The 2017 Chablis ‘Vieilles Vignes’ is a wine produced from 55 year old vines planted by Sebastien Christophe’s grandfather in the commune of Fontenay-près-Chablis. It has more depth and concentration than the regular Chablis and finishes with lovely precision.
Sebastien Christophe is a name that I had been hearing for quite some time from some of the growers that I work with whenever the subject of Chablis came up. The Domaine Christophe is only 9 years old and founded with vines inherited by his Grandfather. Despite being such a young estate the quality and exacting nature of his work has meant that his wines are eagerly sought out and quickly sold out despite him being completely unknown by the media. His success has come completely by word of mouth.
As a man Sebastien is energetic and quizzical, perhaps even restless but it is easy to see he has that special 'je ne sais quoi' found in all the best winemakers. Every aspect of his viticulture and vinification is thought out and effected with precision. There is nuance and fine detail in his wines that pleases the toughest connoisseurs and they are nicely concentrated thanks to Sebastien's understanding of the importance of low yields.
The wines of Domaine Christophe all display classic Chablis notes of shells and green apples on the nose, along with a pretty, underlying hint of white flower and lemon. It's the kind of bright nose that gives the drinker an intimation of the acidity and tension that will follow on the palate, which is indeed nervy but also generous with an appealing balance of flavours offset by a rocky, shell-y harmony. The wine finishes with the sort of mouth-coating minerality and mouth-watering citrusy acidity that makes Chablis a favourite amongst lovers of wines that truly reflect their terroir.