Chablis: Part 2

My top ten producers in the region.

Billaud – Simon

Quai de Reugny, BP 46, 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 10 33 Fax: 03 86 42 48 77

A top family producer established in 1815 making excellent, mainly unoaked Chablis under the careful direction of Samuel Billaud. The estate owns several Grand Cru and Premier vineyards, around 20 hectares. The wines have a distinctive minerally, supple, ripe fruit character and great definition and structure. Although the wines are not cheap they still represent brilliant value when compared to the wines of Meursault and Montrachet in the Côte de Beaune.

Jean – Marc Brocard

Jean-Marc Brocard 3 Route de Chablis, Prehy, 89900 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 41 49 00 Fax: 03 86 41 49 49

In 1974 Jean-Marc Brocard had just a single hectare of vines, now he has over 135 hectares, 4o of which are managed biodynamically. He makes classic, steely Chablis that is minerally and elegant rather than rich and powerful. The best wines are undoubtedly his Premier and Grand Crus, which are not overpriced at all. They should never be drunk too young (4 years is the minimum).

Rene et Vincent Dauvissat

Rene et Vincent Dauvissat, 8 Rue Emile Zola, 89800, Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 11 58 Fax: 03 86 42 85 32

The Dauvissat family has a long and proud tradition of wine-making in the region, going back centuries. Vincent’s grandfather started bottling wine in the 1930’s, almost all their vineyards are either Premier or Grand Cru. These are some of the most elegant, stylish and powerful wines in Chablis. As you might expect–they don’t come cheap! The wines can also be in short supply, as they are always snapped up by top London and Parisian restaurants.

Daniel-Etienne Defaix

Daniel-Etienne Defaix and family, 8 Rue Auxerroise, BP 50, 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 42 05 Fax: 03 86 42 48 56

A very old estate in Chablis, even recent history relating to the property goes back to the 18th century. Their reputation rests with three Premier Crus of 4 hectares each, almost half the estates total of 26 hectares. The wines are generally very good and can be drunk soon after their delayed release but will keep for longer!

William Fevre

Joseph Henriot (Champagne) 21 Avenue d’Oberwesel 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 98 98 98 Fax: 03 86 98 98 94

William Fevre is one of the Chablis stalwarts; they have an unrivalled collection of Premier and Grand Crus–combining both outstanding quality and significant quantity. The use of new oak is now perfectly judged and the wines are all the better for it. A totally reliable source of excellent Chablis.

Domaine Laroche

Michel Laroche, L’Obediencerie, 22 Rue Louis Bro 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 89 00 Fax: 03 86 42 89 29

Michel Laroche is a major player in Chablis–a man unafraid of controversy. His decision to bottle Grand Cru Chablis with screw-caps in 2002 met with snorts of derision from the traditionalist camps–he has since been vindicated! The wines are some of the best in Chablis, supple and gently creamy. The Grand Crus are particularly impressive. All however show great form in recent vintages.

Louis Michel et Fils

Jean – Loup Michel 9 Boulevard de Ferrieres, BP 40, 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 88 55 Fax: 03 86 42 88 56

Fifth generation Jean-Loup Michel has made the wines here in recent years but the estates reputation was established by his father, Louis Michel, who died in 1998.  A great deal of the wines are exported to the UK and are held in great esteem. They use no oak in the wines and as a result their Chablis shows great terroir definition, with an elegant and understated quality. At their best these are excellent Chablis and reasonably priced.

Domaine Christian Moreau

Christian Moreau family, 16 Avenue d’Oberwesel, 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 86 34 Fax: 03 86 42 84 62

One of the youngest estates in Chablis, Christian Moreau has wasted no time since setting up operations in 2000–very good results since 2002. All the grapes are hand-picked and the new oak is kept to a minimum for the Premier and Grand Crus. Christian’s son Favian is the man behind the wines, and very talented he is, too!

Louis Moreau

Louis Moreau, 10 Grande Rue, Beines, 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 87 20 Fax: 03 86 42 45 59

Louis and Anne Moreau control a vast amount of land in Chablis, 120 hectares including the 50 hectare Domaine Louis Moreau but also the separate estates of Domaine de Biéville and Domaine du Cèdre Doré. All the wines are vinified in stainless steel, quite austere when young but they mature into beautiful, complex wines. The Premier Crus need at least 5 years age.

Domaine Raveneau

Jean –Marie and Bernard Raveneau, 9 Rue de Chichee, 89800 Chablis

Tel: 03 86 42 17 46 Fax: 03 86 42 45 55

If we had to choose one producer of Chablis as our favourite, this would be it! They make outstanding Chablis from just 7.5 hectares of Premier and Grand Cru sites. All the grapes are hand picked and no two wines are quite the same–quality is high even in weak vintages.

Top 5 vintages in the last 10 years

2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009

James Lawrence

James Lawrence is a self confessed wine obsessive, passionate about discovering and promoting the lesser known wines and wine regions of the world. He is a frequent contributor to and runs an interactive, community led wine forum, In 2004, he went to study in Bilbao, Northern Spain. Luckily for him, the famous wine region of Rioja was just over an hour away by car. He began to spend a great deal of time there, visiting the wineries in Rioja and speaking to local wine makers. Their passion for the subject and their pride in the wines was infectious. He began to realise what an amazing subject wine is and how wide and complex the world of wine could be. Subsequently James moved into wine retail while finishing his degree, and was hooked. James also enjoys food and travel writing - he lives for Italian and Thai cuisine!

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