Family-Made Chablis at an Excellent Value

Today’s Story: Domaine Vocoret et Fils

Domaine Vocoret et Fils is a family-owned and operated domain, established in Chablis in 1870 by Edouard Vocoret. Today Domaine Vocoret is under guide of the fourth generation of the family, and their holdings are quite impressive at around 40 hectares of sustainably-farmed vineyards. Of these holdings, roughly 16 hectares are Village level, 17 hectares are 1er Cru, and 4 hectares are the Grand Crus of Les Clos, Blanchot, Valmur, and Vaudésir with the balance Petit Chablis. Though Vocoret invested in modern and high quality winemaking equipment, the production of their wines remains very traditional for Chablis. Grapes are hand-sorted before heading to the pneumatic press, and after fermentation the wines head into stainless steel for aging to preserve their fresh fruit and vibrancy (though the 1er and Grand Crus do see some new oak which is becoming more popular in Chablis today).

Today’s Wine: 2018 Chablis

100% Chardonnay; 12.5% ABV

The 2018 Chablis is transparent pale gold in color. Given some time to blossom in the glass, the aromas are of pronounced intensity with the nose showcasing notes of crisp green apple, lemon, unripe pear, white florals, flint, gunsmoke, wet river stone, and dill. Meanwhile on the palate, which is of medium intensity, I get notes of green apple, lime zest, quince, white peach, chalk, dried green herbs, and white pepper. This dry Chablis is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, and a long finish.

Price: $25. This offers very, very good value for Chablis and Chardonnay as a whole. There is a beautiful and crisp purity of fruit here for its young age and price-point, and the lip-smacking acidity is gorgeous. I’m excited to try more of the Vocoret wines in the near future.

Mouthwatering Village Level Chablis

Today’s Story: Domaine Moreau-Naudet

Domaine Moreau-Naudet is a small estate located in the Chablis region of northern Burgundy. Though Moreau-Naudet has been a family-run domaine for quite some time, it was 1999 when Stéphane Moreau joined his father and drastically shifted the winemaking practices. Stéphane transitioned to fully organic viticulture alongside biodynamic practices, started harvesting his vineyards completely by hand, and practiced a minimal intervention winemaking style that includes natural yeast fermentation, slow élevage in large oak barrels, and minimal added sulphur. Stéphane was a nonconformist for Chablis in this sense, and took significant inspiration from Vincent Dauvissat, Didier Dagueneau, and Nadi Foucault. Sadly, Stéphane passed away incredibly too young (in his upper 40s) in 2016 and the future of the domaine fell to questioning. Shortly thereafter, however, Stéphane’s wife Virginie and his assistant winemaker displayed great adeptness by stepping in and remaining steadfast to Stéphane’s philosophy and style then and to this day.

Today’s Wine: 2017 Chablis

100% Chardonnay; 12.5% ABV

The 2017 Chablis is medium gold in color with water white variation near the rim. Give this 30 minutes to an hour to open up and you will be handsomely rewarded. The nose showcases aromas of white peach, lemon peel, stone fruit, summer melon, honeysuckle, and chalky mineral. On the palate, I get notes of lemon zest, baked pineapple, quince, green apple skins, white florals, flint, and saline mineral. This is medium-bodied with vibrant high acidity and a well-rounded mouthfeel into a long, mouthwatering finish. While the wine doesn’t have as much depth as I was hoping for, its precision makes up for that and makes me excited to try it again in a few years.

Price: $35 (though you can find this cheaper, especially in Europe). This is a great value and it’s hard to believe this is a village wine thanks to its finesse and precision. Would love to try this again in a few years. Pair with oysters, snails with garlic butter, or gougères.