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William Nahan Chablis 1er Cru 'Mont de Milieu' 2010
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William Nahan Chablis 1er Cru \'Mont de Milieu\' 2010

William Nahan Chablis 1er Cru 'Mont de Milieu' 2010

Domaine William Nahan

Chablis 1er Cru 'Mont de Milieu'
2010

2010 is an excellent vintage in Chablis, with more acidity than the slightly over ripe 2009s.  The locals consider it to be the most 'typically Chablis' vintage in years.  High praise for winemakers! Chablis 1er Cru 'Mont de Milieu' is a  'right bank' south-facing vineyard, also on Kimmeridgian clay.  This vineyard, like the Grand Cru vines, tends to get a bit more sun in the year, and hence can be riper and richer at harvest.  For this reason, some of the grapes (usually 20%) are fermented in old oak barrels (used for 4 years).  The rest is fermented as are the other wines of the domain, in stainless tanks.  Aging as well takes place in the same recipients, 20% oak, 80% vat. Malolactic fermentation is controlled by temperature as to be most efficient.  Maturation takes place in the stainless tanks, again with cold treatment to precipitate tartaric acid.
$27.00/Bottle
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Situated in a converted mill house on the river Serein at the foot of the grand cru vineyards and a few steps from the center of Chablis, the Domaine du Chardonnay is the joint effort of three Chablis winemakers. In 1987, Etienne Boileau, Christian Simon and William Nahan pooled their vineyards and talents to create a domain of over 90 acres. We are the first to present these wines under the William Nahan label in the US.
CHABLIS
CHABLIS and the GRAND AUXERROIS


Located near the city of Auxerre in the department of Yonne, the Chablis vineyards lie on slopes above valleys that feed into the Serein river. Vines date of course to the Roman era, but in the 12th century, the Cistercian monks from the abbey of Pontigny developed serious cultivation. The Chablis appellations (Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru) form a qualitative pyramid of which the Grand Cru appellation forms the apex.

Petit Chablis, which is the local equivalent to the regional appellation 'bourgogne', comes from vineyards on either side of the river, usually on the edges of Chablis production or on the plateaus above the valleys. They can vary wildly in quality.

Chablis (or 'tout court' as the locals say) is the local equivalent of the village appellation, and is generally found on the edges of the premier cru production.

Chablis premier cru vineyards are generally situated above the valleys on slope with ideal exposition. They almost always are planted on the chalky kimmeridgian clay. Left bank and the right bank minerality are the most obvious ways to categorize these wines.

Chablis grand cru comes from vineyards to the north-east of the town of Chablis on the right bank of the Serein facing the sun at altitudes of 100-250 meters. The Grand Cru climats form a continuous band along the upper part of the valley from Bougros in the north-west, through Preuses, Vaudésir, Grenouille, Valmur and Les Clos to Blanchot in the south-east.

The appellation Chablis includes a total of 89 premiers crus and 6 grands crus.

Producing communes: Beines, Béru, Chablis, Fyé, Milly, Poinchy, La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne, Chemilly-sur-Serein, Chichée, Collan, Courgis, Fleys, Fontenay-Près-Chablis, Lignorelles, Ligny-le-Châtel, Maligny, Poilly-sur-Serein, Prehy, Villy et Viviers.

Wines

Chablis is often pale in color, ranging from white gold to greeny gold, and it should be limpid, brilliant and fat. The nose is often discreet in youth, but is marked by freshness, dusty minerality, grassiness and white floral notes like acacia or honeysuckle. Extremely distinctive chalky minerality (coming from a streak of kimmeridgian clay running through the region) carries the fruit on the palate, making a good Chablis very persistent in length. There are distinct differences between 'left bank' (of the river Serein) and 'right bank', having mostly to do with hours of exposition to the sun. Left bank wines have an almost severe minerality (much loved by the locals) whereas right bank Chablis is rounder, riper. Either however should be easily recognized as unmistakeably Chablis to any discerning taster. The premiers crus and grands crus are set apart because they generally have a higher concentration of the kimmeridgian as well as prime exposition. The grands crus are the best example of this. They are all grouped together in an amphitheater-shaped heat trap and, come harvest time, invariably have that half degree more potential alcohol than other vineyards in the zone.

Terroirs

No French wine-growing area has its reputation more firmly allied to its geology. The main substrata is jurassic limestone (specifically, kimmeridgian clay) laid down some 150 million years ago. The rock contains deposits of tiny fossilized oyster shells which remind us that Burgundy once lay beneath a warm ocean. This is the same rock that much of Champagne is planted upon, and it is the same rock through which the Channel Tunnel is bored, as this geologic vein makes its way into south-east England.

