Tasted in Chablis with Charlene Pinson, 20 July 2019
5, quai Voltaire
Tel: +33 3 86 42 10 26
Another domaine visit to catch up on their wines – post-bottling. The vintage commentary is verbatim from my January report:
Charlene on 2018:
“We’ve not done any early bottling, it’s not our approach. The vintage is certainly something exceptional – we asked around and nobody has an idea of an equivalent – the wines are probably better than 1990 and who really has experience of 1947? It was probably a vintage that favoured the older vines with roots that could reach the, fortunately, generous water that came in the Winter and Spring. The dryness didn’t swamp the young vines but it wasn’t easy for them either. Total acidity is not especially high but from the perspective of pH which is more what you taste, we have 3.1-3.2 – that’s perfect. A nice feeling – especially after 3 small vintages. It was the Chablis villages with about 10 years of age that had the most yield, but we’ve also never seen so much from the old vines.”
Charlene on 2017:
“Grapes were superb and the wines vinified very easily. Nice grapes – each bunch was a small present! On average we made less wine than we did in 2016 – but it’s very much different in each parcel – it was 9 nights of frost with -8°C in Fourchaume that was the cause. The grapes looked great but there really wasn’t a lot of juice extracted. It was frustrating because we thought we’d have much more.”
There are some great wines here in 2017, but wines of spine and of structure, plus a little oak influence that mandate patience – but great wines all the same.
2018 Charlène and Laurent Pinson, Petit Chablis
From close to Maligny, 5th vintage bought.
Hmm wide, faintly floral. here is a wine of drive, of line and length, actually very classic. Very good ignoring the vintage, considering the vintage it’s excellent
From 2 parcels, one left-bank the other from the right bank
Rounder, and with more depth of aroma, adding citrus skin character. Fuller, more concentrated wine, fresher despite the extra concentration – super.
Now move from DIAM to Cork..
2017 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Bottled almost one year.
Some oak, some spice, an inviting freshness of fruit too for this nose. More obviously supple and beautifully textured – plenty of oak showing in the flavour though. Super length. This needs time for the oak to disappear.
A small parcel. South-facing, similar soil to Forets. 25 year-old vines.
More vibrant aroma, some oak. Ooh, such a big volume of flavour, intensity too, so mineral. So long, bravo! But you will have to wait for ‘delicious…’
Right at the end of Montmains (real Montmains) about 150 metres from the Fôrets but same height up on the hill. Argille blanche/bleu less white stone than Fôrets, the vines about 65 years-old.
A sweeter nose with a ripe citrus aroma in the mix. Fuller, more overtly concentrated, beautiful textured, here the oak is on its lowest level. Very tasty.
Biggest parcel of the domaine, 4.5 hectares of south-facing vines in two blocks, ‘The big parcel works really well raisonné because there is no neighbourly influence. We like to harvest not too late to keep the direction and purity.’
The most calm nose of all so far – faintly caramel at the end. Rounder, cushioned and complex, little waves of mouth-watering flavour in the finish. Bravo for sure, but I’d wait a couple of years so that its more classic side comes through!
From 4 different parcels, but the total is 2.5 hectares. Various vine ages from 9-46 years. The domaine owns practically 10% of Les Clos
Muscular, concentrated but also with bright flashes of aroma. Extra sweetness, but extra depth of mineral flavour too. Ooh, that’s good. More definition to this wine, more clarity, less overtly drinkable today than mdm but everything is in place.