2018, a redemptive vintage after a series of troubled years
Atypical for its contrasting weather conditions, 2018 remains an exceptional year for the Chablis terroir as well as for the whole of the Burgundy vineyard, marked until then by a series of difficult years.
If every winegrower fears frost or hail during the vegetative cycle, these are the climatic hazards that heavily impacted the Burgundy terroir in 2016 (with nearly 50% of the harvest destroyed) but also in 2017 (where the loss was evaluated at almost one third of the potential production).
Characteristics of the 2018 vintage in Chablis
The year 2018 began, on the Chablis terroir, with a winter high rainfall that benefited the reconstitution of water reserves. This wet weather did not affect the development of the vineyard, which budded early. Although the vineyards escaped the spring frosts, hailstorms affected three communes that had already been impacted in previous years. The spring saw favourable conditions for even, excellent vine development. Although the relatively wet weather increased the pressure on vineyard health, this was quickly counterbalanced by a particularly hot and dry late spring and summer. The flowering was even. Contrary to the rest of Burgundy, the summer period did not have much rain, leading to fears of a small harvest given the reduced size of the grapes. Fortunately, due to the sufficient water reserves in the soils, built up during the winter, this fear was quickly dispelled. Indeed, the harvest, carried out at the rhythm of the maturation of each plot, was as much quantitative as qualitative.
A high quality 2018 vintage to be tasted
Considered by the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne as "one of the best vintages in 20 years", 2018 shows the vines were in an excellent state and the grapes perfectly ripe at the harvest.
The 2018 Chablis wines have a luminous and shining colour. Complex, expressive and bright, the bouquet gives off delicious citrus notes mixed with subtle floral fragrances. Ample and rich, the palate is alluring, with its fruity structure and minerality so characteristic of its terroir of origin. The harvest, carried out at full grape maturity, resulted in a beautiful concentration of sugar but also a smooth acidity, giving the wines a delicate, rare and refined alliance between tension and balance. The finish is enduring and delicious, revealing refreshing notes of exotic fruits reminiscent of mango or papaya.
A sunny year due to the drought and high temperatures recorded during the summer season, 2018 is characterised on the Chablis terroir by wines that stand out from previous vintages by their structure, their brightness, their concentration, their opulence but also an important potential for ageing over the years to come.
Top 2018 Chablis wines recognised by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From the 1980s onwards, Robert Parker became one of the most influential international critics.
Founded in 1979 by Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate is a publication aimed at publicising his ratings.
Here are some of the 2018 Chablis white wine scores tasted by Robert Parker and his team of experienced tasters:
Robert Parker gives William Fèvre a score of 94 for its white wine Chablis Premier Cru Vaulorent. With its origins in 1959, the William Fèvre estate harmoniously expresses the identity of the great Chablis terroirs through exceptional wines.
Domaine Laroche was awarded a score of 93 by the famous American critic for its Chablis Grand Cru Blanchots and 92 for its Chablis Grand Cru Bouguerots. With a rich ancestral history dating back to the 9th century, Domaine Laroche produces great white wines whose precision, elegance and complexity are recognised worldwide.
The 2018 Chablis wines bear the fruit of an extraordinary year, both in terms of the generosity of the grapes and their exceptional quality. This exceptional vintage reveals the finesse, richness and excellence of the great terroirs of this emblematic appellation, which is one of the flagship wines of Burgundy.