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Chablis Grand Cru ‘les Clos‘ - Chardonnay

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Code FR-102
ProducerGerard Duplessis
Type of wineWit
CountryFrankrijk
RegionBourgogne - Chablis
Grape varietyChardonnay
Vintage2016
FermentationWhole bunch press, zonder koude settling start de gisting op eikenhout met het natuurlijke gist
AgeingEikenhouten 500L+, deels nieuw eikenhout en deels 2e & 3e fill
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Chardonnay | Kimméridgiens terroir | vergist en gerijpt op demi muid vaten van 500 liter | grote wijn! 

The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos has a fresh, quite nervous, finessed bouquet that is much more subtle than the 2015. This demands some coaxing from the glass but it is certainly worth the effort. The palate is very fresh on the entry with a fine bead of acidity and great salinity that combines well with the subtle spicy thread as it gently fans out on the finish like a Les Clos should, delivering that crescendo. This has great potential.

“The 2015 vintage started well,” winemaker Lilian Duplessis explained when I visited the family domain on the serene banks of the River Serein in the heart of Chablis, adjacent to Domaine Billaud-Simon. Lilian's a very likable fella, enunciating in quick-fire French and always with plenty to say about his wines, which are cultivated biodynamically and with low intervention in the winery. “It was quite a warm season with a bad finish because of the hail that came from the direction of Courgis, passed Montmains and finished in Les Clos and Blanchots," he explained. "The hailstones were not large, but rather small and sharp, which damaged the leaves so that there were some vines without leaves even though they still had bunches! I lost 70% in Les Clos and Montée de Tonnerre. In Montmains, where my parcels are larger, the hail only touched the lower slopes. On average we lost around 20% of the crop. I was thinking of starting the harvest early anyway on 4 or 5 September and in the end we started on 3 September. I started picking by hand and then by machine to harvest quickly. The 2016 vintage was affected by the frost but at the moment it is difficult to say exactly how much the vineyards have been affected.” Duplessis undertakes a slightly unorthodox approach to aging, with the premier and grand crus aged in vat for six months for the malolactic fermentation, followed by six months in oak barrels (up to 10% new) and then six months back in stainless steel. In this way he ensures that the barrels are always full, as the previous vintage is always racked and transferred into vat just before the next harvest. Duplessis' 2015s showed very well and in fact this is one of the few growers who might even surpass what is considered the benchmark vintage of 2014. In particular, the Montmains seems to be enjoying a fine run of form in both the 2015 and 2016 vintages, even measuring up to Les Clos. I would advise grabbing as much 2015 as you can since crops were reduced by the miasma of meteorological woes in 2016, reducing, for example, Duplessis' Fourchaume to just two demi-muids. Neal Martijn 92-94/100 

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