Photo Courtesy of Roland Lavantureux
Chablis Weather Is Here!
Grand Cru and 1er Cru Chablis You Do Not Want to Miss
Kermit Lynch has single handedly introduced Americans over the years to some of the greatest French wines. From DRC to Chave, Kermit has worked with the premier domaines of France.
White Burgundy has been an area that Kermit has excelled over the years with an import portfolio comprised of simply the best: Coche-Dury, Roulot, and Francois Raveneau. These three domaines are easily some of the most sought-after and collected white Burgundy of the past 25 years with Raveneau the reigning icon of Chablis.
However, as Kermit will always say, it is a portfolio of great domaines and people, producing wines of place that speaks to him. You have to always look around and explore. There is never just one domaine for each region, there are multiple. Kermit has built a reputation for broad offerings of classic regions, introducing us to a variety of amazing domaines that define their regions. Chablis is no different.
Roland Lavantureux has been a long time import from Kermit Lynch and one of the best kept secrets in Chablis. As the second generation at Lavantureux, Roland was the first to estate-bottle the family’s wines in 1979. Now joined by the third generation, his sons Arnaud and David continue to develop and push the domaine.
In recent years, we have seen the domaine expand, taking over an older parcel of the rarely seen Premier Cru Vau de Vey from Roland’s wifes side of the family. With vine age of 35 to 50 years old, the Lavantureux Vau de Vey is an amazing expression of steep hillside Chablis. This parcel is so steep that the farming must be done by hand. Here we have the beauty of Chablis from almost pure limestone soils. This steep ridge line vineyard tucked in behind Cote de Lechet is one of those pure and racy expressions of Chablis loaded with citrus character and mouth puckering stoniness that is what we crave in Chablis.
The Vau de Vey is a standout of the domaine and consistently rates among the best of the vintage. The intensity and precision is what great Chablis is all about.
Talk about quality - and value. While Raveneau 1er Cru will run north of $200 per bottle the Lavantureux is a quarter of the price.
Conclusion: Kermit once again does not represent one great domaine in Chablis, but two. The secret of Lavantureux is slowly getting out across the USA market and demand for these wines has already made it harder for us to secure decent quantities. If you love Chablis, this is one domaine that you must try as the quality and character of these wines easily rank among the finest of the region.