Tasted in Beines with Cathy Geoffroy, pictured with Alain, 14 April, 2014.
Domaine Alain Geoffroy
4, rue de l’Equerre – 89800 BEINES
Tel. +33 (0)3 86 42 43 76+33 (0)3 86 42 43 76
This 50 hectare domaine is now run by the 3rd generation of this family. They have Petit Chablis, Chablis and Chablis 1er Crus. There are also Grand Crus, but they are not owners in this case. Still, it is almost 500k bottles that are produced in a normal year, in buildings that are dispersed around the tiny village of Beines, 75% of which is exported. Today, Alain seems to concentrate more on his museum of corkscrews and other winemaking paraphernalia, whilst wife Cathy holds the reins.
They choose to use a little oak in their Chablis and 1ers, but everything else is made in stainless-steel. Cathy notes “We are looking for a certain fruitiness but of-course with freshness too.” By-far their biggest cuvée is their generic Chablis.
2012 Petit Chablis
‘Not a really big’ cuvée, but from 5 hectares of vines!
It’s a heavy, quite forceful aromatic and it’s quite involving. Good intensity and concentration here – I like the stony/herby mid-palate flavour. Good length too and good balance. Should be a great value wine.
Lime-skin, some aromatic depth and a little warmth at the core. Oof! There’s quite a step-up in both concentration and freshness. The acidity and intensity driving a super finish. Bravo!
2012 Chablis Vieilles-Vignes
There are some new barrels here, but mainly they average 3-4 years-old. Up to 25% of the elevage is in oak, the rest in tank. This cuvée is usually a ‘lot selection’.
There’s a little more colour. Aromatically like the ‘base’ Chablis but with a faint extra roundness and a distant sweetness. In the mouth there’s an obviously more silky texture and here a little roundness too. Whilst the freshness isn’t as obviously intense as the previous Chablis, the flavour remains steely but with good width. This is very, very good!
In the commune of Beines, and the largest 1er Cru of the domaine.
An intense nose with green herbs – faint citrus too. In the mouth the shape is narrower and more direct, but opens very quickly into a wider panorama. Intense, steely flavour in the mid-palate and good width in the finish too. There’s super freshness and flavour here – another sip please, says the palate!
2012 Chablis 1er Cru Vau Lignau
Still some herbs on the nose, but overall sweeter and green-skinned. A little more silk and like the Chablis VV a growing, growing intensity. Super in the finish. Fresh, concentrated, with just enough sweetness and a super, stony length.
2012 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume
The nose offers minerals, herbs a nd a hint of something floral. There a more ‘instant’ attack and intensity – you must drink or spit, but the wine can’t stay in your mouth. After the ‘wow’ of the mid-palate, the finish is a little more modest, but maybe I’m still suffering from the initial punch!
2012 Chablis Les Clos
Bought as must – but all the vinification was here – the same amount of time in barrel, but a little more new oak.
The nose has sweetness and wood-spice. In the mouth this slowly builds, It’s certainly as intense as the Fourchaume but without that wine’s instant attack. Mineral and faintly salty. Very tasty wine.
2009 Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy
Well-defined, riper nose with narrower fruit, some floral aspects and a certain minerality. Wide and silky, it’s rather contemplative versus the 2012s. Wide and long-lasting with ‘good enough’ freshness. Actually, this is very long, holding a faintly sweet note. Very tasty.