2021 Domaine Jean Collet, Chablis AC, 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 the 2020 Montmains Premier Cru, maybe my favorite, showing an appealing subtle profile and intense mineral core, while the Vaillons was more showy, concentrated or extroverted in the same vintage, and this regular Chablis AC from the 2021 vintage showing well, though it was a touch greener and less flamboyanet, but classic in the purist sense. The mineral driven, brisk and lime led 2021 Jean Collet Chablis AC by Romain Collet delivers a vibrant medium bodied palate with green apple, tart peach, lemon and pear fruits along with wet stone, saline, zesty herbs, chalky oyster shell and reductive match stick or hazelnut note. It’s widely known that Romain Collet, has turned this domaine into a star property, by putting new ideas to the test in the cellar and the vineyards, he employs now natural (indigenous) yeast fermentations, with his vines seeing exclusively organic and biodynamic farming practices, all of which has made huge improvements to the wines. The terroir influences come from the combination of Kimmeridgian limestone marls and Portlandian limestone scree with various topsoil mixtures of clay and rocks derived from the limestone bedrock, which Collet’s importer, The Source says is classically Burgundian in general bedrock type and topsoil constitution in their unique parcels, especially in this regular Chablis AC bottling. This wine is nicely tension filled, but has a rounded texture that makes for a wine of substance and it is a terrific bargain, as prices of quality small lot Chablis have been going up rapidly in recent years with all the hail and frost damage in the region, driving up demand.

Jean Collet started Domaine Collet in 1954, as I’ve noted in prior reviews, 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. The vineyards for this wine, according to the domaine, are principally come from Villy, located in the north of the appellation, followed by a north-facing section on the Montmains (1er Cru) hill facing the Vaillons main face, inside the Vallée du Valvent, Préhy and the Valley de Chigot, that all have kimmeridgian limestone marl bedrock and clay topsoil elements. The Chablis AC sees only stainless steel ferments, with cold temperature control, and aging with mainly native yeasts, though sometimes a selected culture is needed to finish some lots and there is no lees stirring, though the wine does complete malo-lactic, and is bottled with light filtration. This value packed 2021 is a vibrant treat to enjoy over the coming 3 to 5 years and is especially good with creamy soft cheeses and or seafoods.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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