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Guy Robin, Chablis Premier Cru “Montée de Tonnerre”Burgundy, France 2019 (750mL)

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Guy Robin, Chablis Premier Cru “Montée de Tonnerre” Burgundy, France 2019 (750mL)

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In my eyes, adding any quantity of today’s Premier Cru Chablis to your collection makes you a sage practitioner of elite Burgundy consumption because if I had less than $50 to spend on Chardonnay, Guy Robin’s “Montée de Tonnerre” would get short-listed every single time.


Half of the reason is the terroir itself: Perched immediately upstream from “Les Clos” and company, this special site is considered by sommeliers and Chablis lobbyists to be one of the unspoken Grand Crus. The other half is the genius and artistry behind Domaine Guy Robin: They own old, heirloom vines up on “Thunder Mountain,” and in 2019 they turned their hand-picked fruit into a profound expression of spontaneously fermented, barrel-aged, Premier Cru Chablis that’s unafraid to joust for Chardonnay supremacy. In summary, we geek out over this stuff every single year because (1) Guy Robin is one of the fabled few reference points for elite Burgundy and (2) “Montée de Tonnerre” is among Chablis’ greatest vineyards. Open it now or in 5+ years and its thundering energy and luxurious power is guaranteed to speak for itself. Up to 12 bottles per person. 



Every year, we are the lucky beneficiaries of Guy Robin’s foresight: Back in the 1960s, he assembled a spectacular collection of vineyard plots in Chablis, including parcels in five Grand Crus and four Premier Crus. Later, he resisted the urge to replant those vineyards with higher-yielding clones of Chardonnay (as many others did), and now his daughter, Marie-Ange Robin, is blessed with perhaps the richest trove of old vines in the region. Guy Robin’s shrewd vineyard acquisitions included significant stands of pre-phylloxera vines—i.e., vineyards that were not destroyed during the phylloxera epidemic of the late-1800s. The phylloxera louse (a root-eating aphid) devastated the European wine industry, forcing vignerons to graft vines onto phylloxera-resistant American rootstocks, but it wasn’t a total annihilation. Some pockets of Europe were spared, including parts of Chablis: A good 80% of Robin’s modern-day vines are on their “own,” pre-phylloxera roots!


Montée de Tonnerre is, in many experts’ minds, an ‘honorary’ Grand Cru—or, at the very least, as close as Premier Crus get to that top tier. The site picks up where the famed row of Grand Crus leaves off, sharing similar expositions (the “Blanchots” Grand Cru is literally across a slender ravine). Montée de Tonnerre wraps around a hillside and is traditionally broken up into three sections, or lieux-dits: “Pied d’Aloup” (at the top of the slope, facing east); “Chapelot” (more south-facing); and “Côte de Brechain” (the western slopes). Unsurprisingly, the Robins have 40-60-year-old vines in all three sections, so they blend the fruit together to offer a panoramic view of this iconic vineyard. 


All grapes are harvested by hand and whisked away to the cellar for a gentle pressing that’s followed by 24 hours of settling. The juice then spontaneously ferments and matures in French barrels (10% new) for one year, which always adds an extra gear. Step 1/1: Allow Guy Robin’s 2019 “Montée de Tonnerre” no less than 30 minutes in a decanter and prepare yourself for a master class in mineral-dominant, laser-sharp, textural 1er Cru Chardonnay. Although at first reticent, the nose eventually releases gorgeous aromas of white peach, yellow and green apple skin, damp white flowers, salt-preserved lemon, citrus blossoms, crushed oyster shell, pineapple core, lees, and cheese rind. The palate is broad and medium-bodied with layers of yellow-white fruits, Bosc pear, and high-toned citrus propelling a swirling, chalky mineral core. It’s an absolute pleasure to enjoy this around 50 degrees in Burgundy stems over the course of two evenings—although one would be wise to squirrel several away for consumption beyond 2024. Cheers!




Guy Robin, Chablis Premier Cru “Montée de Tonnerre” Burgundy, France 2019 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy
  • Sub-RegionChablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre
  • SoilChalky Limestone, Clay, Fossilized Seashells
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendChardonnay
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 10% New

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy
  • Sub-RegionChablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre
  • SoilChalky Limestone, Clay, Fossilized Seashells
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendChardonnay
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 10% New
  • Temp.Serve at 50-55° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2025+
  • Decanting30+ Minutes
  • PairingPan-Fried Fish w/ Cilantro-Lime Butter