2018 1er Cru Vaillons Domaine Moreau-Naudet
(30% barrel-aged) This is leaner than the Pargues, with a more restrained tenser feel. Neat and compact. Some apple crunch and then sweeter notes too add depth to the fruit core. The whole feel is of more measure and the weight is steady, immaculate balance. Less flashy perhaps - but serious and charming. Intense fruit and green herbs too. Then saline, seashore elements. Cool and delicious. L&S (Nov 2019)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2018 Chablis Vaillons 1er Cru is another wine in this range with quite a bit of promise. Exotic and tropical, with terrific depth, the 2018 has a lot to offer, even if it is clearly an adolescent today. Rating: 90-93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jan 2020)
Cask sample. Slightly less dramatic than the Forêt but still beautifully sculpted. Bravo! Drinking range: 2026 - 2040 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2020)
A domaine of 25 hectares, of which 3 are in Petit Chablis, 11 or 12 in Chablis, 3 in Vaillons, 2 in Forets, 1.6 in Montmains, 0.86 in Montée de Tonnerre, and 0.58 in Valmur. (Yes, this does not make 25 - there are further parcels of young vines in the Courgis sector - Beauregards, Côte de Jouan and Goulotte, which are currently sold in bulk).
Virginie (Mimi) Moreau is proving more than equal to the task of taking over from her husband Stéphane. Stéphane, who was influenced by Vincent Dauvissat (who recommended him to us many years ago, and who remains an influence here) was vigneron whose star burned very brightly, and the domaine continues along the lines he set, working organically, hand-picking, aiming for optimum maturity while avoiding any botrytis influence.
The cellar-work is also masterful, using 30% barrel-élevage for all the Premier and the Grand Cru, but not in such a way that oakiness can readily be detected in the wines (all the barrels are steamed rather than charred and there is no new oak except for in the straight Chablis, and then only one barrel per 100hl in order to age it prior to using for the Premiers Crus).
Virginie is now really totally confident in her role here, and the wines here, full of racy character, textural depth and complexity, seem to be better with every vintage.
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