Alain Geoffroy Chablis: A quality report.

Posted on: October 13th, 2016 by Andrew No Comments

A quick trip to Mâçon offerred the opportunity for a stop-off in Beins to visit Chablis producer Alain Geoffroy, with whom we have worked for 5 years. Met in a sunny courtyard of the now sprawling Geoffroy estate by Pascal Sailley, the export manager, we were whisked off on a little tour of the winery. Geoffroy is not a big estate but houses in its chais the modern panoply of winemaking equipment, facilititating the reliability and drinkability of this Northern Burgundian wine, which is often, like this year, very much at the mercy of the weather. After a petit tour, where we saw the equipment being washed down after the completion of the rather meagre harvest, we were shown their piece de resistence – the largest collection of corscrews and wine paraphenalia in France , the Musee de Tire Bouchon. This was extraodinary; rooms and rooms of cabinets stuffed with corkscrews of every size, shape and vintage. This was quite a surprise and not what one normally gets on a winebuyers winery tour. Some pictures below to give a bit of an idea

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Once the tour was over, the serious business began. Discussing the state of the Chablis 2016 harvest and tasting the previous two or three vintages.

As you may be aware, Chablis was hit badly by hail in June, with most producers losing most of their 2016 crop. Geoffroy is down by 2/3rds, but some have lost nearly everything. This means that there will be very little, if any, wine for sale next year. Geoffroy has customers in 30 countries as well as France, so the little they have will be spread very thin. For us in the UK, the so far tangible result of the referendum in june is the collapsing value of the pound, so what little we get will also be much more expensive. As to the quality, the rest of the season was good so the wine should also be of good quality, but we wont know for sure until next spring. If Pascal mentioned it, I missed it.

But what about the wines, you say; well as usual they were stunning. We tasted a range from the 15 vintage going back to 2012 as follows:-

Petit Chablis 15 – tight, crisp, very fresh, medium bodied with lively fruit. V good

Chablis 15 (in UK stock now) Rich and very ripe, almost opulent and rounded. Dry full and long. Not quite classic Chablis but v drinkable.

Chablis 15 Vieille Vignes (50/50 barrel and Stainless Steel) – Lively and rich with the ripeness of the straight chablis with a layer of young oak under. Still unbalanced but should develop complexity with bottle age. Lovely wine

Chablis Premier Cru Vau Ligneau 15 – This is more classic Chablis. Long, clean, racy flinty and dry. Elegant and sinewy, this is superb.

Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy 15 – Powerful much broader wine, rich long and still a little closed.

Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy 14 – fantastic, complex, dry, long superbly balanced wine. Still tight and flinty on the finish. Delicious

Chablis Premier Cru Vau Ligneau 12 – Ripe, layered, dry , full, long with tight minerally fruit. Again elegant and stylish

Chablis Grand Crus Les Clos 13 – This is very ripe and extracted with loads of oak and fruit. A little too Burgundian for me – I prefer stainless steel!

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