Chablis “Montée de Tonnerre” ♥
1er Cru White barrel
Tasted: Oct 15, 2018
Sweet spot Outstanding
Note: from a 2.5 ha parcel of 35+ year old vines – two thirds of the blend is from Chapelot and the remainder is from Pied d’Aloup and Montée de Tonnerre proper; the Pied d’Aloup vines were planted in 1935
Producer note: Régisseur Olivier Bailly, who works under the direction of Jérome Flous, the technical director for Faiveley, described the 2017 vintage as one where “once again we were hit by April frost damage and in particular on the lower slopes. Otherwise the growing season was easier than 2016 and in particular because we didn’t have the same level of mildew pressure and just as importantly, we didn’t have nearly the same degree of sunburned fruit. Bud break occurred early on as did the flowering. However, as is often the case in vintages where there is early season frost, the damaged versus undamaged vines progressed at two difference rates which obviously caused some complications in terms of picking fully mature fruit. We chose to begin the harvest on the 7th of September in Vaillons and picked 6 days. While on average we brought in yields that averaged 32 hl/ha, that figure disguises matters considerably as some parcels were down as much as 90% whereas others gave us normal volumes. Even more unfortunately, the worst hit were our grands crus which were down fully 55%. One positive in this though was that the parcels that were the worst hit in 2017 were not the same as those damaged in 2016. Potential alcohols were good at around 12.5 to 13% and acidities were good as well as the post-malo pHs came in between 3.2 and 3.3. As to the wines, I think that they are extremely promising because they’re purer than their 2016 counterparts with good freshness and concentration. I also find them a bit less austere than the 2014s but with the same classic Chablis elements.” The 2016s revisited below were bottled between November 2017 and February 2018. I note for the benefit of readers that the Petit Chablis, Chablis and Tête d’Or wines are bottled under the Diam brand composite cork. Everything else is bottled under natural cork. In terms of the harvest, the Petit Chablis and Chablis vines are picked by machine and the others are harvested manually. Lastly, the old vines cuvée of the Mont de Milieu will no longer be bottled separately. (Frederick Wildman, www.frederickwildman.com, NY, USA; Bancroft Wines, www.bancroftwines.com, Goedhuis & Co., www.goedhuis.com and Charles Taylor Wines, www.charlestaylorwines.com, all UK; and Altaya Wines, www.altayawines.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: There is a bit more Chablis typicity present on the cool, pure and more elegant nose that offers up aromas of mineral reduction, iodine, sea shore and green fruit scents that are trimmed in just enough wood to merit mentioning. There is excellent intensity and plenty of minerality on the more sophisticated if somewhat less powerful flavors that flash an abundance of salinity on the impressively long finale. This is like rolling small pebbles around your mouth and should also age well.