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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > FRANCE: Chablis

Winner Details

FRANCE: Chablis

2016 Gold: 5 Silver: 11 Bronze: 0 Commended: 6
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 6 Bronze: 2 Commended: 7

Chablis seems to be one of those regions that does well in vintages when the rest of France struggles, and so it was again here. Five Golds equalled the region’s previous best haul in this competition, recorded in 2014. That success was driven by the 2012 vintage; this year’s was mostly recorded with wines from 2014.

A cooler year, it gave the wines that classic Chablis stony crunch – real typicity and minerality. On the downside, the wines flirted with tightness – and many of those that didn’t get medals were simply deemed too inaccessible at the moment. If they reappear in this competition next year, they may well shine.

Price-wise, apart from Daniel Séguinot & Filles' Gold Lister and the outstanding Silver-medal-winning Louis Moreau Petit Chablis, we were firmly in the £10+ range here, but our tasters didn’t seem to mind that too much. Chablis, it seems, is a sufficiently well-known region to be able to handle higher pricing without turning off customers. And when it gets it right (as in years like 2014) it has a style that’s simply impossible to replicate.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘There was quite a range of prices but there was also an ascent in terms of concentration as we went up the price points. There were some that were forward and others that were clearly a bit tight. Wines that were nowhere near ready to drink didn’t get medals.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘I think a lot of people who don’t like oaked Chardonnay come to Chablis. The [Domaine Louis Moreau] wine was a very good example. It had enough ripeness to have roundness but still had freshness, and was incredible value. It’s an early £20 Chablis where you’d still get your full margin.’ Charlie Young, Vinoteca

‘It was a pleasant surprise to see some wines under £10 that I would have placed [on a list].’ Alexendru Pastrav, Fenchurch Sky Gardens

‘[The flight] didn’t blow me away but it wasn’t disappointing. There were no surprises and perhaps that’s what the customer wants. They don’t want to go off-piste. That’s what they are buying into. In that way it was a textbook flight.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘Some of the cru wines were almost Sauvignon Blanc-like in their fruitiness; others were big and buttery, in keeping with the character of a Chardonnay.’ Deborah-Lynn Morris, Aramark at JP Morgan

‘The cru wines were a very solid flight, I was quite impressed. The quality was high – a good reflection of the Chablis right and left banks.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘There were fresh mineral wines to oaked, complex styles. The classical citrusy styles were the most preferred.’ Andre Luis Martins, The Cavalry and Guards Club

Award winners

Found 22 wines

France: Chablis

Jean-Marc Brocard, Domaine Ste Claire, Organic Chablis, 2014, Burgundy , France

Gold medal winner

Classic Chablis, came the cry, as Jean-Marc Brocard returned to the Gold podium. 'Apricot and peach, good depth, great acidity and stony minerals,' said Vinoteca's Charlie Young. 'Vegetal, intense, honeyed aromas with fruity freshness on a lengthy, smooth palate,' added consultant Luciana Girotto-Beckett, while Gareth Ferreira of 67 Pall Mall picked up notes of 'Granny Smith green apples, quince and pears', suggesting this would be perfect with oysters and scallops.

£12.25 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Daniel Séguinot & Filles, Chablis, 2014, Burgundy , France

Gold medal winner

'Juicy and cheery, with lively, pert, dancing fruit on the palate and a mineral, salty tang,' began team leader Jade Koch, with Vinoteca's Charlie Young finding 'lovely purity, greengage and apple, long with good potential', and Gareth Ferreira of 67 Pall Mall, noting 'really silky on he palate with button mushroom earthiness and medium-plus acid on a long, balanced finish'.

£9.55 Boutinot

Domaine Louis Moreau, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaillons, 2014, Burgundy , France

Gold medal winner

Complexity and a refined elegance took Louis Moreau to the top. 'Lemon, lime mandarin and quince on the nose,' said 67 Pall Mall's Gareth Ferreira, also noting the chalky minerality, long finish and good balance. 'Rich, ripe, plenty of pithy grapefruit but also a ripe pear and mineral richness,' said team leader Simon Woods, while Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental was impressed with its 'buttery almond complexity'.

£16.55 Please contact winery for further information

Domaine Laroche, Chablis, Vieille Voye, 2014, Burgundy , France

Gold medal winner

Texture and finesse marked Laroche's Vieille Voye out. 'With flint in the foreground, this opens on green fruits and hints of tropical fruits, leading to a well balanced palate, with creamy texture and good acidity,' said Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental. 'Luminous brightness, steely firm acidity on a taut, lean palate that shows a measure of austerity,' said team leader Olivier Marie.

