Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin
1er Cru White barrel
Tasted: Oct 15, 2018
Note: from Montmains proper; 40% 2 and 3 year old oak
Producer note: Benoît Droin told me that 2017 had a “complicated beginning with the frost and then a cool and rainy spring that cost us as much as 50% in some sectors. The summer though was very warm and the vines progressed rapidly though thankfully the temperatures were not as elevated as what we experienced in 2015 and 2016. Moreover there was just enough rain along the way to avoid hydric stress. The clement conditions continued through to the early September harvest and the fruit achieved excellent maturity levels plus it basically required almost no sorting. Sugars and acidities were both very good with good pHs as well. As to the wines, they are extremely rich with plenty of dry extract and I would describe them as a hypothetical blend of 2012 and 2014. As such they should be appreciated by those who enjoy their whites young but with that said, there is no reason that the 2017s 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. (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: There is ample oak and vanilla influence to remark upon though not so much to completely mask the white orchard fruit and abundant Chablis characters that include oyster shell and tidal pool nuances. The medium-bodied flavors are rich to the point of opulence while possessing a caressing mouth feel along with good intensity though the finish is slightly sweet and decidedly woody. This is perfectly good but it’s not my style.