Full Pull Baby Raveneau?

Hello friends. Chablis from Bernard Raveneau are among the most sought-after unicorns in the world of wine. Expensive, unavailable; you know the drill.

And no, we don’t have any Raveneau to offer today. But we do have a pretty damned good alternative: the Chablis project that Raveneau’s long-time import partner, Kermit Lynch, initiated, and that has Raveneau’s fingerprints all over it. Better yet, it’s three years past vintage, and Chablis only gets more compelling with time in bottle. And better still: we negotiated a deal to buy out all the remaining stock in Seattle, at a price that allows us to offer the wine at the lowest price I can find nationally:

2012 Domaine Costal Chablis Les Truffieres

Kermit Lynch is an American treasure, and a wine like this is a great example of why. It’s his combination of palate and penmanship that I so admire. To wit, here is Lynch writing about this wine: The Domaine Costal Chablis “Truffières” is a unique KLWM collaboration that stems from our long relationship with Bernard Raveneau.  In addition to his busy full-time job at his namesake
domaine, Bernard manages to find the time to take on a few consulting projects in and around Chablis.  One of these projects was helping us purchase a cuve of great Chablis from Domaine Costal, the second label of the well-known Domaine Jean Collet, a family domaine since 1792.  The project began with a simple barrel tasting with Kermit and Bernard and led to the creation of a custom label, a new cuvée, and a custom vinification and bottling process driven by Bernard. The end result was a great new terroir-driven white Burgundy for our customers. The Chablis comes from a single vineyard site called Truffières, or truffles. We decided to use the name of the parcel on the label, which had never been done by the domaine in the past.

The parcel has been worked organically for many years. Kermit and Bernard Raveneau together agree on a blend of stainless steel, foudre, and barrel vinifications. Our bottling is not filtered or cold-stabilized — a true rarity in Chablis. The combined skill of Collet and Raveneau and the excellent terroir of Truffières combine to give us a wine of extraordinary purity and finesse.  There is no mistaking it – one taste and you are in Chablis territory: zesty minerality, wet stone, freshness and nervosity.  And is that a hint of black truffle in the bouquet?  Tasting the three vintages that have resulted from this collaboration, we all noticed an “elusive” suggestion of divine black truffles.   Maybe that is why the vineyard parcel has been called “Truffières” for so long.

It has been awhile since we’ve included our primer on Chablis. If you already know the Chablis story, feel free to skip a few paragraphs ahead. Chablis is the northernmost part of Burgundy, so far north that it is frequently left off Burgundy wine maps altogether, so far north that it is as close to the Champagne region as it is to greater Burgundy. And in fact, stylistically, Chardonnay from Chablis falls somewhere on the spectrum between Champagne and traditional white Burgundy. The fruit gets ripe enough for still wine (unlike even colder, screaming-acid Champagne), but not so ripe that it can handle the new wood that is frequently used in the Maconnais (some Grand Cru and Premier Cru Chablis does see a little new oak, but the proportion is rarely very high).

But Chablis is not just ordinary high-acid unoaked Chardonnay. Its soil is special, unique. The Kimmeridgean soil that underlays much of Chablis is a combination of clay, limestone, and marine fossil (mostly oyster). There are also chalk veins similar to what is found in Champagne. Rarely is a specific terroir more clearly expressed through its wines. In Chablis, that means the famous flinty, steely notes associated with Chardonnay from this region.

Now Americans have had a… how do I say this… tricky relationship with Chablis. The worst atrocity we’ve perpetrated on the region is, of course, this. Yikes. It’s no wonder there remains some brand confusion about what exactly Chablis is, and while that’s sad for Les Chablisiennes, it has had the consumer-friendly impact of suppressing prices on this lovely category of Chardonnay.

This particular wine is a fine entry point into what makes legitimate Chablis so compelling. The fruit (apple, lemon) plays supporting roles to the star player of flinty, savory minerality. Lynch says truffles. I’m not so sure, but there’s definitely something smoky/savory/naughty going on here, and it’s dazzling. So too the texture, which is textbook Chablis: all nervous energy, tensile strength. The finish is salty and mouthwatering, inviting the next sip of this honest, expressive beauty.

Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: