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Grand Cru Chablis: Burgundy’s Best Top-Class Whites

“Les Clos, at 26 hectares, is the largest of the seven Grands Crus in Chablis; its slopes look south-southwest over the small village of Chablis itself.  Despite the name, the walls that once enclosed the vineyards have long since disappeared.  Its size means a larger number of producers have plots there, in principle making it ideal to compare their various winemaking styles.  Drouhin Vaudon’s 2014 is still a bit austere; as it opens up I expect the floral aromas it shows currently to broaden and more fruit to emerge.  William Fevre’s 2014 Les Clos is a riper, fruitier wine, with lots of tree fruit aromas and a pleasant, long finish.  Of those I’ve tasted, Laroche has one of the top wines from Les Clos from this vintage, at least for drinking now, filled with spice and flinty notes, and absurdly long.

“The Louis Moreau is similarly forward: fresh, floral, and delicate, with an elegant finish.  Moreau’s even higher-end bottling, the monopole Clos des Hospices Dans Les Clos, is more closed, but has a creamy texture that satisfies even when young.  Domaine Servin’s Les Clos 2014 embodies a lot of the classic markers of great Chablis, with citrus and chalk notes and vibrant acidity.

“East of Les Clos is Blanchots, the only one of the seven Crus to face southeast, which means a concentration of morning rather than evening sun.  Laroche and Servin both produced remarkable Blanchots in 2014; the former leaning toward citrus and floral notes, while the Servin is juicier and ripe, with stone fruits coming to the fore.  A 1997 Blanchots from Laroche had deepened toward pear and flowers, with undertones of marzipan developing.  Blanchots is a bit of a specialty for Laroche – with 4.5 hectares, it’s the largest piece of Grand Cru vineyard they own – and their Réserve de l’Obédience is a barrel and tank selection made from various plots within the Cru.  The 2014 builds on the lemon and floral notes of the “basic” Blanchots (if one can call a Grand Cru “basic”) with added complexity and touches of yellow plum and flint.  It’s fuller and longer on the finish as well… “

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Jim Clarke, January 17, 2017
Grand Cru Chablis: Burgundy’s Best Top-Class Whites