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Winner Details

FRANCE: Chablis

2018 Gold 2       Silver 4                Bronze 3             Commended 2
2017 Gold 4       Silver 5                Bronze 2             Commended 8

The number of Chablis entries has fallen over the past few years – but it’s not that they don’t want to show off to the restaurant trade; it’s just that some of them literally have no wine to sell, or are eking out what little they have.

One can’t help but feel sorry for the region’s growers – frost has wrecked their businesses in recent years.

We got very mixed messages here. Some teams were thoroughly underwhelmed with what they got. Others loved their flights unconditionally. All, however, spoke of the differences in style (whether riper/leaner or oakier/unwooded) and the rising prices.

Our cheapest medal was priced at more than £13. It seems to be a trend that’s here to stay, but it probably prices the region out of the majority of this country’s wine lists.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘You pay an extra fiver for Chablis but you don’t always get extra quality for it. I’m not sure they justify their price point globally. You pay a premium for the name.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘Salinity, minerality, subtle, saltiness… I found what I expected to find. Razor sharp style.’ Aurel Istrate, The Connaught

‘A fantastic flight. We had a range of vintages, from a range of sites, with flinty, minerally styles to much riper styles, with some unoaked, and others showing a bit of oak.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘There are so many other good Chardonnays that can do that style of tense, fine, unoaked Chardonnay, Chablis no longer has a monopoly.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘The cru Chablis were probably the best flight we’ve tasted today. Intriguing, with different expressions coming through. Really delicious. You could take two and offer a comparison on a wine list, like offer something fresh and mineral as well as something buttery and rich.’ Piers Gibson-Birch, Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Golf & Spa

Award winners

Found 11 wines

France: Chablis

Domaine Testut, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaillon 2015, Burgundy, France

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister represented ‘a richer style of Chablis, with ripe lemon and a flinty backbone, not to mention a creamy mid-palate,’ thought team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine praising ‘good fruit, and some minerality, too’. ‘A dainty nose with floral and sea-breeze notes’ led, for Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm, to ‘fresh citrus and green apple’ on the palate, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason thought it ‘rich, rounded, deep and food-friendly’.

£19.08 Top Selection Ltd

Domaine Paul Nicolle, Vieilles Vignes, Chablis 2015, Burgundy, France

Gold medal winner

‘A juicy and refreshing wine, full of life and warmth,’ was team leader Jade Koch’s thoughts on this Chablis as it clinched Gold, finding it to be ‘a happy wine, with good acidity and minerality’. Aurel Istrate of The Connaught liked its ‘well-integrated fruit flavours and good acidity’, while Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm enjoyed ‘red apple and cotton candy notes, with a touch of salinty that lengthens the steely finish’.

£13.38 Bibendum

Domaine Louis Moreau, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaulignot 2016, Burgundy, France

Silver medal winner

‘This is showing good Chablis typicity, with a steely, mineral edge, but with a citrus element, and a yoghurt note too,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Piers Gibson-Birch of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa thought it ‘floral and expressive, with some creaminess on the palate – it would be hard to find better value for the price’.

£18.50 Laytons, Swig Wines, Caterite Food and Wineservice

Domaine Louis Moreau, Chablis 1er Cru, Vaillons 2016, Burgundy, France

Silver medal winner

Erik Simonics of La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons found this ‘well balanced, rounded and complex’, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW described it as a ‘mineral-driven style, with green apples and lemon sherbet on the very fresh palate’.

£20.95 Swig Wines

Domaine Louis Michel, Chablis Grand Cru, Vaudésir 2014, Burgundy, France

Silver medal winner

‘This is showing lovely typicity, with both minerality and citrus fruit,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Erik Simonics of La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons found it ‘rich and complex, with some oak, and some creaminess, too’.

£41.13 Enotria&Coe

Julien Brocard, Chablis 1er Cru, Côte de Léchet 2017, Burgundy, France

Silver medal winner

Erik Simonics of La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons thought this was ‘rich, complex and rounded, with some stone fruit and citrus notes’, while for Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine it was ‘punchy and powerful – playful with the fruit, yet grown up, too’.

£26.86 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Domaine Louis Michel, Chablis 1er Cru, Forets 2015, Burgundy, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A classic, fruit-forward style,’ began Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine, describing ‘powerful lemon and lime notes, with some minerality, too’. Piers Gibson-Birch of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa thought it ‘a rich style, with buttery notes and astounding length’.

£23.42 Enotria&Coe

Jean-Marc Brocard, Domaine Ste Claire, Organic, Chablis 2017, Burgundy, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A good example, both refreshing and linear,’ began team leader Jade Koch, finding ‘blossom and hints of peach, but remaining steely to the finish, too’. In addition, Yohann Pinol of Wiltons liked its ‘elegant fruit and freshness, with good minerality’.

£15.91 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Julien Brocard, La Boissonneuse, Chablis 2017, Burgundy, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Classic Chablis, with a fresh and dry profile, and with a citrus note, too,’ began Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, while Roka Aldwych’s Edgaras Kazokaitis enjoyed ‘mineral notes and fresh kiwi fruit, leading to a very refreshing palate with dominant citrus flavours’.

£18.06 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Albert Bichot, l'Orangerie du Château, Chablis 2014, Burgundy, France

Commended medal winner

£11.50 Fuller's

Domaine Laroche, Vieille Voye, Chablis 2016, Burgundy, France

Commended medal winner

£21.10 Liberty Wines

 

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