The Purist’s Chablis

In White Burgundy circles, an ongoing debate is whether Chablis is best fermented and aged in wood or in stainless steel. The wood camp argues that using neutral oak barrels produces the true, traditional aromas and flavors of Chablis.
 
Yet, the non-oak partisans believe that for the purest expression of Chablis’ striking minerality, only stainless steel will do.
 
While the barrel school’s greatest producers are, of course, Raveneau and Vincent Dauvissat, steel’s champion is Domaine Louis Michel. Michel’s ardent following prizes the striking purity with which the domaine’s wines express Chablis’ stony minerality.
 
The méthode Michel produces Chablis that captures both site and vintage with startling clarity.

And 2014’s classic Chablis character, enhanced by the year’s low-yield concentration, was made to order for the Michel style.
 
Winemaker Guillaume Gicqueau-Michel’s exclusive use of indigenous yeasts and very cold fermentation temperatures made for very slow, lengthy vinifications. The results are stunningly pure and nuanced renderings of Chablis’ greatest crus.
 
Since the brilliant 2014s were released, we have been searching them out, finally securing our position with the following top cuvées: Les Clos, Vaudésir, Butteaux Vieilles Vignes, Séchet and Montée de Tonerre, which enjoyed a particularly successful harvest in 2014. 


 

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