Tasting at Raveneau in Chablis

Day 3 of French Wine Region Tour - Chablis

On the Kermit Lynch wine trail, we drove from Pouilly sur Loire to Chablis.  The morning was raining, foggy and cold but we arrive just as the sky cleared. I was excited to start seeing some of the famous premier cru vineyards and hills centered around the town. Our appointment was at Raveneau, the iconic producer has a pretty modern operation on the ground floor. I was told the building was recently completed with several refrigerated rooms for storage and bottling. We did not get a tour of the cellars or explanation of the space, we just tasted in one of the small rooms near the exit. There were 5 other producers we met with and lead us though their wines, finishing with a very nice lunch of local cheese, charcuterie and jambon persillé, the local ham with parsley.

After lunch Isabelle Raveneau accompanied us to the Vaillons vineyard located on the southwest side of the village. We could get a quick picture and explanation of the layout of the Grand CRU hill across from us. See the Google Earth tour below with the vineyard layout.

The wines of Domaine Raveneau are extremely rare because the vineyard holdings are almost entirely made of grand cru and premier cru fruit. Many collectors gobble up the tiny quantities and surely the best restaurants in the world will feature them on their wine lists.

The domaine was created in 1948, when François Raveneau consolidated his holdings with his wife’s family’s vineyard parcels. The domaine’s production has always been miniscule. Today, François’ sons, Bernard and Jean-Marie, direct the domaine, yet stay true to their father’s philosophy in both the vineyards and the cellar.

The Brothers Raveneau farm nearly eight hectares of land, including three grand cru vineyards (Blanchot, Les Clos, and Valmur) and six premier crus (Montée de Tonnerre, Les Vaillons, Butteaux, Chapelot, Mont-Mains, and Forêt).  In a cool climate like Chablis, vines find their strength in the rich clay and chalky limestone of the Kimmeridgian chain.

François passed away in 2000. Today, Bernard’s daughter, Isabelle is involved in the winemaking and management of the domaine.

Tasting at Francois Raveneau with 5 producers

Domaine Montanet-Thoden
2012 Melon
Crisp, yellow apple, gravely mineralitly

2011 Bourgogne Chardonnay
Fresh layers of chalk, lemon peel, pleasant round palate, youthful

2011 cuvée de la
Bourgogne Vezelay
Yellow color, full body, Orchard Flavors

2011 Bourgogne Rouge Champs cadet
Bright maraschino cherry, mineral, medium acid

2011 Bourgogne Vezelay Le Galerne from The Domaine
20 year old vines, chalk and limestone soils from a vineyard they acquired
Soft, citrus and round. Hint of broth in back.

2011 Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée Garence
Darker color, Pinot Noir. Clay soil. Pure, crisp. Soft.

Domaine Roland Lavantureux
2011 Petite Chablis
Soft banana, cream, curd from vines on portlandian soil

Crispness, earth, nervy

Chablis Vielles Vignes
60 year old vines from kimmergian soils
Slightly closed up but has a tremendous depth. Can feel the mineral stoniness, delicate and complex

All previous are inox (stainless steel) tanks

The following have a small percentage of used oak for maturation only

2011 Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaumes
Start to express the mineralitly, light winemaking, honeysuckle, soft spices and lacquer of whipped cream

2011 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir
Vinified in stainless and aged in 5 year old burgundy barrels
Full bodied, round and rich, mushroom, organic and floral

Domaine Savary
2011 Chablis
Biscuit, earthy and mushrooms, showing a light leesy

2011 Selection Vielles Vignes
Mid palate is wide, shows delicate fruits and undertone of stone. Sweeter

2011 Chablis Fourchaumes
Aged on the fine lees, showing a bit of march stick, wood.

2011 Bourgogne Rouge Epineuils
Destemmed Pinto Noir, chambord, black raspberry, mint

Domaine Costal Colet

2011 Chablis les truffieres
20 year old vineyard, Vinified and aged in stainless steel on fine lies
Approachable, hint of smoke, bright acidity, limestone

2011 Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons
Ripe, clean, aged in 1/3 used barrel and Demi muids

Domaine Raveneau

2010 vintage
2010 Raveneau Premier Cru Fôret
Silky, nutty and honey cream, flavorful on palate, sweet tangine
"Texas got six bottles"

2010 Raveneau Premier Cru Butteaux
ntense and bright, eatherial, truffles, hay, stone, great acidity

2010 Raveneau Montée de Tonnerre
Sharper nose, richer color, round with a long finish. Dried straw, shitake, bouillon

2010 Raveneau Grand Cru Blanchot
Vinified in cuve, matured in piece. Striking, tropical, soft palate, marshmallow, delicate vanilla, very complex

2010 Raveneau Grand Cru Valmur
Wild sea breeze, mineral, mushroom, oily, the layers are wonderful, finish keeps going, honey blossoms,

2010 Raveneau Grand Cru Clos
the most masculine, full, opulent, high mineralitly,