2020 Domaine Jean Collet, Chablis Premier Cru, Montmains, White Burgundy, France.
Each one of the three Collet Chablis wines I tried recently were outstanding bottles, but totally different and distinct in character, with this 2021 Montmains Premier Cru, maybe my favorite, showing an appealing subtle profile and intense mineral core, while the Vaillons was more showy or extroverted in the same vintage, and the regular Chablis AC from the 2021 vintage was greener and less concentrated, but classic in the purist sense. Enjoying this Montmains, which gave a real sense of vintage and place, I loved the slightly austere stony medium bodied palate that had an array of citrus, green apple and orchard pit fruits along with oyster shell, clove spice, wet chalky rock notes and a touch of lees richness. It will likely age well too, as the vintage looks set to be thrilling one for Burgundy and especially Chablis, from what I’ve tried so far and the Cru wines have been exceptional with an extra degree of depth, with this wine, with its full malo and delicately creaminess being one to look for. The Collet family is a long time Chablis family and have some great sites, that were accumulated over hundreds of years, to work with and that pedigree shows in the latest set of wines, with the Montmains being five separate organic plots that are picked and vinified to made one complex and delicious Chardonnay.
Jean Collet started Domaine Collet in 1954 and led the family business, which dates back to about 1792, before turning over to his son Gilles, who turn handed it over to current vigneron and winemaker Romain, a star in the region and has raised the game at this once little known estate. Romain changed just about everything here, he brought completely fresh ideas to this historic winery including conversion to organic and biodynamic farming and all natural fermentations. There has been a huge jump in quality and expression here since 2008, when Gilles let Romain loose in the vines and the cellar and these 2020s and 2021s are some of the best yet that I’ve had. Collet has some quality parcels, Valmur and Les Clos Grand Crus being the big stars obviously, but their selection of the 1er Crus, Montée de Tonnerre, Vaillons, Montmains, Butteaux and Forêts are all fabulous and Romain treats each one with its own special care and winemaking techniques. For this Montmains, located on the left bank of the Serein River which has parcels that are almost purely Kimmeridgian limestone marl rock and a thin topsoil with next to no clay content, Romain chose to use no wood at all, it is 100% stainless steel fermentation, with the native yeasts, and aging. This vintage saw 11 months on the lees in temperature controlled tank, and as mentioned it went through malo-lactic for texture, and bottled with a light fining and filtration to capture its best elements, as proved here.
($48 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive