(2018) I'm on record as saying that, at it's best, Chablis is the world's greatest expressions of the Chardonnay grape. This, from a top vintage and one of the best premier cru sites, is eloquent testament to that. Subtle, wet river stone minerality, taut apple notes and fleeting glimpses of summer meadows on the nose lead on to a firm and finely-etched, steely palate. There is fruit, and there is textural weight, but this is the antithesis of the 'golden' Chardonnay style: linear, lightly salty and strictly defined, it has a lemon-juice freshness disguising its concentration, its depth and complexity revealed slowly as the bottle goes down.
(2017) What a delightful white Burgundy this is, a mini-Chassagne from the highly respected Roux family, a beautifully pitched oak component adds nuttiness and cream to the flinty, stony mineral and citrus nose. In the mouth it has lovely definition, the acid framework cleaves through the richness and sweetness of the ripe Chardonnay fruit, but it's that flinty terrroir aspect and lick of salts that gives such class and such interest.
(2017) From the long-established n├ęgociant house of Chanson, this is an impressive Chablis, showing much more of the flint and minerality one might hope for on the nose compared to some Chablis at this price, and with an intensity to the palate, the fruit showing even a hint of tropical ripeness, but all constrained and restrained by its acidity, sharp lemony focus and sweeping acidity. Rather a good wine this from head winemaker Jean-Pierre Confuron, and the purchase of Chanson by the Bollinger family seems to be stepping up quality impressively.
(2017) What a superb wine this is from Gagnard, from an organic vineyard in the Hautes-C├┤tes de Beaune owned by grower Caroline Lestim├ę. Aged for 12 to 15 months in barrel, one-third new, there is obvious nutty, creamy oak overlaying the citrus and apple, with a nice sour, cabbage nuance that adds a complex, savoury note. The palate brims with zesty fruit, but that cashew and Brazil nut character is there, and a burst of refreshing, almost tangerine or lime acidity. A delightful white Burgundy.
(2016) Tasted just over a year ago, this wine really impressed: a Chablis Premier Cru with a touch of creamy oak to smooth the pristine Chablis apple and flint character. Now, the wine tastes just as sleek and refined, but that vivacious core of steely precision is even more evident, wrapped in a sheen of oatmeal but riveting in its freshness and vitality. A great price for a Premier Cru of this undoubted quality.
(2016) From quality-conscious n├ęgociant Albert Bichot, this is aged in oak, 20% of which is new. It does have toast and a rich oatmeal and almond creaminess, and a ripe, sweet apple fruit that's very appealing. Then a hint of minerals, of slightly flinty character adds lots of interest. On the palate, very racy, the taut acidity driving the wine, layered with creamy nuttiness and bright citrus and crisp apple fruit. Fine white Burgundy.
(2016) A rare white C├┤te de Nuits-Villages from the small Monts de Boncourt vineyard, which produces just 1500 bottles. The oak quality is lovely: fragrant and gentle, with nutty linseed notes and caraway. In the mouth, it has pristine fruit, all clean cut apples and citrus, with a hint of spice from the oak filling in, and a long, poised, fresh acid finish that hints at salinity.
(2016) A whiff of flint and a not untypical whiff of a creamy, cheesy character (from some lees ageing, and possibly a touch of oak) then very tight apple fruit aromas. Plenty of lemony and lime rind freshness and acid punch, in a long, polished and delightful Chablis - and a proper Premier Cru at a most attractive price.
(2016) A steely style of 1er Cru Chablis but with a sense of weight and concentration, there's pure lime and salt on the nose, and an intense palate, the concentration of salty and citrus flavours giving it real authority and intensity, the finish dry and showing a little lemon peel and pith.
(2016) Very youthful emerald green colour, a touch of fresh leafy herbs, a touch of anise and some saltiness giving a dry, interesting nose. The palate has a rounded, smooth limpidity, with not so many layers as some of the other Crus, but a concentrated and wholesome richness. Great length and huge lime-streaked juiciness. Note stockist and price quoted at time of writing is for the 2012 vintage
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