2018 Val de Mer, Chablis AOC, White Burgundy, France.
The flinty and stylish 2018 Val de Mer has more palate depth and length you’d normally expect in a basic cuvee making it a real solid value and a tasty Chablis to stock up on. Val de Mer is a partnership between François Moutard of Moutard Champagne, who bought an old winery and vineyards near Chablis and star winemaker Patrick Piuze, who’s own label is taking off in the wine world and who has spent the last decade making wines in Chablis for serious estates includes the likes of Olivier Leflaive, Verget, and Jean‐Marc Brocard. The lineup of Val de Mer includes a great selection of sparkling and still wines with exceptional entry level bottlings, like this one, as well as some fine Premier Crus, plus a very limited Grand Cru offering, with the non dosage Brut being a favorite of mine. The Chablis AOC is 100% Chardonnay and all stainless tank fermented and aged using sustainable and mostly organic methods in the vines with Piuze saying the location and vines at Val de Mer give these wines their own personality and this vintage shows a a ripe profile and a lovely textural or supple feel while still being deliciously fresh and vibrant. This is a no brainer for those looking for a bargain in Chablis, it is sublime with food and very nice as an aperitif, providing steely comfort.
I love all of Patrick’s wines and have done so for a few vintages now, but missed out on some the still wines at Val de Mer until recently so getting to enjoy this new release was a good reminder not to miss them. Made exclusively for the US market these Val de Mer offer a ton of quality for the price and are easier to find than the rare self label Piuze stuff and then there is the fabulous bubbly too, all of the Chablis show fantastic purity and expressive mineral driven character. These terroir focused wines, especially the Petit Chablis and the Chablis AOC have traditional zingy acidity and are great expressions of the ancient limestone soils with the mentioned flinty notes, oyster shells and stony elements with the Chablis AOC getting a richer and more expanded palate. The layers in this Chablis by Piuze and Val de Mer, which comes from three parcels, Des Couverts (village of Chablis), Prehy (near Courgis), and Lignorelles, include meyer lemon, green apple, Asian pear and tart, but fleshy peach (stone fruit and pit) fruits that mingle perfectly with the flavor accents above as noted, along with a touch of saline, and the Val de Mer performs with joyous precision in the glass. Be sure to get some of this well crafted Chablis, it is sure to put a smile on your face, drink up.
($30 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive