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What our expert thought of Domaine Jean Goulley & Fils, Chablis




the tasting

The Tasting


A fairly pale greeny-gold, this is definitely not the deep yellow that many associate with Chardonnay.  Even so, it’s not as pale or as green-tinged as a Riesling or a Sauvignon Blanc would be.
 
The nose is quite full for a Chablis (or unoaked Chardonnay generally), yet delightfully elegant.  Chablis from the left bank of the Serein river is supposed to smell of white flowers, while yellow fruit scents are characteristic of the warmer right bank.  This left bank wine bears that out, leading with aromas of acacia and hawthorn blossom.
 
Behind that lies lovely lemony citrus, fresh-cut Cox’s apple and a waft of fresh mint.  Though obviously quite ripe, this still displays some of the flinty stoniness that Chablis is famed for.  There’s a hint of hazelnut too, even though this wine is clearly unoaked.
 
Fully dry, this is just under medium-bodied with just over medium acidity.  There’s lovely balance here, even though this is unusually ripe for a straight, non-Premier-Cru Chablis.  There are slightly more yellow fruit flavours than green ones: apple, pear and greengage.  It’s still no fruitbomb, but the restrained flavours are supported by an attractive mineral weight that builds into the afterpalate and finish..
 
The fine acidity is more noticeable on that mouthwatering, slightly saline finish, which has a stony, leesy texture reminiscent of slate, or perhaps the oyster shells that are found in the vineyards.  There’s some almond nuttiness developing with age, too.


Assessment


This wine was lees-aged for six months, and that shows in the stony and saline finish which is rather reminiscent of the Chasseloir Muscadet we drank a few months ago.  But this wine is much more scented, with that lovely floral nose, and is fuller and riper on the palate too.
 
This is classic and classy Chablis, showing off the benefits of the fine vintage.  Chablis purists would claim that 2015 was actually too hot for greatness, and would point to 2014 as the best recent vintage.  I’d agree with them, but only for Premier and Grand Cru wines, and then only if you’re prepared to keep them the five years or more that they need.
 
The Crus are by definition the sunniest, warmest slopes, and so the most likely to overheat.  By contrast, the warm year has blessed good but cooler vineyards like these with the ripeness and intensity normally found only in Premier Crus.  Better still, they’re ready to drink now.  Even better than that, we can afford them!



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium- greeny-gold
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas white flowers (acacia, hawthorn), citrus (lemon), green/yellow fruit (Cox’s apple), herbs (mint), nuts (hazelnut)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness very dry

Acidity medium(+, just)

Body medium(-, just)

Intensity medium

Flavours orchard fruit (apple, pear), stone fruit(greengage), more yellow fruit than green, stony mineral weight
Finish

Length medium+

Flavours fine mouthwatering acidity, stony/leesy texture, minerals (slate, oyster shell, salt), nuts (almonds)
Other notes
Unoaked. Balanced, restrained, elegant. Quality. Heavenly nose (with some air). Classic despite ripeness of year.


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