Chablis 2014 A legend in the making

Having just returned from three days in Chablis, I am convinced that 2014 is an exceptional year for this small yet celebrated village. Growers’ moods range from contented to smug about a clearly complete vintage for which there will be strong demand; we have therefore decided to separate Chablis from our main Burgundy offer.


This is not our completed range, and later released domaines will be available in our main Burgundy offer early next year.

The 2014 growing season was ideal for Chardonnay throughout Burgundy: I have tasted some excellent Maçonnais, whilst my limited tastings of 2014 whites from the Côte de Beaune have shown many wines to be superb. In 2014, however, it is Chablis that has stolen my heart.

The key to success was a relatively cool summer, during which vital acidity was ‘locked in’.  Then followed the most wonderful September weather which delivered ripeness and concentration. In Chablis most growers picked around the 17th of September, with yields on the low side simply due to the sun evaporating water from the berries. The resulting wines are utterly convincing with density and precision: classically proportioned, they also display superb vineyard definition. Producers compared it to 2010 or 1996 with total acidity 10-20% higher than the average, all supported by gloriously, ripe chardonnay flavours.

Alongside their incredible quality, the main reason in my mind to buy these wines is their value for money, with prices remaining relatively stable compared to the great villages of the Côte de Beaune. There are signs that is beginning to change but the weak Euro continues to act as a counterbalance for the major export markets. Roughly speaking, you can buy good Premier Cru Chablis for the price of Bourgogne Blanc from a top domaine in the Côte de Beaune, whilst a Grand Cru will cost you the same price as village Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet.  With 5-10 years bottle age there will be no contest.

We were able to cherry pick our preferred wines from each producer and in most cases good volumes are available. These are compelling, age worthy wines, so go long, stock up.

 

Published on 01/09/2015 / By Nick Dagley, Buyer / Tags: Chablis, Fine, Wine