2022 Domaine de l'Enclos, Chablis 1er Cru "Vau de Vey"
2022 Domaine de l'Enclos, Chablis 1er Cru "Vau de Vey"

2022 Domaine de l'Enclos, Chablis 1er Cru "Vau de Vey"

Burgundy, France 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$55.00

2022 Domaine de l'Enclos, Chablis 1er Cru "Vau de Vey"

 This morning’s electric offering from longtime favorites Domaine de l’Enclos was the “drink-me-now” winner of a recent Chablis tasting. BUT, a close runner up, and the wine I would personally love to have several cases of in the cellar, was the step-up Premier Cru from the same dynamic Bouchard brothers team. Hailing from the eponymous “Vau de Vey” vineyard, this masterpiece of minerals and seashells has the structure and power to age as gracefully as any top tier White Burgundy, yet the price is outrageously modest–proving once again that Chablis is one of the world’s best values. Give this a couple years in the bottle and you’ll watch it out perform wines that cost three or four times as much!

Romain and Damien Bouchard grew up in Chablis working alongside their father, Pascal, and the heart of their operation is a significant stand of prime Chablis vineyards that has been in their family for generations. They may have only launched their Domaine de l'Enclos label in 2016, but this is no rookie operation—it’s a pair of seasoned vintners working with mature, organically farmed vines. Their first few years of operation have, in fact, been focused largely on sustainable viticulture, and in 2018 they achieved official organic certification. Everything they do strives to be in perfect harmony with nature, from the vineyard to the cellar, and the focus of that harmony is a pure, unadorned expression of Chablis’ famous Kimmeridgian limestone terroir.

Pascal Bouchard sold his extremely successful business in 2015, but he held onto his family vineyard holdings to pass along to Romain and Damien. The brothers had previously been making their own wines in a small corner of the Pascal Bouchard winery, but, once equipped with 30+ hectares of well-placed vineyards, with an average age of 30 years, the time was ripe to set up their own shop. In addition to spending their first years refining their viticultural practices and pushing for organic certification, they constructed a new cellar underneath their family home in the town of Chablis proper. It’s a modern cellar, but one which employs many traditional practices, including moving all juice/wine by gravity only.

Winemaking for their range of Premier Crus is very similar to that of the village level Chablis, with the principle difference being the use of used French oak barrels for some of the fermentation and aging. After 12 months of lees contact in both barrels and steel tanks everything is racked off the fine lees and goes back into steel tanks for an additional six months, before being bottled with a very light filtration and just a small SO2 addition. 

The “Vau de Vey” vineyard is one of the coolest Premier Crus in Chablis, and the Bouchard parcel is about seven hectares on a steep, east/southeast facing slope that was planted in 1979. The combination of 45 year old vines on these wind swept slopes is the perfect answer to the conundrum of how to maintain the crisp, mineral driven profile that these wines are famous for. As such, the structure for the 2022 vintage is impressive, with a tightly coiled texture and very bright acidity. If you are serving it in the next few months I would definitely recommend a vigours decant to help it open up and show its full kaleidoscope of Chablisienne brilliance: Yellow apple, white peach, lemon zest, white flowers, green almonds, honeysuckle, and of course loads of oyster shells. It’s a rip roaring Chardonnay that is only going to gain more texture, depth, and complexity over the next two to five years and beyond. I’ve said it many times, but it bears repeating that if you want the best cellar worthy value in White Burgundy this is exactly where you should start!

2022 Domaine de l'Enclos, Chablis 1er Cru "Vau de Vey"

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