Burgundy (including Chablis), France
We only had a short time around Beaune so went directly to the places we know and have bought from in the past – see Burgundy 2012 for a more extensive write-up. The domaine below is however not in that review and they are definitely worth visiting.
JANE ET SYLVAIN9 Rue du Chêne, 21220 Gevrey-Chambertin Tel 03 80 34 16 83
Jane et Sylvain Raphanaud are a super tiny little producer that make certified organic wines. Their ’11 Bourgogne Rouge (€9) is everything that one would expect; light with good fruit. Their ’11 Cotes de Nuits Village (€14) is well balanced and full of flavours. The ’11 Gevrey-Chambertin (€20) was also what one would expect from a well-made village wine. We also tasted the ’10 which showed the quality of the vintage and bottle age. We bought the ’10 and the other two basic wines.
We then moved on up the road to Chablis to start tasting at our benchmark producer Dm William Fevre
DOMAINE WILLIAM FEVRE10 rue Jules Rathier, Chablis Tel 03 86 42 12 06
Fevre have now installed one of those argon gas wine saving/dispensing machines that have 10 wines available for tasting and we tried them all. The ’12 domaine Chablis (€12.50) lived up to our expectations for the vintage and we bought it. It is really interesting to compare 4 premier crus (around the €30 mark); we thought the ’11 Vaulorent (€33.50) (full of fruit, rich, complex) was the best but then it is a vineyard separated only by a path from a grand cru vineyard and was the most expensive premier cru. Among the grand crus (€50 and upwards) we were most impressed by the ’12 Bougros but then we think that it was probably the vintage because we have usually preferred the Les Preuses but it was the ’11 this time.
DOMAINE BILLAUD-SIMON1 Ruelle de Reugny, 89800 Chablis Tel 03 86 42 10 33
We have been refused a tasting here more times than we can remember as they require bookings but this time we were in luck as the tasting was led by the winemaker himself. He suggested that we start with their ’12 Petit Chablis (€9); we demurred, having never had an enjoyable one; he insisted as he said that it was the purest expression of what the house wanted to achieve; we accepted. It was unoaked, full of fruit, minerally and touches of iodine; we were amazed and bought some. We then tried three premier cru ‘12s, all unoaked; Les Vaillons (€17) fruity with a nose of white flowers or as the winemaker said, the left bank expression of freshness; Mont de Milieu (€19) had the classic minerality of a right bank vineyard; and Montee de Tonnerre (€20) again a right bank vineyard very close to the grand cru vineyards, more minerality and a great mouth-feel. We then tried 2 ’07 grand cru to see how they aged. Vaudesir (€37.50) slightly oxidized on the nose but not on the palate; Les Preuses (€39) full of fruit, great acidity and freshness. We also tried the Cuvee Tete D’or Chablis (€14) which was partly oaked in new and old wood; the freshness of the unoaked Chablis with the complexity of the oak, very good. We also bought the Montee de Tonnerre and the Tete D’or.
DOMAINE ALAIN GAUTHERON18 Rue des Pregirots, 89800 Fleys Tel 03 86 42 44 34
We met the Domaine at a wine tasting in London where we found out that they bottle their Chablis in half bottles so were naturally interested in visiting them. They are a small family-owned domaine that operate along organic lines; just the type of wine we love to have on halfwine.com. We tasted 4 of their wines and were impressed by the quality of them all; ’12 Chablis (€9); ’12 premier cru Vaucoupin (€12.5); ’12 premier cru Mont de Milieu (€13.50); ’11 premier cru Les Fourneaux (€12.50). As we were short of space we only bought the Chablis. We stock half bottles of their Chablis - click here