For years Chablis has been one of the wine world’s most recognisable names. The majority of what is produced there is unlikely to set the pulse racing, but its dry, crisp and fresh white wines are a staple for restaurants and wine merchants across the globe. In amongst the sea of average producers are a couple of old masters – Raveneau and Dauvissat – that have kept the flag flying for traditional farming and vinification methods, not to mention world class wines, and their wines have served as an inspiration for a new generation of Chablisiens that have made the appellation exciting again.
The most recent addition to this list is Domaine Eleni & Edouard Vocoret. If the name sounds familiar, that’s probably because the Vocoret family have been a famous producer of perfectly serviceable Chablis for generations. The difference here is that this generation (Edouard and his wife Eleni, who trained at Dauvissat and Oudin) is solely focused on small production, quality and terroir. Their 5ha of vines have been reclaimed from the family estate, but they are not interested in taking on much more – the idea is to put their heart, soul and energy into mastering what they have.
The results of their first vintage are nothing short of sensational. To check our hunch, we tasted the wines blind in a large pool of well-known Chablis, and the E&E Vocoret bottles knocked everything else out of the park. The minerality and bracing clarity of the flavours is testament to conscientious farming, low yields and a deft hand in the winery, where all of their wines undergo fermentation and malo-lactic in steel tank before being moved to old oak barrels for elevage (9 months for the village wine and 12 for the 1er Cru). The power and complexity from the ‘Bas de Chapelot’ terroir shines through – this village vineyard sits just below the famous 1er Cru ‘Montée de Tonnerre’ and opposite ‘Les Clos’ Grand Cru. The 1er Cru ‘Butteaux’ brings with it an extra level of intensity, with tension and length that point to a long future.
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