Chablis, Vaucoupins, 1er Cru, 2016

  Domaine Oudin

A wonderful rocky terroir. Hugely limestone dominant with very little clay and with a due south exposure. The vines are an old selection massale that were planted in 1950. A warm terroir with old vines that produces powerful but very refined and stylish Chablis. Complete and harmonious flavours of honeysuckle, rock salt citrus and guava. Suave and textured, flavoursome without being heavy, there is a wonderful definition and integration of flavour on the prolonged finish. Exquisite

Contains Sulphites.

About Domaine Oudin

Domaine Oudin is a small family estate of 9.5ha originally established in the late eighties before being handed over to Nathalie Oudin by her parents in 2007, subsequently joined by her sister Isabelle. They make a dynamic young duo whose passion, authenticity and respect for their land sits at the heart of everything they do. There is an enviable spread of old vines, the most senior dating back to the late forties, planted on prime plots on Chablis’ right bank close to their home town of Chichée, where clay is scarce and soils are poor and limestone-dominant. The Oudin sisters make the very best of these old vines planted on sun-blanched, south / south west-facing land. They practice an organic viticulture, strictly without use of chemical fertilisers or herbicides, and vines are very much hand-tended. The wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts in steel tanks to retain nerve and purity in these naturally sun-kissed Chablis, whilst extended ageing sur lie also emphasises character, complexity and freshness. The old vines Chablis La Serre, for example, spends between 20 and 24 months sur lie in tank before bottling. Stylistically quite apart from the tense, citrusy, style of left bank Chablis so well-known to the British palate, these have a character and energy all of their very own. We are now thrilled to bring them to our UK private customers.

Appellation: Chablis

Chablis is Burgundy's northern most region spanning 3,000 hectares centred around the town of Chablis itself in the départment of the Yonne near Auxerre. Though considered part of Burgundy, in terms of geography it is as close to Sancerre and Pouilly Sur Loire as it is to the Côte d'Or, and in terms of soils and climate is actually closer. The vineyard area rolls around Chablis itself and 19 other villages. There are four levels of wine: Petit Chablis; Chablis;Chablis 1er Cru and Chablis Grand Cru, the latter of which there are seven which sit prominently above the town of Chablis itself on sun-blanched south-facing slopes.

Soil is a very important factor in the quality and unique style of Chablis and can roughly be divided into two types, firstly Kimmeridgean. This is a kind of clay limestone with a large proportion of fossilized oyster shells. Chablis is on the edge of the Paris rock basin the other side of which is the Dorset village of Kimmeridge from which the soil takes its name. The other soil type is Portlandien, a similar clay limestone structure without the same complexity, giving wines of slightly less sophistication and finesse. The former is the base of the Grands Crus and all of the best Premiers Crus and Chablis Villages vineyards, the latter, generally speaking, is the base for most of the outlying Petit Chablis area.

The northerly climate obviously means that vintages can vary quite starkly, summers are mostly hot and sunny, though, with the variation in weather coming more into to play towards the end of the season. The greatest danger during the season is from frost, which can be devastating, so much of the vine-growers early season activity is spent devising ways to protect the vines. One of the more traditional is lighting "smudge pots" throughout the vineyards, in an effort to get warm air circulating around the vines. The quantity and quality of wine produced can therefore vary from year to year. Chablis is obviously a large area and now a very big commercial brand so there are swathe's of rather poor quality and not very good value example around. Fortunately though there are plenty of fine examples, too. At its best Chablis is a unqieuly steely mineral wine that can age extremely well. "Classic" Chablis as we know it today is aged and fermented in steel tanks. However there are a number of growers experimenting with oak, mainly used barrels, not to give any oak flavour to the wine but to improve its texture and complexity. These can make for some of the very finest examples of Burgundy there are. Some of the finest exponents are Vincent Dauvissat, Francois Raveneau, Laurent Tribut, Droin and Moreau Naudet.

Grape Type: Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most widely-grown and versatile of all white grape varieties. As a relatively neutral grape, it offers a near transparent map of winemaking style, climate and terroir. It is the ideal grape variety for Burgundy, where it serves to mirror the complex nuances of the myriad of terroirs found in this hallowed land. Chardonnay produces a variety of wines from the minerally and unoaked styles found in Chablis, the fatter nuttier examples in Meursault, to the tropical fruit-driven versions found in the New World. It is also the major grape variety in Champagne, where it produces lively floral wines, namely in the Côte de Blancs. It can be found throughout Europe and the New World thanks to its versatility. As a non-aromatic variety, it has an affinity with oak, whether new or used, French or American.