Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin – 2020


Benoit Droin 2022 Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoit DroinTasted in Chablis with Benoit Droin, 28 January 2022.

Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin
8 Boulevard de Ferrières
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 42 16 78
More reports with Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin

Benoit on 2021:
2021 is the worst vintage that I’ve seen for volume – lower than 2003 or 2016 – but my grandparents remember sometime less than 10 hl/ha and we had about 28 hl/ha, so… Still, a very heterogenous vintage I think.

Benoit on 2020:
Another short vintage – we were about 20% lower volume. Actually, a classic vintage despite such an early start to harvesting. The main issue was the heat at the end of July and this heat on the west side caused some losses – the grapes were literally burned – but the rest probably brought proper yields. The vintage seems really classic despite, maybe differences between night and day temperatures helped to preserve the acidity.

The wines…

Delicious wines – concentrated and fine-textured – though on this tasting a little extra richness here than I’m used to, so they were hiding some of their energy today.

All bottled since just before the 2021 harvest. The domaine is all DIAM – practically since 2011.“.

2020 Petit Chablis
One parcel above Les Clos on Portlandian, not much soil, mainly limestone. All tank elevage.
A sweeping width – shaded slightly to lime this is a nice citrus nose. Supple, good concentration – actually a little richness but always balanced. Impressive waves of concentrated finishing flavour for the label.

2020 Chablis
Normally, about 40 parcels assembled – About 12 hectares worth – and like the Petit Chablis, harvested by machine.
A little extra directness and freshness to this nose. More mouth-filling a little stricter – more complex and mineral – this is super. A really fine Villages! More intense finishing too – an excellent choice!

2020 Chablis 1er Vosgros
A more composed width – citrus but concentrated if not fully open. In the mouth too, there’s a concentrated citrus mix – a little lime in there – but not as open as the Chablis. Layered and concentrated and fresh enough – give this some time – but today it’s not showing the best but the finish is lovely…

2020 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Assembly of 5 terroirs from Vaillons
More airy – a little floral perfume to add to the more yellow citrus. Extra dimensions of flavour in almost every direction – here is a wine that’s showing! Silky, concentrated but alive. That’s excellent Vaillons, faintly tannic finishing.

2020 Chablis 1er Montmains
More oak here – 40% vs the 25% of the Vaillons.
Also a nicely airy style to this wine – with an accent of barrel today. Nicely direct and with a good texture, rounded from the ever-present barrel. Give this some time for the wood to fade and the wine to shine – 2-4 years I think… Really an impressive depth of finishing flavour

2020 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Less forward but still an airy style to the aromas – fine with pretty florals – nice! More direct, silken, the minerality more overt than the Montmains today. Layers in the finish. This is a concentrated finish and it’s really impressive even with some fine apricot (tart.)

2020 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From Vaupulent with deeper soils.
A little more intent and intensity to this nose – waxy citrus fruit. Hmm – that’s super a wide, almost incisive start – cool fruit, with a fine texture – very faintly grained by the tannin. Remaining wide in the finishing flavours – a wine of breadth and really attractive flavour and very complex finishing! That’s super!

2020 Chablis 1er Vaulorent
Bottled here since 2013.
Broader fruit, riper, still accented to the green-citrus spectrum. More textural and structural, concentrated, slowly mouth-watering. A contemplative wine that’s engaging but I’d like a bit more ‘fizz’ this morning… Nicely saline finishing in this case.>

2020 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
‘This is always a complicated wine when young but after 5 years it really seems to take off! And be happy if you can find one that’s 10-15 years old!’
More open and hinting at a little structure. Hmm – the most vibrant, open and mouth-watering – this is lovely – the flavours burrowing into the palate. Really wide finishing – that’s simply excellent – wine of the tasting so far!

2020 Chablis Vaudésir
A little, round, confit fruit but pure and attractive. Supple, creamy, layered, a decadent wine, slowly moving over the palate, lots of noisette.

2020 Chablis Valmur
Here the nose is more direct, with ripe lime and other citrus hints, modestly saline too. Wide over the palate, cooler, but vibrantly flavoured. I love the finish – this is very good…

2020 Chablis Grenouilles
From top part of Grenouilles – “It’s cold vintages bring out the sublime in this grand cru, 10, 8, 7, 14 are ‘cold’ vintages for me as they have kept the freshness and acidity.
More airy and complex fine, not that forward. The most mineral so far, cool fruit – direct, haughty almost – Love this. My favourite so far. Just a small nose short of great wine today!

2020 Hommage à Louis – ‘Les Clos’
Benoit’s great-great-grandfather bought a parcel of vines as Les Clos in 1920 (before AOC) and this has always been blended with the domaine’s other parcels – eventually, the ‘Repression des Fraudes’ – part of the Douane – came calling (2013) saying that this parcel must be declared as Valmur. So, for now, Benoit makes the same blend as before but doesn’t call the wine Chablis Les Clos! ‘Everything changes, nothing changes!’ Benoit is not the only domaine with this issue at the moment – some are clearly still ignoring this ruling…
Wide, complex – warm-roast nuts. Cool fruit, wide over the palate – super texture as all. Growing in depth. Intense and mobile finishing – that’s also really super. Long, faintly oaked today but that will be gone in a couple of years. Excellent wine!

For the road:

Light golden. The nose has much more development and is really direct. Super freshness, mineral, growing with creamy middle and finishing flavours. A small note of white mushrooms, layers. Montmains 02! What a baby – I guess 2010! Benoit’s grandfather always said the colour doesn’t change much until it’s mature- this hasn’t yet, so by that measure it’s not ready!

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