Villages White 750 ml
Tasted: Oct 10, 2019
Note: from 11 parcels scattered around Chablis, the most notable of which are from Les Pargues
Producer note: Régisseur Olivier Bailly, who works under the direction of Jérôme Flous, the technical director for Faiveley, described the 2018 vintage as one where “once again we were threatened by April frost damage but unlike what occurred in 2016 and 2017 we were fortunately spared. The flowering passed well and the summer was quite warm and thus there was no real disease pressure and thankfully the vines didn’t seem to suffer much hydric stress. We picked from the 2nd to the 12th of September and the fruit really couldn’t have been much cleaner. Ripeness levels were good as potential alcohols ranged from 12.5 to 13% with post-malo pHs of 3.15 to 3.25. Volumes were also very good without being excessive as the villages and 1ers averaged right at 70 hl/ha though the grands crus were notably lower at 53 to 54 hl/ha. The yields frankly surprised me quite a bit because the berry sizes were average yet the amount of juice in the berries was much higher than usual and that explains the better than expected volumes. In the end this was probably a good thing because it allowed the fruit to preserve higher acidities and thus the wines are refreshing and relatively elegant. The other thing that I find interesting, and in this case inexplicable, is how the moderately generous yields have transformed into impressively concentrated wines. To be sure, they’re not 2003 or 2005-like but when you taste the 2018s they don’t taste like a higher yield vintage. It’s possible that it’s due to the very high levels of protein and it was necessary to do a relatively aggressive fining so that the wines aren’t cloudy. In the end, I really like the style of the vintage as it’s generous and rich yet remains distinctly Chablis in character.” The bulk of the 2017s, reviewed below, were bottled between July and November 2018s with the grands crus following in February 2019. 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: Here too there is a hint of the exotic to the fresh aromas of sea breeze, petrol and citrus-scented nose. In the same fashion as the Petit Chablis, the medium weight flavors are quite generously proportioned with a well-detailed saline and bone dry finale that is sufficiently structured to suggest a maturity curve of 4 to 7 years. This too is really quite good and worth your interest.