Domaine de L'Enclos, Chablis Grand Cru 'Vaudésir' 2017
This is one of the most exciting new domaines to have emerged from Chablis in the past decade. It is ‘new’ in that it is a name we’ve not seen before, but the family of Romain and Damien Bouchard has been in Chablis for generations. Their father had a negociant business and their mother’s family own vineyards, the majority of which are cultivated organically. The vinification cellar is five metres underground and is spotlessly clean and modern, comprised primarily of small, stainless steel tanks. The small tanks ensure they can vinify the various parcels they have in their vineyards separately.
The grapes for `Vaudésir` are sourced from a 0.56-hectare single vineyard, which was re-planted in 1991 around a hill, providing the vineyard both north and south exposure. The soils are Kimmeridgian clay and limestone. Domaine de L'Enclos are converting to organic viticulture, thus use only organic fertilisers in the vineyards, and the grapes are hand harvested.
The 2017 vintage began with a cold, dry and sunny winter. For the second year in a row, the vines in Chablis were hit by a terrible frost at the end of April, which seriously reduced yields across the region. Domaine de L'Enclos lit fires throughout their affected vineyards in an effort to mediate the damage to their crop. A problem-free flowering period at the end of May, followed by a warm and sunny summer allowed the remaining grapes to reach optimum ripeness levels and they were harvested at the beginning of September.
The grapes were pressed using a pneumatic press into temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks for alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. Only natural indigenous yeasts were used during this process. The wine spent 12 months ageing on its lees in oak barrels, aged between one to five years-old, before being bottled.
This wine was made from grapes located in the south-facing vineyards, which has resulted in a wine that is opulent with very ripe citrus aromas. It is approachable with a long and complex finish.