Drouhin Vaudon – Chablis 2016

Instagram is weirder than the weather. Sometimes you put up a photo of what you think if one of the most dramatic landscapes you’ve ever seen but it gets nearly no reaction. Then, you put up a photo of a shattered bottle neck sitting in your sink and blam, it’s one of your most popular photos to date. This, I don’t get but so it is in the algorithm-ed world of social media.

The bottle in questions was Drouhin’s Domaine de Vaudon Chablis 2016 and was one in a number of various Chablis that I have lying around to test myself from time to time in being able to identify the four classifications (Petit, Chablis, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru) correctly. I assume everyone in the wine world has some problem grape that always stumps them when tasting blind and Chardonnay is mine. It’s a rather amorphous grape that completely takes on the characteristics of the region it’s from thus the need to taste it often as what we find south of the Pyrenees ain’t “typical” Chardonnay.

As I’ve just moved into a house with a proper cellar, I was organizing my piles of random bottles when I grabbed this one. “Funny, it seems wet”, I thought which it turned out, it was. At some point along the supply line, some rocket scientist had obviously dropped something on the top which in turn fractured the neck, leaving a nice sharp edge. Admittedly, some of the wetness on the bottle was my own blood from a nice, new slice on the my thumb.

In opening what remained of the bottle, I realized that a) it needed to be drank as it would otherwise oxidize rapidly, even in the fridge and b) I would need to filter it to make sure I wasn’t shuttling little bits of glass into my body along with tasty Chardonnay.

The most curious thing about this wine is that I wasn’t expecting that much from it. Drouhin is a pretty bit producer and Chablis is nice, but my ideal level when it comes to this Burgundian region is Premier Cru as it generally allows the best expression of fruit along with just enough barrel to make it drinkable early while having a luscious, full body–Grand Cru is just too, well, “grand” for me. Oddly enough, Premier Cru aspect is exactly how this wine tasted and I had to check again to make sure I hadn’t picked up a Premier Cru by mistake.

I was to read later that this wine is “sorta” Premier Cru. This 6ha vineyard is located between Mont de Milieu and Montée de Tonnerre which are two full-fledged Premier Cru vineyards in Chablis. The Drouhin family has owned it for well over 50 years and is obviously seeing fit that as it’s an excellent site, it should be treated to all the trappings of Premier Cru yet at a Chablis price. This in turn makes it a great value but for anyone looking for this to do blind tasting exercises, you will most surely get it wrong so sadly, it’s just a very well-priced and very pleasant drinking wine instead. Shucks.

Domaine de Vaudon Chablis 2016
Straw in color and bright in the glass. Lovely crisp citric notes of grapefruit peel and Meyer lemon. Equally crisp in the mouth with medium plus acidity and a linear, driven component to the wine that orbits around its core and delicious minerality with a remarkably long finish. Damned tasty Chablis.
100% Chardonnay 12.5% 18€
** Q 92