Not really a true profile as I don’t visit Chablis so haven’t met Jean-Claude. However, I’ve tasted a few wines and very-much like the Raveneau style that I find and at such a discount to that estate that I decided to make the notes available here.
Jean-Claude’s family have been producing wine since the 1800’s. He and his wife Evelyne began in 1989; they first reworked the vineyards and made renovations to the estate. Based in La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, north of Chablis town, Jean-Claude’s first vintage was the 1992.
Having tasted one example with a wine-maker in burgundy I set out to find some bottles – it wasn’t easy – but I alighted on Berry Bros & Rudd where Jasper Morris kindly arranged for me to taste the following wines. Given that I find 2006 generally a little ‘rich’ in Chablis I was really impressed by these, though clearly there is some sulfur so you’d best decant for now. I can’t wait to see the potentially even more mineral 2007’s.
Medium-pale yellow. Hints of lime hover over a sweeter but denser base with an almost marshmallow edge. Some richness, understated acidity yet it manages to underpin everything. You have to wait quite some seconds for a more mineral and savoury flavour to appear in the finish.
“The Montmains and Fôret used to be sold as a combined 1er cru, this is the first vintage that they are separated.” – Jasper Morris. Slightly paler colour. The nose is wider, but less obviously dense, showing higher, slightly floral elements. Good acidity, more minerality and slowly sneaks into the stony finish. This is tightly wound but super. It’s a shame to drink it now, but if I must…
Medium-pale yellow. The nose is like a deeper, slightly more comfortable ‘Montmains’ with higher tones over nicely integrated sweeter and denser notes. Just a faint whiff of SO2 now and then. Again a really impressive minerality, but this time with a little extra softness from ripe but understated fruit. Again there’s good acid balance and a super diminuendo length.
Pale yellow. Higher toned, again a whiff of SO2 and a dense undertow. Lovely, lovely minerality – so pronounced. Super acidity – this is very Ravaneau in style. Really super – the nose is eventually taking on a little sea-shell. Beware, you could cut yourself with this wine! (I bought a case)
” Since 2004 Jean-Claude Bessin has separated out his best parcel of the older vines of the Fourchaume vineyard, a section of vines which used to belong to the local landlord, “le comte” – Jasper Morris. Pale yellow. High-toned. Mineral and citrus hints mix with SO2. Fuller with more padding around the mineral core, but more concentration too. The minerality builds through the mid-palate giving a ‘stronger’ finish. Good acidity again. The nose remains rather ephemeral throughout.
Hints of sulfur again and also hints of oak (20% barrel fermentation) provide depth. The first impression is depth and then concentration. Real density but very linear with a salty tang on the finish. It’s ripe but very tight – 25 minutes of cajoling coaxed nothing more from the glass. I would have bought some of this too, but it wasn’t on the website at the time – now I spent the cash on something else…