2019 Louis Michel Chablis Premier Cru Butteaux Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy, France

2019 Louis Michel Chablis Premier Cru Butteaux Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy, France



We love really great Chablis, unoaked that is!  The true and pure expression of terroir driven Chardonnay.   The complex saline-chalky minerality, intense citrus zest and refreshing tart green apple acidity.  Aged and tempered, apple pie and caramel notes emerge, and the wine takes on added richness and depth.

One does not need to spend $80 to $125 a bottle from the best Grand Cru sites.  But the values found at the Premier Cru level are going to become more and more difficult to find.  The 2021 vintage was a complete disaster as an early bud break, followed by a freakish late spring frost wreaked havoc and decimated yields.  So be forewarned, prices are going to skyrocket!

One of our favorite Chablis is from the ardent traditionalist and non-interventionist producer Louis Michel who sources from the Premier Cru Butteaux vineyard along the western Montmains overlooking the Serein River.  You just can’t go wrong here.  However, there is also a very special, but limited edition of this wine also produced from the Butteaux vineyard.  A small parcel of 65+ year old vines at the top of the slope on Kimmeridgian limestone is hand harvested later, and kept completely separate, and handled and treated as if it held Grand Cru status.  This wine is labelled “Vieille Vignes”.  The indigenous fermentation is long and slow, and takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tank where the wine undergoes spontaneous malolactic, and is matured for between 12-16 months.  A bottle of the 2019 Louis Michel Butteaux VV Chablis last evening sent us into salivary palpitations!   Incredible with smoked salmon and fresh shucked Fanny Bay oysters.  The importer just told us there are another 22 cases available at our pre-ordered cost.

93 points Robert Parker’s – Wine Advocate: The 2019 Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux Vieilles Vignes is excellent, mingling aromas of pear, citrus oil and warm bread with hints of iodine. Bottled later than the younger-vine cuvée of Butteaux, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with racy acids and chalky grip. (WK)  (8/2021)

90-93 points Allen Meadows – Burghound: Like the regular cuvée, firm reduction renders the nose difficult to evaluate at present. The texture of the slightly denser flavors is equally attractive while offering more evident power on the minerally finish that is impressively persistent, dry and youthfully austere. Once again, at least some patience is suggested. *Outstanding*  (10/2020)

91-93 points Jasper Morris for Inside Burgundy: “Pale colour with both lemon and lime tints. Ripe, perfumed fruit on the nose, not exaggerated. Actually, this comes out really attractively at the finish and is much more saline in the mouth than the non Vieilles Vignes version. Better balance, carrying its alcohol (13.7%) without difficulty.” (07/2020)


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