£17.50 Liberty Wines

Domaine Laroche, Chablis 1er Cru, Les Vaudevey, 2013, Burgundy , France

Gold medal winner

A second Gold for Laroche, with this fantastically complex 1er Cru. 'Waxy lemon, dried nectarine, quince, peach and mandarin pith, this has notes of salt and sweet tinned syrup on the finish,' said Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants. James Hocking of The Vineyard Group enjoyed this wine's 'opulent style', with its 'aromatic, clean and bright nose, great length and persistence with balanced, crisp apple and cinnamon flavours'.

£18.55 Liberty Wines

Albert Bichot, Domaine Long-Depaquit, Chablis, 2014, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

While the panel were divided over whether to call this 'classic' Chablis, its rich nature, ripe white stone fruit notes and saline hints were appreciated. 'Flinty, smoky and vegetal, a more funky example,' began Tamas Czinki of Northcote, also highlighting 'notes of white pepper and minerals with underripe citrus and sesame seed hints'.

£13.00 Soho Wine Supply

Domaine Testut, Rive Droite, Chablis, 2014, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'Great nose with layered stone fruits, really intense,' began Alexandru Pastrav of Fenchurch Sky Garden, continuing: 'Tangerine and white peach on an intense palate with chalky minerals.' 'Tight and closed, but zesty, with stone fruits and pear on a leesy, mineral palate,' agreed China Tang at The Dorchester's John Giffrin.

£10.89 Top Selection Ltd

Domaine Louis Moreau, Petit Chablis, 2015, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'Good nose, pure with soft apple and pear fruit and some weight,' said Vinoteca's Charlie Young, adding: 'Fabulous value, delivers chablis nicely.' 'Beautiful initial nose, plenty of peach and apricot, followed by a fruity, dry palate,' agreed Alexandru Pastrav of Fenchurch Sky Garden.

£5.55 Kingsland

Domaine Louis Moreau, Chablis Grand Cru, Vaudésir, 2011, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'Spicy herbaceous nose with green pepper notes,' began Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, continuing: 'Green vegetables and chalky mineral palate, perhaps a little low on acidity but leaves a pleasant aftertaste.'

£28.32 Please contact winery for further information

Domaine Louis Moreau, Chablis Grand Cru, Valmur, 2011, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'Richer, fleshy and opulent style with good length on the palate, but needs some more time to balance the prominent oak,' began team leader Olivier Marie, while Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club found 'floral, apricot character, intense mineral, rich oak and nutty aromas with light ageing notes'.

£27.00 Laytons

Domaine Louis Moreau, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaulignot, 2014, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'Rich and creamy, very typical characteristics, with soft aromas and light tannins on the palate,' said Deborah-Lynn Morris of Aramark at JP Morgan.

£13.13 Kingsland

Simonnet Febvre, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaillons, 2014, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

Very bright and clean in the glass. Fresh, lightly fruity nose with soft lemon juice and pear notes. Well textured, with even fruit weight across the palate, with baked lemon and toasty mineral notes on the finish.

£14.20 Louis Latour Agencies

Domaine Laroche, Chablis 1er Cru, Les Vaillons, 2011, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

Team leader Simon Woods found 'classic wet wool, lanolin' character on the nose, with 'fruit and an edge of flor, followed by an intense yeasty complexity on the palate and a touch of halva'.

£21.40 Liberty Wines

Domaine Jean Defaix, Chablis 1er Cru, Côte de Lechet, 2014, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

Pleasant aromas of meadow flowers are followed by apricot and peach notes on a fresh but full palate, with a backbone of clean acidity providing good structure.

£15.95 Bibendum Wine

Daniel Séguinot & Filles, Chablis 1er Cru, Fourchaume, 2014, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'Clean and bready nose with light minerals,' began Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants, continuing: 'Medium bodied with pear, camomile and touches of lemon, finishing with notes of nuttiness. Well structured and smooth.'

£13.45 Boutinot

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis 1er Cru, Fourchaume, 2013, Burgundy , France

Silver medal winner

'The first sniff is very inviting and promising, quite exotic, followed by mineral delights on the palate, with a very, very long finish,' said Park Chinois' Bart Michalewicz, adding: 'Wow!' 'Elegant oak and nutty notes with gentle herbs and light earthy, buttery character,' agreed Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club.

£16.50 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis, 2014, Burgundy , France

Commended medal winner

Domaine Laroche, St Martin, Chablis, 2014, Burgundy , France

Commended medal winner

£13.50 Liberty Wines

Perchaud , Chablis , 2014, Burgundy , France

Commended medal winner

£12.50 Liberty Wines

Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaucoupin, 2014, Burgundy , France

Commended medal winner

£23.99 Alliance Wine

Domaine Testut, Chablis 1er Cru, Montée de Tonnerre, 2014, Burgundy , France

Commended medal winner

Perchaud, Chablis 1er Cru, Fourchaume, 2014, Burgundy , France

Commended medal winner

£17.55 Liberty Wines