Tasted with Isabelle and Bernard Raveneau in Chablis, 30 April, 2014.
9 rue de Chichée
Tel. +33 (0)3 86 42 17 46+33 (0)3 86 42 17 46
Descend in the cave below the house in Chablis and you are transported into another world; it was never historically a wine cellar more a place for people, from the three houses above, to work – it was warmer than the ground level in winter! Today there were barrels in this old cellar, but empty. Walk through the cellars and you come to their newly constructed cellar – just 2 years old – and now under the cuverie, so now, only gravity is required to move the wine, no-more pumps.
To start with, we tasted 2013 in barrel – they had been racked from their tanks into barrel about 1 month earlier. The fermentations are in tank here, then further elevage in barrel. The 2012s had just been assembled in preparation for bottling, so not ready to ‘show’ – but after the 2013s we had a little vertical of Monté de Tonnerre, including the 2012.
Summarising the wines that follow:
It’s not easy to generalise versus most of the wines that I’ve tasted this week, simply because they were 2012s and here we have 2013s. The wines are clearly more contemplative, but that’s the vintage. What I can say, however, is that these wines at this address distinguish themselves by their finishes. These finishes are not only very, very tasty, I find them incredibly long – premier crus included.
First the 2013s:
“2013 was a very hard vintage because of botrytis. The berries were already quite small as the weather was not so good during flowering, though all was well until we were hit by a big rain-storm. There was no hail, but the rain was so heavy that it literally stripped some of the grapes from the vines. Directly after the storm the grapes began to ‘turn’ so we had to act quickly. We had to fine the pressed juice just to make sure we made wine from the right juice! The sugars are similar to those of 2012 though the acidity is lower.”
2013 Chablis, has a slightly spritzy nose today but is round and shows good length. “We planted the vineyard about 10 years ago, near Montmains. 2007 was the first vintage.” Their Le Fôret has a similar nose to the Villages but with an extra richness in the mid-palate, Montmains by comparison is much wider. Vaillons has a more airy and more formed nose, apparently towards the top of the hill, this is one of the first vines harvested – very lovely wine. Butteaux has a very tight nose but is also airy and quite pretty. The palate seems silkier and more mineral, with a salt and sweet finish – yum! Monté de Tonnerre shows a little more aromatic ripeness and intensity too. Energy intensity and a little CO2. Discrete but super length. Blanchots has a fresh and more floral nose. In the mouth there’s more dimension and density, but more energy too – gorgeous! Valmur is more fine, more elegant with a faint salty edge in thee finish. Finally, Les Clos presents itself in a relatively modest fashion; the nose is more intense, and in the mouth this has a little richness, subtle flavours that are complex and tasty. Another discreet yet exceptionally long finish.