About this wine100% Chardonnay from the famous Kimmeridgien Chablis Terroir. From the Jurassic period, the soil is alternating layers of tightly compacted limestone and chalky marl, rich in marine fossils. The plot is on a south/southwest facing slope. Annual production is 2,000 bottles.
About the vintage
2014 was a great Chardonnay vintage, top-to-bottom, throughout Burgundy. In Chablis it seems classic. Well made wines are textured, pure and deeply concentrated. Hope you like mineral flavors, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t be drinking Chablis.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the world - and in the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adaptive to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
Our Tasting Impressions
A terrific wine from a fabulous vintage. We were surprised and delighted to get a good quantity. A cornucopia of briney minerals. The crisp, citrus flavors have real depth with just a hint of spice and the finish is long and satisfying.
Impeccably balanced and lovely. Ready to go but we suspect the profundity of the vintage will allow this to improve for 7+ years at least.
On Your TableIt’s always advisable to pair wines with foods that share their terroir. Given that the Kimmeridgien soil is basically prehistoric oyster shells, seems crazy not to serve it with fresh oysters. If that’s not your thing, try simply sautéed soft shell crab with lemon butter sauce. In cooler weather, how about veal piccata. Enjoy at cool cellar temperature.
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We were introduced to Stéphanie Courtault-Michelet by Christine Dubreuil. Both are members of the prestigious Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne. Stéphanie’s father, Jean-Claude Courtault established Domaine JC Courtault with just 1.5 hectares of very young vines. His first wine production was in 1987. Stéphanie and her husband Vincent Michelet joined him in 2007 after working at a domaine in Alsace. Through a land grant, they started their own estate but decided to merge with JC. The result is one family jointly operating two estates from one property.
Today, they have a combined 11 hectares in Chablis and 16 in Petit Chablis - all Chardonnay. All of their 1er and Grand Cru wines are from carefully selected, purchased grapes. Vincent manages the vineyards and he and Stephanie make the wines. Their vineyards are in 6 different communes, but mostly Lingorelles and Beines. Vines are up to 35 years old though they recently acquired a plot with 60 year old vines.
Since 2012, they have used the DEPHY program - a more natural approach that reduces treatments. Picking is by machine and all bunches are de-stemmed and immediately pressed for optimal freshness. Typical yield is 50 hl/ha.
Fermentation is in steel tanks for 8-10 days. Two months after harvest, the juice undergoes malolactic fermentation to balance the acidity and add complexity. The wine is aged on fine sediment until spring, enhancing the structure. Then in the spring or summer, the wine is racked to separate out the sediment, fined if necessary and filtered.
About 120,000 bottles are produced and sold, mostly in Asia, from their new and modern production and tasting facility in Lingorelles. To our memory, this is the only tasting room with a working aquarium.
This is a joyful family and that comes across in their wine. Stéphanie is a consummate professional but she always seems to have a big, beautiful smile on her face. One family...two estates and everything we love about Chablis!