2014 Domaine Eleni & Edouard Vocoret Chablis Bas De Chapelot Premier CruChardonnay from France
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- 91 Neal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
- 90 Allen Meadows - Burghound
91 Neal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2014 Chablis Bas de Chapelot has a strident bouquet that was showing quite a lot of dried apricot, though that is probably due to it being recently bottled and will pass. The palate shows fine weight in the mouth, a keen thread of acidity and an attractive spiciness on the finish. This probably just has the edge over the 2015, full of verve and tension, a Chablis that I suspect will continue to improve in bottle. Probably the first thing I should say is that this is NOT the well-known Chablis produced Domaine Vocoret. Think of Eleni et Edouard Vocoret as an independent offshoot, since Edouard is part of the Vocoret family, the 7th generation in fact (Domaine Vocoret is currently owned by Edouard’s father and cousin). Edouard wanted to strike out on his own and so worked in vineyards beyond the Chablis hills, ending up at Allan Scott Winery down in New Zealand. It was here that he met Eleni, who was also doing a vintage; love obviously blossomed over the must and here they are a few years later with their own fledgling set up. I asked how the domaine had started. “My father offered us to take over 4.89 hectares of vine that came from my grandparents and our first vintage was in 2013. We just have three different Chablis wines: Les Pargues, Bas de Chapelet and one Premier Cru Les Butteaux. We sell some of the lesser parcels as bulk wine.” Their facility is very small, just down the road in Chablis from Vincent Dauvissat and Patrick Piuze. “The winery was where my grandfather used to keep the tractors,” Edouard explained. “But now it is getting too small, plus we are working with more barrels, so we are building a bigger winery nearby that should be ready in the summer. At the moment, we do the pressing at Vincent Dauvissat, but [henceforth] it will be done in the new winery. I don't want to get huge and we want to keep it this way.” “The family understands our philosophy, which is different to Domaine Vocoret. We work the soil a different way: no herbicides and insecticides being the first step. Everything is picked by hand. With just under five hectares, it is more like gardening. The winemaking is different, the opposite in some ways. We use wild yeasts and bacteria for the malolactic and just add a little sulfur. We do the same technique for all of the wines with the entire élevage in barrel. We want the terroir to express itself. When we get the new winery, we will work the same way, but because we have more space, we will leave the wine in barrel a little longer.” I asked about the 2016 vintage, wary that it must impact small growers just starting out in a big way. “We had frost in the end of April,” Eleni told me, “hail in north of the appellation around Maligny in May, then in the end of May more hail, Irancy and Chitry, etc. We were quite lucky that it passed left and right from our blocks. We just lost a cuvée Les Parques, but fortunately we can still prune next year.” I tasted the 2015s from barrel, which will be bottled this coming October. I like what I tasted here: very pure wines, harmonious, nothing over the top and quite refined. I think the wines will get even better once they have their own facility, because frankly everything looked a little cramped in their grandfather’s old tractor shed! In many ways, Eleni and Edouard epitomizes the “new Chablis”--young growers with strong winemaking principles, perhaps more artisan in their approach, perhaps offering a more “personal” take on Chablis and its wines. Although they seemed adamant that “small is beautiful,” I would love to see them tackle a couple more Premier Crus, a Montée de Tonnerre or Montmains perhaps. I’ll be following their progress and look forward to watching their journey. "
90 Allen Meadows - Burghound
"The expressive nose possesses much more classic Chablis character compared to its 2015 counterpart with its airy array of citrus, iodine, ocean breeze and oyster shell. There is excellent intensity to the vibrant yet tender medium weight flavors that deliver outstanding depth and length for a villages level wine. Highly recommended."
91 - Neal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
90 - Allen Meadows - Burghound
|Taste||apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla|
|Nose||apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla|