2014 Louis Michel Chablis Butteaux 1er Cru

Year: 2014
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Vinous Media: 89
Burghound: 92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :


"Pale yellow. Bright on the nose but showing more smoke and earth today than primary fruits or flowers. Fairly broad and full in the mouth but a bit unrefined. Has the structure to support mid-term aging but this saline, slightly harsh wine will need at least a few years of patience. The saline finish features good phenolic thrust." (VM)

"Here too there is an abundance of Chablis character present on the citrus and cool floral aromas that include notes of tidal pool, shellfish and algae. There is a bit more volume and concentration to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a refreshing salinity and driving minerality on the muscular, balanced and long finish. This bold and robust effort won't win any awards for refinement but I really like the intense flavor authority." (BH)

This weekend we held a blind tasting of three Premier Cru Chablis from Louis Michel. I expected the wines to be good (they were), but what really surprised me was just how different they were. Each 1er cru vineyard has a certain reputation and this tasting showed that the reputation is dead on – two tasters were able to correctly call all three of the wines. The fact that 2014 is the Chablis vintage of the decade, doesn’t hurt.

Before we get into the wines, let’s discuss Chablis. This is one of the few remaining cases where the very best examples of a grape can still be had for a value price. Chablis is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes on the northern side of Burgundy. The cool climate results in super crisp, high acid wines that, to my taste, are exactly what Chardonnay should be. They are age-worthy (1er Crus routinely go 10+ years), and best of all, top examples like this go for under $30!

Michel keeps his wines crisp and fresh by using no barrels. All of the wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel. Two of the wines we tasted are currently available – the Butteaux and the Vaillons. Which should you buy? Both. But if you only want one, consider the style of each. The Butteaux (Burghound 92) is fatter, showing its warmer microclimate with more tropical fruit notes. The Vaillons (Burghound 90) more crisp but still very round, with more lemon and minerality. I prefer the Vaillons, but would be happy drinking either. (Nickel & Dime)

Winery Notes:
Tasting Notes:
Serve between 12 and 14 ̊C and air or carafe the wine before tasting. A fresh nose with caramelized apple and toasted notes, alongside wet stone and forest floor aromas. The mouth is energetic with a delicious finish.