La Chablisienne continue to produce very good, reasonably priced Chablis wines. Côte de Léchet is a south-east facing premier cru vineyard and its wines are typically considered more austere in character as a consequence. In the glass, the 2016 has firm aromatics of stones and lemon. The palate is medium bodied, with good acidity. This wine is approachable and enjoyable now, but will benefit from 3 to 4 years in the cellar. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $45. Website: http://chablisienne.com/en/home/. Reviewed: September 2019.
A first for everything, this time a Raveneau wine from Chablis, and premier cru vineyard Montée de Tonnerre in particular. A grand cru in style, this wine has a gorgeous aroma of lemon and minerals. The palate reminds of jasmine, yoghurt and has a resounding linear acidity. This is an outstanding wine that can be approached now, but will suit further cellaring of 5-10 years. Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 13%. Price: $300. Website: NA.
If you are interested in Chablis, you can click here for a much longer post from the region in 2015.
This is a delicious Chablis from Jean-Luc & Paul Aegerter. From the 2014 vintage, the grapes were harvested by hand, and vinified in 500 litre new oak barrels, but aged for 6 to 12 months in old oak. In the glass, the wine opens to tight and fresh minerally aromatics. The palate is medium bodied with fresh, and rather delicious and racy acidity and little oak influence. Ready to drink now, this is a really good example of an AOP Chablis. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: ~$50. Source: Sample.
I am delighted to have spotted a couple of La Chablisienne wines imported into Australia. I have previously spent some time visiting the winery, and some thoughts and observations are here. This is a pleasingly typical Petit Chablis and a bargain at $18. Yellow gold in colour, it has aromas of orange zest and stones. The palate is medium bodied, with fresh acidity and good length. It’s bottled under screwcap too. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $18.
Les Caillerets is a 14.36 hectare vineyard that is among the most highly regarded in Volnay. And, right off the bat, it was my wine of the night. It opens to aromas of dark cherry, rosemary, anise and potpourri. The palate has towards high acidity (but not quite), great length – wonderful in fact – and a beguiling expression of cherries with some firmer tannins tucked away. Outstanding
Les Mitans is a 3.98 hectare vineyard closer to the Pommard end of Volnay and is reputed for sturdier wines. The 2005 vintage tasted here, an outstanding vintage, proved to have brooding aromas of dark cherry and licorice notes with an almost porty richness giving away its vintage. The palate is full bodied and rich, with good length and acidity in balance. Delicious and another outstanding wine. Outstanding
Domaine Joseph Voillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Frémiets 2005
Les Frémiets is a 7.40 hectare vineyard that is next to Pommard, making it particularly hard to identify as other than a Pommard. It’s another wine from the 2005 vintage, but presents quite differently to the Mitans. It has firm aromatics of cherry, iron and florals. The palate has great length, with notes of cherry and firmer tannins with time in the glass. Very Good
A strong producer and one of Pommard’s great vineyards (the 5.23 hectare Clos des Epeneaux) cloaked any likelihood that the vintage of this wine would be identified. This proved an utterly delicious wine, and should age and improve effortlessly for a decade or more. It has aromas of dark cherry, blackcurrant and leaf. The palate has firm acidity, flavours of black fruits and spice, together with particularly long length. Too young, but someone has to try them. Outstanding
Les Rugiens is a 12.66 hectare vineyard (aggregating Hauts and Bas) and is both highly regarded and close to the Volnay border. This proved another outstanding wine, with aromas of dark cherries, earth, iron and rosemary. The palate has reminders of florals and great length. The tannins are just starting to evolve. Outstanding
This wine from Les Preuses (some considerably longer musings from the region are here) first had to escape its cool serving temperature. Initial aromas of qumquat and orange rind gave way with time to a more classic expression of lemon, stones and sea shells. The palate has good length, hints of cedar and fresh, if not overly firm, acidity. Very Good
This is the first time I’ve tried a Main Ridge Estate wine, and I was frankly surprised (and absolutely delighted) at its close resemblance to a Pommard. It has aromas of blackcurrant and earth. The palate has long length and a cherry and earth character. This wine is unlike any other Mornington Peninsula pinot noir I’ve tried, and I’ve tried more than a few. Outstanding
There are 17 main Chablis premier cru climats, and Vaillons is one of the largest of them at approximately 110 hectares. This wine is a particularly good expression of Vaillons. It has aromas of citrus and stones. The palate is firm with spine tingling acidity and a delicious lingering stoney impression that cuts through. Overall, this is an impressive wine that tastes exactly as I’d remembered the region from my last trip (see my post here). (Region: Chablis, France, Rating: Very Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes absolutely, Drink: now to 2027, Tasted: May, 2017, Source: Sample)
Other vintages reviewed:
Domaine Billaud-Simon Montée de Tonnerre Chablis Premier Cru 2012
Aromatics of minerals, lemon citrus and stones. The palate has racy acidity and good length. This wine performed extremely well along side the Grand Crus to follow, not surprisingly given that the vineyard for Montée de Tonnerre neighbours its more celebrated cousins. Rating: Very Good
Aromatics of stone, talc and minerals. The palate has a hint of softness and roundness through its core of firm acidity, with mid range length and a resolute stoney character. Deliciously austere and has a long future ahead of it. Rating: Very Good
This, for me, was the highlight of the trio. Some initial funky aromatics blew off to reveal an intensely minerally aroma reminding of stones and earth. Dare I say oyster shells? The palate has long length and is framed by fresh acidity. An outstanding wine. Rating: Outstanding
It doesn’t much look like a Chablis label does it? But the wine inside is very typical. Initially quite floral and jasmine scented, it settles into a more stoney and mineral guise with air. The palate hides its racy acidity well, but again reverts to Chablis type with time in the glass. With time, a joyous crystalline stoney acidity emerges to frame this delicious and almost fleshy chardonnay. A very good quality wine, particularly so for an AOP Chablis.
Vendors and website: bibendum.com.au (importer)
The best Chablis I tasted while in France last year was from the Les Preuses grand cru vineyard. You can find that post here. The exciting thing about this wine – from the same vineyard, the same year, but a different producer – is that it tasted exactly as a grand cru Chablis should. Shipping, storage, temperature and the other travails of getting wine to Australia were evidently well handled. This is a chardonnay for those who like riesling. It has aromatics of minerals, stones and citrus. The palate has long length and is delicate with more mineral characters and racy acidity. Delicious.
Vendors and website: http://www.williamfevre.fr/en/