2021 Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis “Les Vieilles Vignes de Saint Claire” White Burgundy, France.
The greenish pale gold colored 2021 Les Vieilles Vignes de Saint Claire Chablis by Brocard is bright and steely with quiet fruitiness, saline, oyster shell and light bodied, making it a lovely refreshing Summer wine that gains dimension and depth with air and time in the glass, rounding out and filling in textural pleasure with food especially. I hadn’t expected the total package to impress as much as this vintage does, after the hedonistic nature of 2020, which certainly over shadows these latest releases, but there is good thrills here and this wine for the money is a solid buy. The palate is zesty and energy packed with lime, green apple, tart peach and crisp pear fruits, accented by wet rock, clove spice, a touch of florals and finishes with lip smacking chalky notes. With warmth and a meal, there is a faint sense of creaminess and a touch of hazelnut, it is as pure as it gets and it’s terroir and Chablis identity never waiver for a second. Over the years I have been drawn to a select group of wines in the Brocard collection, with this one being one, along with their beautiful Montée de Tonnerre Premier Cru, plus the unique and rare Vat de Vey, this one typically way over delivers, along with the chiseled and powerful Valmur and Les Clos Grand Crus.
Domaine Jean Marc Brocard’s wines are filled with intensity and class, pure expressions of terroir and the house’s personality, which is humble and elegant. It was a great pleasure to meet the man and taste the wines back in 2013, and ten years later the wines still shine, his clear vision and the focus of the Chablis he crafts is near perfection and his wines are a great value for the quality on offer, especially with current pricing of Burgundy, and of Chablis. Brocard, which farms all organic since 1997, and now has converted to biodynamics in their own parcels, has some fabulous holdings in Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru, with this Saint Claire plot being 100% biodynamic. This old vine vineyard was planted about 70 years ago and is set on the classic Kimmeridgian limestone soils, which gives this wine its intensity and concentration, and even in lighter vintages, the wines are expressive and offer quality a step above the norm, as this 2021 shows! Now with Jean-Marc’s son Julien in charge, who stepped in beside his father in 1997, the domaine has gone from strength to strength, employing more biodynamic practices and adding a extra degree of attention on transparency, which you can see and taste in the recent releases here. Most of the wines here are 100% stainless steel fermented and aged with no need of oak, except in a couple of the wines, but not here on the Les Vieilles Vignes de Saint Claire, which reveals in its clarity of form.
($39 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive