“Vibrant,” Old-Vine 2018 Premier Cru Chablis

A rich white Burgundy full of tension, definition and depth

Romain Collet took over his family’s fines in 2008, and has since made great strides. Having introduced organic farming, natural yeasts, and a lighter hand in the cellar, the Domaine Collet has regained its once loft status among sources for high-end Chablis.

The 2018 vintage at last provided the Chablisiens with decent volume after the disastrous 2016 and 2017 growing seasons. The warm 2018 growing season meant wine with a slightly different profile from the usual Chablis. The wines are riper and smoother than usual, but just as delicious, and just as well priced.

Today’s wine comes from “Butteaux”, a subsection of the famous “Montmains” vineyard, located on Chablis’s left bank. Collet’s vines here are 50 years old, and produce concentrated grapes that deliver intense concentration and depth. If Chablis calls to mind something thin and stony, this cuvée will make you reconsider.

“Butteaux” is among Romain’s only oaked Chablis cuvées, and it’s done beautifully — just enough to add a bit of texture to the mouth, but not enough to mask the classic Chablis fruit and stones. Vinous’s Neal Martin gave 90 points, citing “an intense bouquet” and “vibrant” palate, with “touches of orange peel and dried quince.”

The nose shows orchard fruit and the faintest hint of oak — on a global oaked Chardonnay scale this would barely register — the mouth is generous and palate-coating, but full of tension, definition, and depth. Look for a long finish of savory minerals and sea breeze.


Collet Chablis 1er cru “Butteaux” 2018
bottle price: $38

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