Nathalie thinks this wine has ‘the memory of the sea’ and I won’t argue, one doesn’t need to be a poet to imagine the ancient shellfish in the wine’s spine of minerality. Vaulorent lies within the better known Fourchaume 1er Cru just above the Grand Cru les Preuses. It has a particularly rocky soil as well as a very good south-western exposure. It sees a little oak, around 15%, for structure rather than flavour.
“Made partly in tank, and partly in barrel with a touch of new wood. Lovely light lime touch to the colour, opulent but not exotic bouquet. There is a really impressive length of flavour here, indeed waves of flavour which really kick on. An optimum yield of 50 hl/ha helps explain the excellent balance. Really good.”
93-95 Jasper Morris MW 5 stars www.insideburgundy.com
About the Domaine
Gilles and his wife, Nathalie, combine wine-making skills to make wines where aromas, texture and flavour provide a haunting reminder that Chablis’ unique fossil-based clay soil is an ancient seabed. Their 15-hectare domaine comprises mostly of vineyards handed down to Gilles, as a member of Chablis’ pre-eminent family. The highly articulate Nathalie is a former winemaker at La Chablisienne. They offer a focussed portfolio of one Chablis, three 1er Crus and one Grand Cru, Les Preuses. All their wines are unoaked, except the flagship Vaulorent. This has 10% one/two-year oak, made from old vines which skirt the bottom of the Grand Cru Preuses, and has a vibrant definition.
The issue in Chablis is lack of stock due to frost and hail in 2016, where volumes are down by 60% in some vineyards.