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.
Located halfway up the slope in the heart of the appellation, the Domaine’s vineyards benefit from southern exposure and enjoy optimum sunshine. This results in wines with great power and complexity. When the monks of Pontigny began growing the first vines in this extraordinary place they were certainly not mistaken!
This wine is made using no added yeast. It undergoes a long fermentation using indigenous yeasts, in temperature-controlled vats. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation is then allowed to occur. The wine is matured for a minimum of 18 months in stainless steel tanks, with the least possible handling. Long moderately cold stabilisation. Before bottiling the wine undergoes fining using bentonite, but only if necessary. The wine is gently filtered once before bottling.
Grand Cru Les Clos may seem austere and virile at ﬁrst. But it is actually very expressive on the palate, with dominant mineral aromas, complemented by white pepper and nutmeg notes.