Where #winelovers find Burgundy bargains: Chablis
Yes, Virginia, they do exist
By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com
Here I am, with many #winelovers, in Chablis, to kick of the weeklong biennial event Grand Jours de Bourgogne. A record number here since this shindig started on Monday 21 March, with 2,500 registered professionals in the wine trade, in media, in restaurants among others.
Already on day 1, here in Chablis, I have run into great friends from a group of winelovers I had met in Ukraine to merchants from the U.S.
What can I say about Chablis that really matters?
How about the fact that you can find wines with excellent depth, precision, flavor and length – and the wines are not nearly as crazy expensive as top wines from the Cote de Beaune. Yes, Virginia, you can find … bargains in Burgundy. But should I write about this? 😉
I plan to buy loads of Chablis because based on some of the 2014s I have tried today – as well as older vintages including a stupendous Chablis 1er Cru Old Vines Vaillons 2008 by Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat (82 years to be precise, although they uprooted them three years ago so their old vines wine after the 2010 is about 60 years old).
Superb quality, superb price
But the quality is not limited to premiers and grands crus. I enjoyed some excellent Chablis – and even Petit Chablis – from some producers that cost you a petit penny. And you get more bang for your buck from petits pennies that is for certain.
Paul-Etienne Defaix of the Daniel-Etienne Defaix, with an excellent 2002 vintage.
Here a few highlights
Chablis 1er Cru Old Vines Vaillons 2008 by Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat: One year in stainless steel, one year in oak barrels, this wine can be compared to a grand cru, as it has such full body while remaining fresh and salty, with citrus aspects that accentuate the freshness yet a lip smacking richness on the mid palate carried through to the long finish.
Bravo! Only €15.50. I bought six bottles immediately.
Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet 2014 by Lionel Bussy: First time I tried this producer who is imported in Italy among other markets. One of the best Côte de Léchets I tried so far today, with precision and amplitude on the palate. Domaine is based in Milly.
With Marie Vilain of Domaine de Chaude Ecuelle
Hey ho! You can find some excellent basic Chablis, like the Petit Chablis 2014 and 2013 by Domaine de Chaude Ecuelle, wines that have verve and plenitude, enough body for a pleasant drink with character; I could tell after trying their rather boring “Chardonnay” made for export markets (not sure how long such wine would be purchased!). Point being, Petit Chablis is not pricey, and here well worth your time.
Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre 2013 by Domaine de Chaude Ecuelle: Here we have such character, such wet stone precision and a certain richness that make this wine a certain purchase. Bravo!
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots 2012 by Domaine Laroche: 2012 is a richer vintage, so I was a bit skeptical but that doubt melted away when I tried this blend of opulence and energy on the palate, full bodied and a long finish. The domain owns well over one-third of the Les Blanchots 12.93 hectare vineyard so they have lots of leeway, and it shows.