2018 Chablis, La Forêt, 1er Cru, Jean-Claude Bessin, Burgundy

2018 Chablis, La Forêt, 1er Cru, Jean-Claude Bessin, Burgundy

Product: 20188026390
Prices start from £199.08 per case Buying options
2018 Chablis, La Forêt, 1er Cru, Jean-Claude Bessin, Burgundy

Description

From just over 1.5 hectares of vines planted in the late 1960s and early ’70s, La Forêt is an aromatic delight, with spicy floral touches of angelica and rose. The palate has a stinging purity, with breath-taking acidity and an understated, deceptive, elegant power. Drink 2021-2028.
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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Find out more.
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6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 1 case £199.08
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Limited availability

Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous91/100
Burghound89-92/100
Jasper Morris MW93/100
Neal Martin, Vinous91/100
The 2018 Chablis La Forêt 1er Cru has an earthy and smoky bouquet, light touches of wild mint emerging with time in the glass. The palate is well balanced, offering grapefruit, mandarin and bitter lemon notes on the entry, then slightly honeyed toward the finish, but maintaining admirable tension throughout. Maybe it just lacks the persistence of Bessin’s Montmains or Fourchaume, yet this remains a very commendable La Forêt.

Drink 2021-2029

Neal Martin, Vinous (Jul 2019) Read more
Burghound89-92/100
A slightly cooler and more reserved nose is also more oyster shell and citrus-infused. The exceptionally rich, even luscious flavors possess a highly seductive mouth feel while retaining reasonably good vibrancy that carries over to the bone dry, crisp and refreshing finish. At least a bit of patience will be necessary.

Drink 2024+

Burghound (Oct 2019) Read more
Jasper Morris MW93/100
Clear pale yellow, very attractive, a little more floral perfume here, opens out beautifully, softly perfumed, with a delicious coating of flesh on the bones here. No sign of heat nor of dilution, all very classy.

Jasper Morris MW, insideburgundy.com (Jul 2020) Read more

About this WINE

Jean-Claude Bessin

Jean-Claude Bessin

Jean-Claude Bessin's wines seem to take on his personality: his range of Chablis wines are among the most highly regarded in the region.

Based in La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, north of Chablis town, Jean-Claude's first vintage was the 1992. Though trained as an architect Jean-Claude Bessin preferred to take over the vineyards of his Tremblay father-in-law who adhered to the co-operative.

From his 12 hectares he produces Chablis vieilles vignes, Chablis Montmains premier cru wines, Chablis Fourchaume premier cru and Chablis Valmur grand cru wines which is partially barrel-fermented. A special cuvée of Fourchaume is labelled as La Pièce au Comte while from 2006 premier cru La Forêt has been bottled separately from the Montmains.

Evolution 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.

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Chablis

Chablis

Chablis lies further north than the rest of Burgundy, located about halfway between Beaune and Paris; it’s actually not all that far from Champagne. The wines here – exclusively whites from Chardonnay – differ in style from other white Burgundies: they tend towards steeliness and flintiness.

The Chablis region is an island of vines lying amid the forests and pastures of the Yonne département. In the heart of Chablis, the soils are marl (clay-limestone) of a particular kind – Kimmeridgian – containing traces of marine fossils. For many, the classic aroma and flavour profile of Chablis is built around seashell and an iodine, marine character imparted by the soil.

As elsewhere in Burgundy, there’s a hierarchy in Chablis. Grand Cru represents the top tier, although it accounts for just one per cent of overall Chablis production. The Grand Cru vineyards rise above the eponymous town in an impressive sweep, sloping south. These are sunny sites, ranging in elevation from 100 to 250 metres above sea level. The wines are deep and powerful, benefitting hugely from bottle age after release. The best examples can age for up to 20 years. Over time, their colour evolves from greenish gold to a light yellow, and they develop real aromatic complexity.

Unlike the other tiers, it’s not uncommon for Grand Cru Chablis to see new oak. As a result, its flavour profile is perhaps more comparable to the Côte d’Or than the rest of Chablis. For something more classically “Chablis”, there’s the Premiers Crus. Style and quality can vary, depending on the climat and the producer. Whether floral or more mineral, the best examples are seriously impressive and represent the hallmark style of the region – they can also offer real value for money. These are structured wines with the capacity to age for 10 to 15 years.

The next tier – accounting for most of the region’s output – is labelled simply as “Chablis”. These are steely, clean and lean whites with aromas of green apples and lemon, intended for early drinking. As ever in Burgundy, there are exceptions: well-made examples by top growers from vineyards abutting the Premiers Crus can be age-worthy.

Finally, there’s Petit Chablis: everyday wines, generally from vineyards planted on higher slopes. Petit Chablis accounts for around one-fifth of all Chablis produced. These wines typically come from Portlandian limestone, known to produce a fruitier, simpler wine than Chablis.

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Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

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