Tasted in Chablis 17 April, 2014.
More often than not, Petit Chablis is grown on Portlandian rock outside of the old Chablis boundaries, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it is far from much more important vines, the tops of many hills – including Grand Cru hills – are Portlandian! An exception in this list (the only one that I know of) is the wine of Billaud-Simon – rabid Kimmerigians!
Hervé Tucki of La Chablisienne suggests that you can judge a vintage just by looking at the Petit Chablis. I like 2012 so much that I thought I’d do the same. I started with 20 wines, hoping to find half a dozen that I could heartily recommend – in the end I had 10. A great result I think!
All wines were tasted blind, and in the random order listed below. I added the name of the producer only afterwards.
A denser aromatic – deeper colour too – faint citrus. Softer entry – more comfort. No lack of flavour and indeed length. Very tasty.
Wide, with a hint of ripeness. Very nice flavour and a little muscle too. intensity with a nicely mouth-watering acidity. Good!
Depth of herbs nd phenols – impressive. Slightly soft with good texture and no aggression. Fine, mouth-watering flavour. This could easily pass for a villages wine!
6. Domaine Stéphanie et Vincent Michelet
Aromatic is forward and interesting – with ripe fruit notes.Less ripe palate – more mineral. Good energy and intensity. Just about mouth-watering and with a good finish.
Good aromatic depth and a little agrume fruit. Nice width and just a little softness – a clear density of flavour here (uncommon!). In the context the acidity seems modest – but there’s plenty in any other context! Super.
8. Domaine Les Marronniers
Rather pale. A pretty and fresh nose with a few ripe fruit elements. Wide, steely, fresh flavour and plenty of flavour intensity and eventually density. Good but just a little sour finishing.
A hint more colour. Concentrated ripe fruit and a certain roundness. Soft at the edges but good concentration. Nice texture and mouth-watering flavour. A mineral finish of good length. Another wine of villages level.
An interesting nose – some heft and also something a little savoury, eventually lime fruit. Width, some sweetness, good concentration and intensity. Mouth-watering. Very good!
A discreet nose, but one of depth and gravitas. Good texture and width. I like the concentration and authority. A touch of salinity too. Best so far – excellent!
High and low tones – quite some vivacity and ripe fruit. Full, round, padded yet with plenty of freshness. Another concentrated wine that could be a good Chablis.
Our only screw-capped contender. Fresh, airy if rather a modest nose. Good width and plenty of acidity that I think this is just about ripe. This has a great finish. Just scrapes a special recommendation!
17. J.Moreau et Fils
The nose is tight – indeed a little sullen, but obviously concentrated.Round, mouth-filling though the leading-edge of acidity is a little sour. Finishing flavour is very nice though. Could be good.
Minerals, herbs, phenolics – a rather interesting nose. Sweetness and nice acidity – the finish is very pretty too. The flavours seem a little diffuse today but great potential I think.
I also note, via the BIVB, Bourgogne Wines Direct N°182 / April 2014 that there is some very interesting Petit Chablis about to hit the market too:
“A Petit Chablis produced from a “Franc de Pied” vine
“Franc de Pied” refers to those vines that are not grafted onto American rootstock, which were almost completely wiped out during the phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century. However, the Chablis brand L&C Poitout is now launching a Petit Chablis cuvée called L’Inextinct, which tells another story altogether!
L’INEXTINCT is the name of the first “Franc de Pied” Chardonnay to be bottled in Chablis since the phylloxera epidemic.
Catherine and Louis Poitout have produced a unique Petit Chablis from a half-hectare plot that was planted in the 1920s and survived the plague that devastated France’s vines.
The 2013 vintage of around 1,000 bottles will go on sale on 29 May – the moment to sample a wine with a little taste of the good old days perhaps.”