Richly textured on the attack, supple citrus, and baked apple fruit flavors are underscored by mouthwatering Chablisien-like saline minerality.
On the rare occasion in Burgundy when the weather cooperates and producers describe their village-level Chardonnays as drinking like Premier Cru or even Grand Cru Burgundy — our ears perk up. Today’s 2015 Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis AOC is a wine that precisely fits this description.
For centuries one of the region’s most dominant producers, Long-Depaquit owns large swaths of Chablis’ prized vineyards. The estate’s historic legacy dates back to the early 12th century, when monks at the Abbey of Pontigny first began cultivating grapes on the land. In 1780, brothers Jean and Simon Depaquit purchased the abbey’s vineyards, including the already famous site “La Moutonne.”
The domaine remained in the Depaquit family for nearly 200 years and was eventually purchased by the Beaune-based négociant, Albert Bichot, in 1968. Bichot immediately began expanding the domaine’s holdings in Chablis and strived to make Long-Depaquit a trusted name in Chablis. It was a slow and steady growth over many decades and people have noticed — most notably, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which has praised the domaine for churning out “the most distinctive and age-worthy (white Burgundy) wines” in Chablis.
The 2015 growing season got off to a warmer-than-expected March, followed by a fairly mild April. May and June ushered in hot, sunny days — flowering was quick and potential yields looked plentiful.
Then, in late June, storm clouds rolled in and a burst of violent hailstorms reduced yields throughout Burgundy. Yet fruit set had been so good in the spring, the damage wasn’t a game-changer. The rest of the season went off without a hitch. A hot and dry July stressed the vines, as sugars concentrated and flavors developed. Growers rejoiced in a typical Burgundian August, with intermittent cleansing rains, cool breezes, and milder temperatures that allowed tough grape-skins to soften and flavors to concentrate, while acids retained a healthy freshness through to harvest at the end of the month.
Looking back at the best Burgundy vintages since the new millennium, the 2015s are on par with 2005 and 2009, when similarly hot temperatures yielded Chablis AOC that behaved more like Premier Cru and Grand Cru Chablis — fuller bodied wines, with fleshy, opulent-fruit character.
Writing in Vinous, Stephen Tanzer wrote that “a high percentage of 2015s will give great early pleasure,” urging buyers to consider drinking them “before the more taut, minerally 2014s.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate came away from a recent tasting gobsmacked, reminded that “Albert Bichot’s more recent releases can offer as much complexity and soul as cultish vignerons up and down the Côte d’Or.” None more so than the 2015 Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis, which Allen Meadows of Burghound praised for the “excellent richness to the very round, supple and succulent flavors.”
In 2015, winemaker Matthieu Mangenot crafted a stunning white Burgundy that possess the richness of a Premier Cru Chablis. Crystalline lemon-gold color. Precise aromas of white flowers, lemon peel, and hints of flinty mineral notes. Richly textured on the attack, supple citrus, and baked apple fruit flavors are underscored by mouthwatering Chablisien-like saline minerality. A lengthy finish is tinged with whispers of crushed almonds.
Absolutely what I look for in a Chardonnay: vibrant fruit but with a lean structure and a sense of the mineral quality of the soil where it was grown. Excellent wine.
Spent a few days in Chablis two years ago to refresh my memory about the beautiful hillsides of Kimmeridgian limestone soils. The 2014 Petit Chablis and village wines were just becoming available for tasting so too early for 2015's. Based on review on the quality of 2015 this one came along and has been terrific. Not fancy, not simple, well priced, lots of crisp, steely character. The first bottle accompanied a dozen Maine oysters. It's what this wine is made for.
Rich and pure, balanced by good acidity. Very nice! I'm drinking this before the 2014, and look forward to tasting that wine.
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