Vocoret Chablis: The Next Generation
It's Finally here:
Eleni & Edouard Vocoret Chablis
- "This is excellent, indeed it's relatively rare to find this level of quality in a villages." —Burghound, on the Vocorets’ 2018 Le Bas de Chapelot
A few weeks ago, I emailed about the 2017 Vocoret Chablis, a great wine for the price and a classic expression of Chablis blended from two great village-level vineyards. It’s also anathema to what the next generation of Vocorets, Edouard and Eleni, have set out to do.
Edouard and Eleni believe you can only make great wine if you are close to the vines. So, they have kept things small: under 5 hectares (the family Domaine is nearly 10 times that). They know their vines, know their plots, and they bottle their vineyards individually so that we can enjoy each – highly individual – terroir on its own terms.
During a recent Zoom tasting, Eleni was confident that even their village wines need time to show their stuff. She suggested that, rather than racing through the delicious and crushable bottles of Chapelot and en Boucheran we had opened, we take our time and follow them over a few days to see just how much complexity they offer, how much they promise to develop over time.
She was right. The wines were lovely when I opened them (I’m sure we would have finished both bottles by the end of dinner that night if left to our own devices). But I followed Eleni’s advice and was richly rewarded.
The wines developed complexity and showed new depths, day after day. They also complemented meal after meal.
I have included notes from my tastings as well as Burghound and Vinous reviews. It’s interesting that Burghound and Galloni differ so much. I take this as a sign, as Eleni implied, of the wines’ complexity, vitality, and age-worthiness. I am very happy to finally be able to share the following:
• A site right under the famous Montée de Tonerre with deeper, brownish clay soils and gets sun through much of the day.
- Burghound: “Outstanding Top Value”: “A distinctly cooler and slightly more elegant and even purer nose features notes of airy citrus, tidal pool and spiced pear. There is excellent punch and plenty of minerality to the medium weight flavors that are almost pungently mineral-driven, all wrapped in a refreshing and lingering bitter lemon-inflected finale.”
- Antonio Galloni: “The 2018 Chablis Le Bas de Chapelot is the most overt of the wines in this range today. Forward fruit and soft contours give the Bas de Chapelot its racy, easygoing personality. The 2018 is not terribly complex, but it makes up for that with its alluring personality."
I bravely throw in with Burghound, here. On the first day it was, as Galloni says, racy and easygoing. But over the next two days the more obvious fruit flavors moved to the background and a sense of terroir came to the fore. It never stopped being alluring, but it began to show depths and to invite a little contemplation.
• From a steep site on the opposite side of the river between Montmain and Vaillon, with soils that range from very stony (at the top) to richer (lower down). It gets afternoon sun.
- Burghound: “There is relatively good typicity to the fresh and ripe aromas of spiced apple, citrus and soft whiffs of sea breeze character. I like both the volume and intensity of the middle weight flavors that possess evident minerality on the clean, dry and youthfully austere finale that displays very good balance."
- Antonio Galloni: “Citrus, yellow orchard fruit and white floral notes give the 2018 Chablis Boucherans its nuanced, sculpted personality. The Boucherans is the brightest of the three village-level Chablis in the range.”
Here, I’m going to cast my lot with Galloni--I'm really asking for it! On the first day, En Boucheran definitely had a touch of austerity (although the salt, mineral and acid-inflected fruit was lovely, as I sipped it sitting out in the sun that afternoon). But as time went on it developed in the opposite way of the Chapelot: the fruit got richer and the wine developed a sense of space that was a far cry from the initial austerity.
Quantities are good for now. But these are wines that have been talked about for a long time and have only finally become available. I expect them to go quickly. So please don't hesitate to click through and place your order today.