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Domaine Vrignaud Chablis Les Champreaux 2015 £26.95
DOMAINE VRIGNAUD CHABLIS LES CHAMPREAUX 2015
Guillaume joined the family Domaine in 1999, when his father was a member of the co-op in Chablis, and convinced him to build a cellar and start making his own wines. Their success was such that they have grown from 12 to 27 hectares of the vineyard today. In 2009, Guillaume moved to organic viticulture but, like many growers in Chablis, abandoned it in the difficult 2016 growing season and is once again in the middle of the three year conversion period. To express the character of the vineyards in the finished wines, he is very attentive to picking time. “I pick when the seeds in the grape are brown, but before any over-ripeness or botrytis has set in,” he explains. “I like my Chablis to be lean rather than fat and full.”
The grapes for this wine come from the 2.68-hectare ‘Champreaux’ single vineyard northeast of the commune of Fontenay-Près-Chablis. The soils here are Kimmeridgian and are composed of chalk and clay. The vines are 27 years old and yield grapes with extremely concentrated flavours. The vineyards are all farmed organically and are in the process of undergoing a three year conversion period before they will be officially certified organic in 2019.
The 2015 vintage is considered one of the best in recent years. It began with mild and sunny weather in spring which encouraged rapid growth of vegetation and flowering took place a few days earlier than usual. The summer was very warm and sunny and, just as drought was threatening to be an issue, some eagerly anticipated rain arrived giving the vines a second wind and the water reserves needed to reach optimum levels of ripeness. The harvest took place at the end of September.
The wine was fermented with indigenous yeasts. 30% of the wine was barrel fermented and aged in a mixture of 228-litre barriques and 500-litre barrels, 10% of the oak used was new. The remaining 70% of the wine was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. All of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation and 10 months of lees ageing before being racked, blended and then rested for a further three months before bottling and release.
This wine is golden yellow in colour. The nose marries citrus and floral notes with vanilla nuances derived from the oak ageing. The palate is rich and intense, balanced by refreshing acidity and ending with a long and complex finish. The wine is drinking beautifully now and will gain even more complexity from further bottle ageing.