Tasted in Lignorelles 29 April, 2014 with Stéphanie Michelot (pictured with her dad, Jean-Claude).
Domaine Jean-Claude COURTAULT
1 route de Montfort – 89800 LIGNORELLES
Tel. +33 (0)3 86 47 50 59+33 (0)3 86 47 50 59
It a relatively complex constellation of wines here as there are three different labels coming from this cuverie. They are:
1. Jean-Claude Courtault (Négoce)
2. Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault
3. Stéphanie et Vincent Michelot
Stéphanie’s father, Jean-Claude Courtault began the domaine in the 1980s when there was still some chance to buy land, and quickly developed his export markets. Stephanie notes for the domaine that she began with her husband in 2008, it’s no-longer easy to buy land!
The vines are mainly located in Lignorelles – towards the top the hill and mainly Portlandian bedrock, down to Beines where it is predominantly Kimmerigian. They were largely planted by Jean-Claude after he purchased the land, so the vines are no-more than ~35 years-old. Stéphanie also began her own exploitation in 2008 with her husband, but it’s the same team in the vines and the cuverie work is the same. The vine location works well for the team, because despite the extra altitude in the plain of Lignorelles, the grapes ripen much faster on the Portlandian rock, so once the Lignorelles section is completed, it’s usually the perfect time to start harvesting the Beines section.
Everything here is machine harvested, but once the grapes get back to the cuverie, everything is handled by gravity – the harvester is one machine enough smiles Stéphanie. Fermentations are in thermo-regulated stainless-steel tanks; the Petit-Chablis is usually bottled in around May-June, the Chablis August-September, and the 1er Crus from september onwards, so after ~12 months of elevage.
From vines in Lignorelles.
A depth of herbs and some density on the nose too. Softish, sweet acidity and a growing intensity. Fragrant in the mouth and nothing harsh. Lovely.
2012 Stéphanie et Vincent Michelot, Petit Chablis
From 2 plots, mainly from vines in Beines.
Nose is brighter but still ripe, tending towards agrumes and something floral too. The acidity is a little more rapier-like but the flavour is just on the sweet side of sour. Good concentration and a mineral core of finishing flavour. Certainly more mineral than the Courtault bottling.
The nose is nice and incisive, some herbs and a hint of seashore too. Lovely, some richness but a fine mouth-watering acidity. Really super.
2012 Stéphanie et Vincent Michelot, Chablis
A more intense nose, more herbs. Round and with a little fat to the texture. Very good acidity, more mineral and a hint salty. Modestly intense but very good length.
2012 Maison Jean-Claude Courtault, Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Purchased from the same vigneron since 2008.
Modest, fresh, focused and with a few herb references. Nice richness, the acidity is rather understated below – if fine by Côte d’Or standards! Some slightly savoury impressions, but a good depth of finishing flavour.