Vintages since 2010
To the very end, 2021 has been a trying year for winemakers. Ever since the April freeze, made worse by a too-early start of the growth of the vines, right to harvest time, harsh changes in weather have imposed their tempo.
The capricious weather in July and early August led to the development of a few disease sites, which fortunately were limited in scope thanks to the efforts of the winemakers and the return of dry weather in August. The winemaking must be very precise.
The tension in the wines, a hallmark of Chablis, is indeed present, having been preserved by rather cool weather. The vintage, then, is historically low in volume, but classic in its profile.
An early yet classic vintage. It all began with a warm and wet winter, budburst took place during the second half of March. Then came the summer, hot and dry. The lack of rain limited the size of the individual grapes and thus the overall yield at harvest. 2020 was an early vintage. It was also a classic vintage that produced wines offering good balance and the characteristic vigor of Chablis wines.
A vintage with two distinct phases: Cold then hot. The buds began to emerge early in the season, then overnight frosts struck several times until May. Warm weather and drought conditions then settled in with temperatures above 40°C and scarcely any rain until the end of the harvests. When picking began, the vines were in good health but the bunches had a great deal of millerandage and the grapes were on the small side. Surprisingly, the acidity was maintained and balance was good.
This vintage was a gift from heaven after two small harvests. It combined volume and quality and put a smile back on winemakers’ faces. Heavy winter rains allowed the water reserves to replenish. Growth started early, but the vines were spared any spring frosts. The weather was then favorable for the development of the vines, with a warm and dry summer that posed no problem thanks to the water reserves in the ground. The wines are complex, expressive and generous, with a good freshness.
This early vintage was also hit by nights of frost in the spring which affected the volume harvested. Summer was overcast and damp, but fortunately was followed by a perfect September, that was neither too warm not too wet. This vintage shows nice balance, combining richness and crispness.
A vintage characterized by meteorological ups and downs throughout the season. Although volumes were modest, the fruit was of good quality. A clement month of September once again brought concentration and balance to the grapes. Slow ripening resulted in healthy fruit that was ripe down to the pips. The wines have a good acidic framework which will allow them to age well.
A very sunny spring suggested an early vintage, confirmed by a long hot and dry period in summer. A bout of rain in early August helped stave off any major hydric stress and the vines could continue ripening. One episode of hail on 1 September prompted winemakers to start picking before the roots could pump the water present in the ground. The result is a vintage that is generous without being heavy, with a nice acidity that recalls the 2005 vintage.
Flowering took place in favorable hot and dry conditions. The summer that followed was mediocre and winemakers expected slow maturation. September delivered textbook late-season winemaking weather, with an anticyclone bringing hot, dry days and cool nights. Quality was good across the board. A superb vintage which winemakers compare to 1996 and 2002 for its acidic structure.
A vintage notable for an unsettled, damp spring, which meant a lot of work and attention. The vines were struggling from the start of the growth cycle, and shatter was widespread. Summer was not great either, and brought with it lots of millerandage. Yields were drastically down for the whole appellation. However, it was a ripe vintage with moderate acidity.
A capricious yet appealing vintage. Spring and early summer were a mixed bag, but the situation improved at the end of August. Ripeness was a long time coming, the grapes ripening in overcast conditions. In September, an anticyclone set in bringing fine weather for around 10 days, and picking started in glorious conditions. This is a vintage with a cold maturity, resulting in elegant and aromatic wines, capable of long ageing.
A vintage marked by a warm and exceptionally dry spring. Summer was variable, meaning the vines lost the head-start they had acquired in the previous months. The harvests began in the first days of September, but certain winemakers waited another week to obtain greater ripeness. A vintage of contrasts, from which one can find crisp, aromatic wines and more powerful saline ones.
Although the spring was promising, summer was disappointing. Winemakers were nonetheless rewarded for their patience, since September was fine, marked by just one day of rain on the 25th of the month. Those who had waited before picking rushed to get the fruit in before botrytis developed. In the end, this proved to be a very Chablisien vintage.