The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses is one of the pinnacles of the portfolio at La Chablisienne, opening in the glass with aromas of orange blossom, oyster shell and iodine that are beautifully distinctive and ethereal. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, saline and three-dimensional, with a racy spine of acidity, excellent concentration and a searingly saline finish. As I wrote last year, La Chablisienne is a force of nature in Chablis, vinifying and bottling fully one-quarter of the entire appellation's production and offering 13 premiers crus and six grands crus—though each passing year, it must be observed, sees more and more producers leave to try their hand at vinifying their grapes themselves. Sometime winemaker and long-time ambassador Hervé Tucki, joined by Director of Winemaking Vincent Bartement, characterized theirs as "a somewhat traditional idea of Chablis." Tucki stressed that La Chablisienne works with their growers throughout the year, offering advice on farming and prohibiting certain chemical products that are permitted by the law. Musts are tasted and analyzed to determine their quality and are fermented in numerous small lots. While some 80% of La Chablisienne's wines come into contact with oak, there is no notable new-oak influence. In general, the wines see between 12 and 18 months on their lees before bottling, with one single bottling for each cuvée to minimize variation (something that's surprisingly uncommon in Chablis). (WK)
A pretty if mildly oaky nose presents aromas of ocean breeze, citrus and green fruit scents that are cut with plenty of iodine character. The mouth feel of the medium-bodied flavors is slightly rounder with good power and richness yet with no loss of refinement to the lemony, lingering and saline-suffused finish. This too could use a bit more overall depth but I like the potential.
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