too. Rounder than the PC, bubbling with energy – the mid-palate flavour more peach than agrume growing and filling-out the palate. Finishing with a lovely vibration of flavour and freshness.
2019 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes Envers de Valmur
Right bank in the valley of Vaudesir. The vines planted by grandfather in 1967 – but due to their orientation classed as villages. Doing a lot of work here, ‘it’s almost like dentistry to save the vines from ESCA.’ Always with separate elevage, one part in barrel. This cuvée was previously called Tour du Roy – but now that house has been sold to someone else, so… This is the climat name. About 40% with barrel elevage.
A deeper, rounder, nose – suggestions of perfume but a little tight. Full. Extra silky, less energetic but a luxurious wine on the palate – less tension – both nose and palate with a suggestion of barrel spice. But this will be super wine – give it 2-3 years or carafe today!
2019 Chablis 1er Côte de Léchet
Vines about 40 years old. ‘It’s very stony here, we prefer to preserve that with stainless-steel – almost 1.4 hectares that are worked by horse, but a catastrophe here in 2017 – 12 hl/ha – practically nothing, but still 50% more than in 2016!’ Working part of this by horse in the last couple of years – it doesn’t like the steep part but is happy on the flat part at the top. All tank – the only 1er like that. The frost here in 19 significantly impacted the volume – again!
Fresh, more open – there’s no oak in this one. Wide and slowly ingraining the mineral, citrus flavour into the palate. That’s very fine and very classic with a long-lasting finish.
2019 Chablis 1er Vau de Vey
Very steep vineyard near Beines – it doesn’t have the sun the whole day so is harvested a little later. A mix of hand and machine harvesting. A single block and the biggest 1er of Malandes with 40-year-old vines – ‘It was hard with the young vines as they were a bit too productive and we lost plenty to ESCA – now they have settled down and produce a proper rendement – steep here with 1.5 metre spacing – needs a tractor driver without fear!’ 40% oak but none new. Largest volume 1er here – around 3 steep hectares of vines.
Fresh with plenty of aromatic volume – yellow citrus with an accent of barrel. A bit too much gas in this today so decant, but slowly this widens and eases over the palate – very attractive, lots of luxury complexity. I’d keep this 2-3 years for the barrel flavour to fade, but it’s super-attractive wine which holds a great finish.
2019 Chablis 1er Montmains
Old vines – planted by grandfather – a massale selection like the Tour du Roy, approaching 65 years old. 30% barrel. ‘Usually, a serious wine when young.’
Here the nose has plenty of volume and a more reductively mineral style, slowly showing some floral perfume. Rounder than I expected in the mouth but with fine freshness – a fine tannic gran at the base – just a little oak showing – so wait a while for this – a couple of years will be enough. The wine is very good – a great finish here!
2019 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From the heart of the historic Fourchaume, parcels from father and grandfather – also about 65 years-old. Lots of millerandes so hand-harvested, and always the first parcel harvested. In bottle 2 hours! Less than 20 hl/ha principally due to the frost.
Not so deep, but a wide nose with ripe lemon citrus. Fuller, plenty of tannic grain in support. Super richness of texture, not energetic but never a suggestion of insufficient balance. Big, big wine, with a great, great finish. Excellent stuff.
2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
A small parcel since 2011– 0.25 ha – swapped some Vaudesir for this – but not the ownership! They simply work each other’s parcels! Always the first parcel to be harvested. It’s on high near the wood so doesn’t normally frost – though was decimated in 2016!
A width of fine, spiced complexity – a very different style of aroma. Very silky, sill a base with a small grain of tannin. Energy without being exuberant. The barrel is clear if not ‘obvious’ – keep this 5 years. Excellent wine but very different.
2018 Chablis Vaudesir
Hand harvested from the ‘coté lunaire, not solaire’, needs harvesting 3 or 4 days later. 100% in barrel for 10 months followed by ss for a total of 13-14 months of elevage. Directly opposite Le Moutonne, so cooler, and now worked by horse. This and the last, also only hours in bottle.
Mineral and faintly oaked, deeply aromatic but not fully open. A wine that’s rather perfumed, a little timid today though. The finish intensity is all there – the length too. Ooh that’s a super finish, the first part of the wine is more in waiting, but clearly much class here.
2018 Chablis Les Clos
All by hand and with the same elevage as the Vaudesir. Also low yielding – only 20 hl/ha in this vintage. It’s an old vine and it just didn’t produce very much in 2019.
Not fully open again – but clearly a more vibrant width of aroma. Fuller but very silky, more obvious energy but still finely textured – a balanced richness. It’s all barrel but a little less obvious than the Valmur today.