Color

White wines only - Chardonnay (known locally as " Beaunois ")
Production surface area :
1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres
Grand Cru: 104.07 ha
Premier Cru :776.08 ha
Chablis : 3,256.81 ha
Petit Chablis: 843.32 ha

Food

Chablis is aromatically highly complex and very adaptable with food. Good matches include oysters and shellfish, as well as fish, grilled or in sauce. The more mineral versions (left bank) go well with quality poultry or veal. The more open and round variations (right bank) are locally drunk with the traditional dishes like andouillettes (tripe sausages) and of course, the Burgundian specialty par excellence, escargots (snails). Another local specialty is jambon au Chablis, thick-sliced cured ham braised in Chablis and cream. Chablis can also tackle the wine-killer, asparagus. It also goes well with creamy goat cheeses, as well as mountain cheeses like Beaufort, Comté, or Emmental.

Appellations

On the label, the appellation Chablis 1er Cru may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat.

These climats are often inclusive. The 17 bigger classified climats have names which the producers opt to use more often.

They appear in bold:
  • Mont de Milieu - Vallée de Chigot
  • Montée de Tonnerre - Chapelot, Les Chapelots, Pied d’Aloup, Sous Pied d’Aloup, Côte de Bréchain
  • Fourchaume - Vaupulent, Vau Pulan, Les Vaupulans, La Fourchaume, Côte de Fontenay, Dine-Chien, L’Homme Mort, La Grande Côte, Bois Seguin, L’Ardillier, Vaulorent, Les Quatre chemins, La ferme couverte, Les Couvertes
  • Vaillons - Sur les Vaillons, Chatains, Les Grands Chaumes, Les Chatains, Sécher, Beugnons, Les Beugnons, Les Lys, Champlain, Mélinots, Les Minos, Roncières, Les Epinottes
  • Montmains - Les Monts Mains, Forêts, Les Forêts, Butteaux, Les Bouts des Butteaux, Vaux Miolot, Le Milieu des Butteaux, Les Ecueillis, Vaugerlains
  • Côte de Léchet - Le Château
  • Beauroy - Sous Boroy, Vallée des Vaux, Benfer, Troesmes, Côte de Troesmes, Adroit de Vau Renard, Côte de Savant, Le Cotat-Château, Frouquelin, Le Verger
  • Vauligneau - Vau de Longue, Vau Girault, La Forêt, Sur la Forêt
  • Vaudevey - La Grande Chaume, Vaux Ragons, Vignes des Vaux Ragons
  • Vaucoupin - Adroit de Vaucopins
  • Vosgros - Adroit de Vosgros, Vaugiraut
  • Les Fourneaux - Morein, Côte des Près Girots, La Côte, Sur la Côte
  • Côte de Vaubarousse
  • Berdiot
  • Chaume de Talvat
  • Côte de Jouan
  • Les Beauregards - Hauts des Chambres du Roi, Côte de Cuissy, Les corvées, Bec d Oiseau, Vallée de Cuissy

On the label the following climats are classified as grand cru:

  • Blanchot
  • Bougros
  • Les Clos
  • Grenouilles
  • Preuses
  • Valmur
  • Vaudesir
BURGUNDY 2010

Burgundy 2010 is a small harvest, even smaller than expected. Uneven flowering and a subsequent cold snap in early summer meant that all but the best-exposed vineyards gave greatly diminished yields. The exceptions are…exceptional. Michel Arcelain in Pommard (who completed his 64th harvest that year!) told us that while his village Beaune ‘Siserpe’ was down a third in quantity, his Beaune 1er Cru ‘Clos des Mouches’ gave him the same as last year. It’s the exposition, he says. And that, in short, is what makes it a premier cru .

A hot and cold summer combined with (in the Côtes) too much moisture brought the threat of rot, and meant that the growers had to be particularly vigilant with their treatments, and then again at the sorting tables. Meaning even less crop. Most unusual of all, the harvest did not come to maturity by color. Usually it's red and then white. In 2010 growers alternated harvesting between Pinot and Chardonnay as the parcels reached maturity. Some even sent their pickers home for a few days in mid-harvest.

But the good producers did not complain (much), because the quality is there. With good natural sugar levels, and remarkably tame acidity, the wines were promising right from the outset. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay like to come to maturity slowly, and 2010 gave them this opportunity. So if the phyto-sanitary side was seen to (which is what it means to be one of the good producers), we are looking at rich bright voluminous wines, both red and white, and from south to north.

Chardonnay

2010 is a year for whites. From the north to the south of Burgundy, the whites show the whole range of expression of Chardonnay. These are balanced wines with freshness and purity, and refined minerality. This is a Chardonnay as the Burgundians like it. The Chablis are superb!

Pinot Noir

Delicious reds in a classic style, with excellent balance between fruit, acidity and tannins.

Compared to 2009, the 2010s are less rich but more precise. Compared to 2008, they are richer and more balanced. Precision and purity, character and depth; and above all elegance. Many producers have told us that they prefer their 2010s to their 2009s. Again, 2010 is Burgundy as the Burgundians like it.
Vintage: 2010
Wine Style: White Wine
Varietal: Chardonnay
Appellation: Chablis 1er Cru
Alcohol %: 13%
 
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