Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Grand Cru 'Valmur' 2017

'The 2017 Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru has a strict and quite reserved bouquet (especially following the Grenouilles) with more mineral/flint aromas percolating through the citrus fruit. The palate is very well defined with a little butteriness on the entry in terms of texture, smooth and seductive but this is deceiving because it segues into a very taut, linear and precise finish that feels long and satisfying. A brilliant Les Clos from Benoît Droin.' Neal Martin

Sadly, Les Clos was the worst-hit parcel in terms of the cold weather and around half the crop was lost as a result. Benoît explained that in many cases there was only one bunch per vine, leading inevitably to concentration in the resulting wine. The nose offers some hints as to the class of this wine; concentrated, dense fruit combines with flinty smoke notes and spicy buttered toast. The palate is powerful and concentrated, perhaps slightly richer than usual, but with its hallmark intense minerality and chewy phenolics at the finish. Great potential here; it’s not showing any ill-effects from the frost.

  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: 2017
  • ABV: 13%
  • Origin: Chablis / Burgundy / France
  • Grapes: 100% Chardonnay

About Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin

Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin

'People often cite Domaines Raveneau and Vincent Dauvissat as the two greatest exponents of Chablis, however, I would like to add a third - Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin. Over the last five or six years, Benoît Droin has really ratcheted up the quality. I cannot exaggerate how often Droin's wines end up the best of the flight during the annual 'Burgfest' blind tastings. Again and again, they shine against stiff competition. It is time to accept that Droin is now one of the leading producers in Chablis.' Neal Martin 2018

Stylistically, Benoît places 2017 somewhere between 2014 and 2012; two of the best vintages in recent memory. From a man who is not prone to exaggeration, this is strong praise indeed. He highlighted the good level of ripeness, giving the wines a rounded profile, but not at the expense of freshness or minerality. The acidity levels are good; having begun very high, these softened a touch with fermentation and maturation, giving harmonious and balanced wines which display their individual terroirs. Every Chablis vintage for the next dozen years will inevitably be compared to the legendary 2014s, and whilst the 2017 doesn’t
quite possess that piercing minerality, it is a serious, age worthy vintage and certainly the next best since at least 2010.

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