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We have noticed over the years that the popularity of Chardonnay tends to wax and wane. We should preface that this is specifically with American customers, all of whom have gone through some painful period of having overly oaked and buttery Chardonnays flung at them in various settings (chain restaurants, family gatherings, or any bar with a house White and house Red). One thing that remains constant is the general affinity for Chablis. Much like when people tell us they don't like Sauvignon Blanc, but they love Sancerre, we have heard people say they can't stand Chardonnay but they love Chablis! Of course we maintain our composure in these situations, because we know deep down that even neophytes can reveal hidden wisdom. A proper response would be: All Chablis are Chardonnay, my friend, but not all Chardonnays are Chablis! The minerality, precicision, and balance of a good village level wine, the subtle density of the age-worthy Premier and Grand Crus, we could go on for days extoling the virtues of a good bottle of Chablis! Today we're happy to offer a short list of some 2021s that have recently arrived. The acidity and directness of the vintage is in full effect here. These wines will age forever, but are also VERY tasty now. Knowing what we do about loss in 2021, there will likely not be any second deliveries or shipments of these wines, so stock up now to spruce up your Spring, or ensure a perfect Summer.
We may have some cru-level wines arriving from Moreau-Naudet later this year, but today it's all about the village level Chablis that we just received a drop of. Stephane Moreau took over the estate from his father in 1999 and over the next two decades he made a series of changes, converting to organic viticulture, fermenting only with native yeasts and harvesting by hand. The result was a range of truly outstanding Chablis, wines with great texture, precision and sense of place. Stephane passed away suddenly in 2016 and his wife Virginie has taken over the domaine's management. She continues to grow and vinify her wines according to the same principles and the results are no less enchanting. The straight Chablis from 2021 is electric. Lemony, zippy, with a touch of nerviness and stony clarity in the finish. It's gone up a bit in price compared to the last few vintages, but it's not a surprise with the scarcity of 21s, and it's also fantastic, so well worth the price.
The second domaine on offer is that of Julien Brocard, a relatively young producer who has quickly risen among the ranks. The Brocard family has deep roots in Chablis and while Julien is to this day involved with the large family domaine, in 2011 he took control of a small percentage of the estate under his own name. Today Julien farm eighteen hectares, all Demeter-certified biodynamic, and he has commited firmly to biodiversity, strategically planting fruit and nut trees throughout the estate. The wines are all aged in large oak vats (with the exception of Petit Chablis) between ten and twenty months. From Petit Chablis all the way up to Grand Cru 'Les Preuses,' these are brilliant wines, incisive and razor-focused.
If you have a predilection for oysters and lobster rolls this summer, or if you just happen to love great Chablis, stock up now!
This is sourced from vines between twenty and sixty years old and aged in old barrels. What is most captivating and engaging is the mineral component here. On the attack there are notes of lemons and a zippy salinity, and the mineral finish is laser-like, with a unique expression of limestone. This is a wine that you will keep coming back to!
From a 1.5 hectare parcel with Portlandian limestone and South / South-East exposure. It's the only wine that is made in temperature controlled stainless steel vats.
La Boissonneuse vineyard makes up the bulk of Julien Brocard's holdings, at 11 of his 18 total hectares. This cuvée is sourced from 30-year-old biodynamically farmed vines, fermented with native yeasts, and aged in large foudre.
Vau de Vey is a 1er Cru vineyard in a valley between the Côte de Léchet and the Vau-Ligneau. Slopes here can get very steep (too steep for horses), and there are lots of large chunks of limestone mixed within the soils. Eastern exposure and the location in the valley makes for a cooler site. 12-13 months in wood.
Côte de Léchet embodies the purest characteristics of Chablis: 38 degree slope right in the sun, very rocky soil, and small yields of deeply mineral wines.
One of the great sites in Chablis by any measure, Montée de Tonnerre can be as fine as the Grand Crus from many producers. It sits just below the Grand Cru slope to the southeast and combines power with intense minerality.
Simultaneously powerful, opulent and very fine, elegant and voluptuous. From 35 year-old vines with southern exposure. Aged for 14 months on lees in a Stockinger barrel.