2014 Louis Michel Chablis Vaillons 1er Cru

Year: 2014
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Vinous Media: 89
Burghound: 90
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :


"Bright lemon-yellow. Lovely floral high tones to the peachy nose. In a sweet, fruity style but nicely concentrated and saline. Builds nicely on the back end, saturating the palate with ripe stone fruits and salty minerals. This essentially pliant wine finishes classically dry and firm." (VM)

"This is ultra-fresh with its nose of white orchard fruit, citrus blossom, ocean breeze and a hint of iodine. The attractively textured flavors possess both good energy and an appealing salinity before concluding in a finer but not nearly as long or complex finale. This is certainly good but the old vines Butteaux offers another dimension." (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, the wine should be aired or carafed before tasting. A mixed bouquet of toasted almonds, sweet spicy notes and Virginia tobacco. A delicious wine that gives a warm sensation in the mouth.