Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin
Chablis “Montée de Tonnerre” ♥
1er Cru White barrel
Tasted: Oct 11, 2017
Sweet spot Outstanding
Note: from Côte de Bréchain; 20 to 25% of new, 1, 2 and 3 year old wood
Producer note: Benoît Droin told me that 2016 is a “really lovely vintage that produced excellent wines but unfortunately yields were so low that there won’t be much of them to enjoy. The growing season was chaotic for most of it with frost, hail, mildew and sunburned fruit which means we were pretty much stressed out until the harvest began on the 21st of September. My yields were highly variable, which is to say they ranged from about 80% of normal to no harvest at all, in fact, there will be no Fourchaume or Mont de Milieu in 2016. Stated differently, I will produce 70,000 bottles less than usual. On the plus side the fruit was very clean so there was almost no sorting required. Potential alcohols were very good at between 12.5 to 13% with solid post-malo pHs of 3.2 to 3.3. As to the wines, they’re even denser than the 2015s with normal acidities though they don’t seem like it because of the outstanding richness. They should drink well young but there’s no reason that I can see why they shouldn’t age well too.” Droin continues to bottle all of his wines under Diam corks with a mix of Diam 5 and Diam 10 depending on the level of the wine. The upper level 2015s, revisited below, were bottled in August 2016. (European Cellars/Eric Soloman Selections, www.europeancellars.com, NC, USA; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Goedhuis & Co., www.goedhuis.com and Uncorked Ltd, www.uncorked.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: Reduction and SO2 dominate the nose today. Otherwise there is a beguiling and caressing mouth feel to the sleek, intense and nicely refined medium weight flavors that exude a fine minerality on the notably dry finale that exhibits a touch of youthful austerity. Like the Vaulorent, my sense is that this should drink well young but also repay mid-term cellaring.