de la Tour – 2020


Vincent Fabrici 2022 Domaine de la TourTasted in Lignorelles with Vincent Fabrici, 04 January 2022.

Domaine de la Tour
3 Route de Montfort
89800 Lignorelles
Tel: +33 3 86 47 55 68

There’s no ‘tower’ here at the top of the village of Lignorelles but this was a domaine born in Chitry – and they keep their domaine name as a link to their old home – and there’s a picture of the tower of Chitry on their label too.

This domaine was founded in Chitry by Auguste Chalmeau in 1820 with just half a hectare of land. When his grandson, Jacques, more than 100-years later, took over the exploitation, the domaine viticole was still only two hectares of Aligoté and Sacy vines – but, of course, few domaines could live from just grapes in these times. In the 1960s land was acquired in the Chablis appellation and planted – in the commune of Courgis. They also expanding the domaine with 3 hectares of 1er cru vines in Montmains, Côte de Cuissy and the Côte de Jouan.

When Jacques and his wife Andrée retired in 1992, it was their son-in-law, Renato Fabrici, who took on the domaine and changed its name to Domaine de la Tour. Renato had been in the building trade and looked for somewhere he could build a new cuvérie. The land for this cuvérie was found neighbouring Jean-Claude Courtault in Lignorelles and the pair worked together for some time. Since 2008, the domaine has been run by Renato’s son, Vincent who joined in 2008.

The domaine’s production comes from about 15-hectares of vines, from which, Vincent retains enough to commercialise about 30,000 bottles himself – all made in thermoregulated stainless steel tanks. These wines are mainly sold in France – salons typically – but the export market took up the slack when there were no salons in the covid-time. Plus there’s the local ‘grossistes’ – the supermarkets.

The wines…

To a greater or lesser extent, there’s a little pyrazine in all these wines. That said, if you are insensitive, you will find them delicious…

The 1ers usually have a later commercialisation – the 2019s are the current vintage here. All ‘natural’ cork here – “I find more quality here – I test the synthetic alternatives – but so far I prefer cork:

2020 Bourgogne Aligoté
These vines in Chitry – the same as for the Bourgogne Chitry – of course…
This is a very attractive nose – and talks of Chablis rather than aligoté. In the mouth too – plenty of volume, a little fat – fine fruit and plenty of minerality. That’s an excellent introduction – and it clearly speaks more of the place than the cepage…

2020 Bourgogne Chitry
A bit more colour. Narrower but deeper aroma. Mouth-filling, vibrant and like the aligoté a little extra fat – from the lees stirring Vincent does here, perhaps. Holding well – there’s good power here and a lingering mineral aspect. Modestly green-herbed but nicely full-flavoured.

2020 Petit Chablis
Vines in Courgis
Also a narrower nose but with a vibrancy of aroma. Lots of green-herbed flavour but there’s depth of flavour here too. An impression of pyrazine in the mix. The finish is attractive and slowly fading – this the most attractive part.

2020 Chablis
This has a wider nose and seems more openly attractive too. Much less herby – still an accent – incisive good energy. This is a very good bottle!

2020 Chablis 1er Montmains
Over 3 hectares in Butteaux
Hmm – that’s a lovely nose – yellow citrus and more overtly floral. Wide, complex – depth of flavour. Melting flavour that becomes more and more mineral – there’s a small touch of pyrazine here again but on a level that’s attractive. The finish large-scaled and persistent. Very good.

2020 Chablis 1er Côte de Jouan
For all the range 20-30-year-old vines – except this which was pulled out in 2013, and replanted in 2014. The first proper vintage 2018 ‘as there was some frost in 2017’ 0.25 ha
Also, a nose that betrays a little pyrazine in the herb complexity – slightly floral too. Mouth-filling, nice energy – the pyrazine visible again in the flavours – but the open, mouth-watering, easy style is very approachable. If you are pyrazine insensitive you will find this delicious.

2020 Chablis 1er Côte de Cuissy
A rare label, these vines in Courgis – the oldest vines of the domaine – around 40. 0.175 ha
This has a nicer nose – the pyrazine very modest here. Hmm – that’s bigger, more vibrantly energetic – depth and fat to this textural wine. The pyrazine fainter but perceptible. Long, quite mineral. Without the pyrazine that would be an excellent 1er cru – for most of you, it still is!

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