2020 Gerard Duplessis Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre
The Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre from Duplessis has a relatively exotic bouquet for this vineyard, with notes of fennel, almost menthol, emerging with time. The taste is super well balanced with fresh acidity, harmonious on the palate with that hint of menthol brightening up the finish. This is one to put away for another 10 years and otherwise decant in its younger years. A beauty but very scarce.
The winemaker of this family domain is Lilian Duplessis. The domain is beautifully situated on the serene banks of the river Serein in the heart of Chablis, adjacent to Domaine Billaud-Simon. The wines are grown biodynamically and with low intervention in the winery. Duplessis takes a somewhat unorthodox approach to aging, with the premier and grand crus spending a full six months in stainless steel for malolactic fermentation, followed by six months in oak barrels (up to 10% new) and then back in stainless steel for six months. In this way he ensures that the barrels are always full, as the previous harvest is always kept and transferred into a barrel just before the next harvest.
Chablis is officially part of the Burgundy wine region, but is quite isolated a long way to the northeast. The climate is wetter and cooler than Burgundy itself, which determines the choice for planting mainly chardonnay. A strong, white grape that also ripens in cool regions. But even with chardonnay you have to be careful, because the early shoots run the risk of freezing in the spring. That is why mist installations and heaters are used in the vineyards to prevent this. Chardonnay is of course also widely planted in other parts of Burgundy, but the wines from Chablis have their own character. They have a mineral flavor with generally higher acidity and an aroma reminiscent of flint or pebble.
Not only the cool climate gives Chablis its unique taste, but also the special soil of marine origin. The vineyards lie on a rock that was the bottom of the sea hundreds of millions of years ago and is called Kimmeridge. It is a mixture of lime, clay and fossil oyster shells and was formed in the Jurassic period by billions of shellfish that lived on the seabed.
The best vineyards - seven Grands Crus and several dozen Premiers Crus - can be found on this type of soil and are located around the town of Chablis. The Grand Cru vineyards are located on the southwest slopes of a calcareous ridge immediately northeast of the town. The largest is Les Clos. The other six are Preuses, Bougros, Vaudesir, Grenouilles, Valmur and Blanchot. The 'ordinary' Chablis accounts for the majority of the production and comes from the flatter plots where the lime soil is less thick, although the differences are large. Petit-Chablis comes from the outskirts of Chablis and is usually less characteristic in taste and intended to drink young.
In addition to Chablis, which is always white and made from chardonnay, some red wine is also made from pinot noir on a much smaller scale. They are marketed as AOP Bourgogne Pinot Noir or as AOP Bourgogne Irancy, if they come specifically from the area around Irancy.
Located in the east of Auxerre in Yonne, Chablis is a famous appellation praised worldwide for its Chardonnay wines. Here, at Domaine Duplessis, where five generations of winemakers combine their experience, organic wine production has been in progress since 2010, with official certification in 2013.
More information about Lilian Duplessis
Lilian Duplessis is at the helm of this winery. He cherishes the soil and keeps a close eye on climate changes. Recently, we have started working exclusively according to organic principles, with precision and respect for the grape vines. In some years, such as 2018, no sulfur is added at all during vinification, which emphasizes the purity of the wines.
The domain covers approximately 10 hectares of vineyards spread over twenty plots. Some vines are already three quarters of a century old. Each plot contributes to the diversity and quality of their wines. Plots such as Grand Cru Les Clos and Premiers Crus Vaugiraut, Mont-de-Milieu, Fourchaume, Montée-de-Tonnerre, Montmains and Vaillons are well known and revered among Chablis enthusiasts.
|Type of Wine||White|
|Drinking as of||2023|
|Tasting Profiles||Complex, Dry, Mineral, Tense, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Romantisch|