Tell someone you are drinking a ten year old white Burgundy and they’ll have a chortle about you paying an arm and a leg for a wine that is bound to be oxidised. Revealing you have serious Chablis in mind and you will torpedo their assumptions – the stuff ages gratifyingly well and doesn’t make one’s credit card smoke. These factors, combined with its racy, nervy purity of expression make Chablis the Chardonnay of choice for the sophisticated yet fiscally challenged lover of vinous beauty.
Louis Michel made the first Chablis I tried that confirmed the wine style could be truly great (a 1992 Grand Cru Vaudesir shared with Mr Tully in the Magdalen College gardens in the spring of 1994) and, even at ten years old, this bottle confirms their magic touch is still charged with extra-power wiccan mana points – to taste this is to bond with a vivacious entity of coruscating energy and thrilling dimension.
Chablis Premier Cru Montee de Tonnerre 2000, Louis Michel
This still has flashes of green to its colour, it looks like a youthful wine. I’m finding some shades of age-derived buttery richness to the nose, but it is the creamy, nutty, slightly play-dough like minerality which is leaving me writhing with conspicuous excitement – the stylish sophistication this throbs with is simply arresting. So much life here, so much élan. There is no lack of complexity on the palate either and all of its acidity and minerality make it highly refreshing. Age has given it some density, but this is a country mile away from showing any tiredness or senescence. I love the finish, too, which is definitely long with lemon fruit and nutty mineral flavours persisting for an impressive period of time. This is a decade old – wow. It is engorged with pleasure-giving life now but no rush if your cellar is up to it.