One of our favourite Chablis suppliers, still flying below the radar but providing quality well above the norm. Crisp, bright acidity and a medium body with a little earthy mushroom fruit and some crunchy green apple. Pure, elegant fruit and plenty of poise on the long finish.
Jean-Claude Bessin has been bottling his own wines in the hamlet of La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, just north of Chablis itself, since 1992. Though trained as an architect Jean-Claude Bessin preferred to take over the vineyards of his Tremblay father-in-law who belonged to the co-operative.
As well as Chablis vieilles vignes, Jean-Claude has vines in the premiers crus of Fourchaumes, Montmains, and La Forêt - which may also go under the Montmains name, but he bottles his separately because he finds them stylistically different. There is clay of all colours in the soil, which heats up slowly but retains the heat very well. There is a rich character to the fruit of Forêt wines and notable complexity, due to the variations in the clay and the multiplicity of stones which render drainage very effective.
Evolution in Jean-Claude’s cellar in recent years has been towards more natural winemaking. The majority of the crop is now harvested by hand, with natural yeasts preferred for fermentation. The wines have a long élévage on fine lees, the crus being bottled after 15 to 18 months, with a proportion of barrel fermentation and maturation for the top wines.
(Jasper Morris MW - BBR Buyer)