The 2018 vintage provided the Chablisiens with something they hadn’t seen in years: decent volume. The 2016 and 2017 growing seasons brought the trials of Job — hail, frost, freezes and everything else, it seemed. In 2018, catastrophe turned to fruitfulness, as the vines produced strikingly large quantities of ripe fruit.
The warm growing season meant wine with a different profile from the usual Chablis — rounder and riper — but it is delicious and still carries the advantageous pricing that is Chablis’s calling card these days. Romain Collet’s lineup of 2018s are excellent, showing expert balance between ripeness and acidity.
They offer excellent early drinking opportunities — one glass of today’s wine and we think you’ll know what we mean.
Collet’s Chablis 1er cru “Vaillons” is vinified and raised in a third each of barrel, foudre (large barrel) and tank — the resulting wine has no notes of oak in the nose, but has hint of softness to balance out the classic Chablisienne mineral tension.
We loved Vaillons in 2018, and so did Jasper Morris MW who gave 90-93 pts. The nose shows minerals, lemon, and a deep core of savory oyster shells; the mouth is floral and smooth, with real subtlety and elegance, and what Morris called “an excellent finish.”
Like Collet’s other 2018s, we think this will age nicely for another few years. But the 2018 sun makes at a delight today.
Collet Chablis 1er “Vaillons” 2018
bottle price: $35
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