There are very few producers that are both unique and iconic. Raveneau is one of them, but for some reason, many collectors haven’t discovered it yet, which I suppose could be good news for Chablis lovers across the world such as The Don or Sir Robert Bohr…
Chablis is definitively one of the great starter wines in the world. It makes the beginning to any meal instantly special, especially in the hands of Raveneau (or Dauvissat). I recently had the opportunity to taste a half-dozen Raveneaus in Hong Kong, and it was love at first sip, again.
We started with a delightfully drinkable 2009 Raveneau Chablis La Foret. Its nose had lots of lemon and citrus but also dust, minerals and white earth to support. It came across tangy aromatically, in a complex way. The palate was round, fat and tasty with some nice richness. Its finish went on and on thanks to its lively acid. Its palate was a touch sweeter than the others that followed, probably a function of the vintage. I was tempted to rate this even higher as it was so charming and easy to drink (92).
A pair of Butteaux butted in beginning with the 2006 Raveneau Chablis Butteaux. This was a steelier wine that was clearly more wound, spiny and briny, also possessing distinct anise aromas. The palate was also tighter, yet cleaner with its sharp mineral flavors. Long, reserved and stylish, this was rock solid and still zippy. Most preferred the 2006 to the 2005 that followed, which was still excellent. By the way, Chablis beats to its own drum when it comes to vintage quality (94).
So Happy Together
The 2005 Raveneau Chablis Butteaux was more open with classic aromas of sea salt and oyster shell. This was a rounder, richer style that perhaps gave more pleasure at this point, but it will also mature faster. Someone noted, ‘sea breeze,’ and this round and hearty white got chewier in the glass (93).
The 2007 Raveneau Chablis Montee de Tonnerre was on the mineral and oyster shell side of things, with hints of anise and natural gas buried in sandstone. There was nice grip to its palate along with tangy, lemon ice flavors. It kept gaining in the glass, showing the strength of the vintage (94).
Wax On/Wax Off
Two Grand Crus sent us off in fine fashion, starting with the 2008 Raveneau Chablis Valmur. Its nose was smokier and deep, reeking of great terroir and an elevated status. Its nose was long and fine, showing shells, rocks and stones along with some fireplace action, including some kinky action on the rug in front. The palate was a bit shut down, however. It was long, fresh and round, but it lacked the definition I wanted, at least at this point. To be continued (94+).
Grand Cru Class
The big, bad 2006 Raveneau Chablis Les Clos was last and definitely not least. It had a deeper, stonier nose that was full of wet limestone and more pungency than anything prior. I even added waterfall and titanium sink spray. Work with me people, will ya?!? Its palate was sensuous with both the shells and the shellfish. It was richer and also dirtier, but in a hot, dirty way. It kept getting better and was clearly the richest of them all (96).
It was a great assortment of one of the world’s greatest producers of white wine. More, please.
In Vino Veritas,