Courtault-Michelet – 2020


Stéphanie Michelet 2022Tasted with Stéphanie Michelet in Lignorelles, 04 January 2022.

Domaine Courtault-Michelet
1 route de Montfort
89800 Lignorelles
Tel: +33 3 86 47 50 59
More reports with Domaine Courtault-Michelet

Following the retirement of Stépahnie’s father, Jean-Claude, the domaine is now officially Courtault-Michelet with a single label. Where there were doubles – wines under the two old labels – they will keep both, one taking a cuvée name.

Stéphanie on 2021:
The ‘reference’ for frost here, if we can use this word, is 1991 but most domaines with enough memory think that they lost more in 2021. We lost 70% in 2021 – it’s fair to call it a catastrophe!

Stéphanie on 2020:
Due to the dryness we had about one-third less volume in 2020 – and our harvest started in August, of course. It was the roasting of the grapes by the sun in August that had the most significant effect – the pinots were much worse affected – in Irancy for instance… I have the impression that we suffered more from the heat in 2020 than we did in 2019 – yet we have better acidity I think. We probably had more reserve of water in the soil in 2019 than in 2020. So it’s clear that with 2021 we now have a stock problem – or rather, a lack of stock problem!

The wines…

There are some of the greens of the vintage to bee seen here – but not all of the wines – and some of these wines are excellent or even great!

Now all is DIAM, particularly they appreciate this seal in the warmer years as they feel it holds more freshness…:”

2020 Petit Chablis
Mainly from Lignorelles, average 20-year-old vines.
That’s quite floral a little green-herb too. Wide, energetic, fine intensity – there’s a vibration to these flavours. This green herb is never too much, indeed it’s a juicy, tasty wine – excellent PC!

2020 Petit Chablis Sous le Vent
Vinified exactly the same. This from the vines in Beine between Vau Ligneau and Vau de Vey where they have the windmills – hence the name.
Extra fresh and airy – Similar in constitution and showing vibrantly juicy flavour – almost an extra base-line of tannin to this wine – citrus skins – more direct. Different and I’m not quite sure which one I prefer – also Excellent…

2020 Chablis
A blend of Lignorelles and Beines – 30-35 year-old vines. Usually more fruit from Lignorelles, structure and minerality comes more from Beines. Bottled July
A little tighter but still with fine depth of aroma. Wide and vibrant again – this fine intensity mixed with the green-tinged fruit of the vintage. I have to say that this is just so tasty.

2020 Chablis Vieilles Vignes La Croix St.Augustin
70% old vines – some dating from 1947 – with a young vine in Bienes, the rest over 60 years old in Lignorelles – There’s about 10% barrel used here but none is new – I didn’t spot it…
More open top notes of florals – that’s fine. Super in the mouth – I like the shape, the clarity and the energy here – that’s really excellent wine – super long too. No greens!

1ers are all bought as must – it’s hard to buy grapes… but these are quite long-term purchases from the same producers.” Mont de Milieu uses only tank elevage – like the Fourchaume – Beauroy has a little barrel in the mix. “It was a question of volume that we didn’t use wood at the start, but we liked the wine, its delicacy, and so never looked to change it – we’ve made the wine for over 10 years now – always the same seller and parcel.

2020 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Bought from same producer since 2008. All tank elevage on the fine lees.
There’s an airy style to the nose but it’s not that communicative today. More mouth-filling, lots of energy – growing complexity in the mouth-watering flavours too. A contemplative wine – there’s finesse here – but still modestly energetic finishing flavour with fine accents of florals and citrus skins here. That’s very good…

2020 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
The third vintage for this wine – the first was all tank, this is all wood – but older and larger-format barrels.
Ooh – this is much more communicative and much more openly floral perfumed too. Really mouth-filling with tons of energy – so juicy, framed by a little grain of tannin. Long, ultra-tasty – moreish wine – that’s more than excellent – bravo!

2020 Chablis Valmur
All barrel but large format.
That’s an interesting nose – not as wide and energetic as the Fourchaume but with more of a white-flower style of perfume. More impact and weight but again with clarity and so mouth-watering too. Narrow but direct and very long finishing. This is for keeping – despite how delicious it already is – I think it already excellent and who knows if it might improve even more.

Le Red!

2020 Bourgogne Epineuil Côte de Grisey
A young plantation – this the 4th vintage – 1.36 ha – “When my father bought the plot it was already planted with trees; he couldn’t plant vines because he couldn’t obtain any plantation rights (droits de plantation). 20 years ago, rules to obtain some rights took into consideration the age of the person, the surface of the domain etcetera … It was possible to plant once I arrived to work on the domain. As a young winemaker, I could obtain some rights.” It will be Feb-March bottling for the 2020… About 40% barrel elevage in a mix of ages – almost 18 months of elevage too. ‘I opened this yesterday, and I’m sure that’s even better today than yesterday – it’s very limestone here, quite steep too, and I think that adds to the salinity’
A peppery cassis and mint style to the nose – very perfumed. Good attack, framed by a fine grain of tannin. This is very mouth-watering and vibrantly flavoured. I don’t know how this will age but it’s delicious already today – it holds the flavour long too.

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