That classic tasting note for benchmark, top-quality Chablis – precise, linear, the scent of sea-washed shingle – could have been composed with the wines of Louis Michel in mind. That much overused tasting note descriptor, ‘minerality’, truly applies here. These are wines for the true Chablis lover from a producer who turned his back on oak in the 1970s and has stuck to those principles ever since. Sample the leesy, roundly nutty complexity of wines such as the remarkable Grand Cru Les Clos and you’ll see why. What could oak possibly add? Guillaume Gicqueau-Michel, the sixth generation of the Michel family to manage the estate established in 1850, applies the same principles of minimal intervention and precise expression to every wine in the range, from Petit Chablis up to Grand Cru.
The grapes come from eight different areas, which are mainly located on the left bank of the Serein river, Pargues in the Forêts valley, and Vaillons. They are blended with the parcel located just below the Montée de Tonnerre, to create this authentic Chablis. The vines are located right in the heart of the historic vineyard area.
No added yeast is used in the creation of this Chablis. It undergoes a long fermentation using indigenous yeasts, in temperature-controlled vats. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur. The wine is matured for 6 to 10 months in stainless steel tanks, with the least possible handling. After this there is a long moderately cold stabilisation. Before the wine is bottled, fining using bentonite is carried out, but only if necessary. The wine is also gently filtered once before bottling.
Serve between 12 and 14°c. It will reveal notes of white fruit such as peach, with a mineral structure. In the mouth, a stony sensation complements this pure, rounded wine.
Can be enjoyed on its own but it is also the great partner to grilled fish, white meat and seafood.