Chablis may be the last bastion of value in white Burgundy. Using the same grape as the rest of Burugndy (Chardonnay), the vignerons of Chablis have traditionally produced steely, low- or no-oak white Burgundies with loads of zip and minerals. But a warming climate and longer growing seasons have created a wider range of options for the Chablisiens, and today one can find fine white Burgundies there with more than a passing resemblance to those of the Côte d’Or.
Romain Collet has taken advantage of this expanded arsenal to produce a smorgasbord of styles and expressions. They’re all focused, honest Chablis, but often contain a bit more complexity and depth than in years past. A few of Romain’s cuvées are a bit too close to Côte d’Or whites for our taste, but many fall right into the sweet spot.
Today’s delicious “Forêts” cuvée perfectly walks this tightrope.
Collet’s Forêts 1er cru is particularly elegant in the 2020 vintage. This lieu dit is actually at the top part of Montmains, and the farming has been certified organic there since 2018. Its élevage is more complicated, with 90% raised in cement eggs. The last 10% is raised in Burgundy-sized barrels, bringing just a whisper of wood into the mix. The result is extra refinement and complexity – still unmistakably Chablis, but in a sleek, modern package.
Jasper Morris MW was similarly taken with this wine, finding “a particularly classy nose,” and calling it “very elegant yet with intensity and persistence,” awarding 92-94 points (the same score he gave Collet’s Grand Cru Les Clos). We think Romain is onto something with this elevage recipe, and can’t wait for you to try it as well. Serve with Delice de Bourgogne on crusty bread, crab cakes, or scallops with pesto.
Collet Chablis 1er “Forêts” 2020
bottle price: $42